It has been a few days since we have sent a decent update. We have been dealing with some power and wifi issues. Today the GlocalMe device that we brought with us seems to be working pretty well, though.
Yesterday (Friday) - We got up in the morning and went back out to the school in Sakwa. What should have been a relatively uneventful trip turned out to be more interesting because of the storms that came through Thursday night. Although it had not rained all the way down in Sakwa, it had rained up here (and I do mean up, we are over 2000 meters above sea level) and the water does flow down hill. There were some challenging stretches along the way in very torn up roads with deep puddles, deeper ravines and slick mud. Our Toyota Prado (great vehicle except for the fact that everything in it is in Chinese, it speaks to us in Chinese, the GPS shows us perpetually in the middle of some large body of water, and it is playing music from a source that we cannot identify) was a champ. Our driver, new friend and brother, Robert, was even better!
The school put on a GREAT performance for us! Because it was Good Friday, it was a school holiday. But, at least most if not all of the kids came to school for the special celebration. There was a lot of singing and dancing by various of the classes. The show hit a particularly high point when a group of boys came out with special hats they had made from cardboard and chicken feathers and showed off their dance moves. Alex jumped up and joined them to thunderous applause from everyone. To say the students loved it is an understatement!
After some speeches (note, when you come to Kenya, be prepared to give various speeches), Alex had a chance to go play football (soccer) with the kids. He said that they did not take it easy on him! He also gave his various cameras to the kids, showed them how to use them, and told them to pass them around and go wild. Can't wait to see those!!
While Alex did that, I had a chance to meet with the entire staff of the school as well as the Chairman of the school's board. It was nice both to meet them and thank them in person for all that they are doing and the impact that they are having (I learned this week that our scores on the national exams made us top school in our sub-division, top school in our division, #2 school in the sub-county and #7 in the county (we are getting the exact number, but estimate well over 200 schools in the county)). They also shared with us their thoughts, concerns and suggestions for issues to address. I thought it was very productive.
We met back up with Alex in a local church that we joined for the end of a service (which we made longer because we were introduced and invited to make remarks). It was really nice, but Alex's bee allergy really had us nervous as the church was filled with wasp nests - seriously, there were several hundred of them - and wasps flying around. Thankfully, we avoided any incidents.
We were then invited to the pastor's home and several other pastors (many of whom we have known for a long time including Robert and Ronald) joined us for a time of fellowship. It was fun to talk with them and answer questions about things in America. Although the one topic that I am getting tired of discussing with Kenyan's is the upcoming US presidential election. Once anyone gets comfortable, they ask about it!
After some relaxation time and an opportunity to eat dinner (FRESH chicken and rice) with Roberta - aside that I must add here: I had done a lot of eating by that time, big breakfast at the hotel in Nyamira, soda and bread at the staff meeting at the school (many slices of bread), more soda and ugali with green-leafy vegetables (I was told that there is no translation for what it is?) at the pastor's house - she hosted house fellowship. The counts are certainly unofficial, but they ranged from 47 to 50 people in attendance. There were at least five pastors. Although I had been told to be ready to share something, I suddenly was promoted to the guest teacher for the evening. So, I stretched my initial thoughts on what I would share into a mini-sermon (I mean, it felt like a full-fledged sermon to me but I was described as being "very succinct" at something like 20 minutes). It seemed like some people followed what I was saying . . . I have to just assume that I am being translated correctly and there is not another sermons going on. It was a nice evening and also presented an opportunity to receive prayers of healing and strength for some people back home, and, of course, locally.
Since it had rained, hard, during dinner and was now well past dark, poor Robert had his work cut out for him on the drive back to the hotel in Nyamira. While we sometimes wondered if the water was deeper than the doors, he did another excellent job gently bouncing and sliding us along until we made it back to a paved road and gave a collective sigh of relief that nobody would have to get out and push! A long day, but a very good one.