Today was our last full day here. We head home tomorrow afternoon. It is crazy how fast our time here has gone. We will be sad to say goodbye to so many of our friends here. At the same time, we have packed so
Last night we arrived, unpacked and met our wonderful hosts. Small children clasped our hands as we went for a walk to explore the neighborhood. We felt a warmth in the air and smelled a homely aroma coming from a small mud brick home. As it turns out, women of the village were cooking scones ahead of a birthday celebration for the newest member of the community. Within the culture here, a mother delivering her first baby is viewed as not only an item of personal celebration but brings together the entire community to commemorate the event. One month from birth, the village gathers to eat, dance, and give the child a welcoming befitting of royalty. We promised to return to participate in the party and congratulate the new mother!
Today, on an early morning walk, Burt was offered a dowry for Addy of 5 cows, 4 goats. After careful consideration, he turned it down. We had a great breakfast and headed out in the vans. We went back to the Koins For Kenya Roots. We heard the origin story from Steve and we all took pictures near the baobobtree, known here as the Tree of Life. Some years ago, Steve came across a man utilizing the tree as a makeshift classroom. It later would become the location of the first school built by Koins.
Next we went to Muleji for a Christian church service at the school. Along the way, Jon gifted several sets of children a new soccer ball. In exchange the kids offered up their own handmade balls. These balls are truly an achievement of brilliant engineering. Old clothes and plastic bags are tightly woven together until you have a ball just a hair bigger than a softball that bounces and rolls as closely to what we see on our kidssoccer fields back in the States.
At the service there was much singing and dancing. Many of us joined in the dancing (after a little nudge from the locals). Everyone from the village was very kind and welcoming. They even greeted us with drums and a choreographed welcome song. Both Burt and Dea gave inspirational thoughts and expressed gratitude for our ability to be in Africa and commune with one another.
After church, we immediately started working on a colorful mural on the side of the new school. Thanks to Kim’s direction and her preparation, we quickly started our painting by outlining in chalk coconut trees, mountains, rivers, and animals. EVERYONE was eager to pitch in! Spencer even had a young man from Muleji calmly state “Excuse me” as he abruptly grabbed the paint brush straight out of his hand. Children could be heard laughing as Jon and Dea’s son Johnny lead a game of football (soccer for us Yankees) on the primarily asphalt and dirt field to the side of the school.
Upon returning home, children ran after our van in anticipation of us attending the welcoming of the new baby. Once more, we experienced the lively singing and dancing of Kenya and presented the new mother with a lovely new blanket and some cash. As if the day had not given us enough to smile about already, Buffalo (the Head of Construction on our building projects) felt we needed a proper demonstration on how to use the latrine while we are in his country. You’d be amazed at the attention to detail Buffalo provided for us as he squatted to the ground to provide us with a visual aid. Always remember friends, put your weight on your toes and raise your heels. The day was long and we were all worn out and ready for bed by early evening, but the memories we created won’t soon be forgotten.
P.S. upon our final revision, a gecko has just fallen on Kim as she was in the shower.
Have a great day, friends! We will have another update for you again tomorrow.