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  • Day11

    Hearts of Hospitality

    October 26, 2019 in Kenya ⋅ ⛅ 26 °C

    We had a leisurely Saturday breakfast, not quite toasted sourdough, but the now familiar Spanish eggs (omelette with onions and peppers), warm weetabix, bananas and African mixed tea. We then headed to a nearby bar with a TV screen which had opened early so we were able to watch the rugby, along with Jose and a small table of Kenyans, one clearly a fervent England supporter!

    After the match, we drove up to Lubinu where the church were holding a School of Leadership training day, led by Joseph from Zambia, whom we had met last night. We arrived at around 2.30pm, at which point Mary said they were just ‘finishing up’ with the training... which actually did finish 3 hours later! We learned a new thing about African time from Zambia, that there is ‘normal time’ and ‘airport time’, as the only time you actually need to be on time is for a flight, otherwise any time is fine! Thankfully we fit quite naturally into African time, being rather good at being late, usually keeping Jose (who has adopted European style punctuality) patiently waiting for some time.

    In any case, whilst Hugh and Zach sat in on the ‘tail end’ of the training, Zeph, Caleb and Nathaniel spent time with some 20 or so village children, who were not particularly from the school or church, but just turned up when they saw the van arrive! The boys successfully encouraged them all to help pick up litter, which they very obligingly did (only for it all to be thrown back into a small ditch beside the church, clearly the normal rubbish disposal site). They then played volleyball (which is actually quite tricky with a cricket training ball!), but in true Kenyan style, they quickly picked up this new sport and amused themselves for hours.

    Meanwhile I enjoyed a Saturday trip to the salon.... or rather the salon came to me in the shape of 3 ladies braiding my hair as i sat just outside the church front door watching the children play and enjoying listening to ‘Bless the Lord, oh my soul’, on a speaker which a couple of lads were playing. The braids seemed a good idea earlier, although now as I turn in, my hair is aching somewhat and I’m not entirely sure how my head will hit the pillow. Zeph suggested I take a paracetamol and Hugh thinks it’s just like braces, sore for the first few days then it’ll settle down. Oh well, the boys will no doubt think it a great improvement that I can now keep them informed on braid woes instead of brace updates!

    It’s hard to believe we arrived in Mumias a week ago, and the boys are so sad to be saying goodbye to the children from Gospel Springs church and Light Spring Academy, especially a family of 3 little boys, Elohim, Emmanual and Levi (who can usually be found on Zach’s shoulders!). Nathaniel says he actually just wants to stay here, to live I think! It has been such a joy to see old friends again from last time, like dear Christine, who is an amazing interpreter in the services, switching effortlessly between English, Kiswahili and mother tongue, depending on who she’s translating for. She welcomed and fed 11 of us for dinner this evening as well as her own very extended family, with a delicious meal of rice, ugali, liver, chicken and mashed potatoes with banana. It has been so humbling to be welcomed so warmly and looked after so generously by people who genuinely have so little and yet give so much. And even more so as they feel the privilege is theirs in doing the hosting. We could learn much from their hearts of hospitality.
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    Louise Collins

    I think we should see the finished braids Em! Well done you, but I can see it must be hard to leave. Will be praying you safely on your way ♥️

    10/26/19Reply
    David Burton

    What a lovely weekend t o wind up your visit back to Mumias and so glad that you have reconnected with many folk that you first got to know 4 years ago. Hopefully it will not be so long before some at least of yo u mange another visit. We have much enjoyed your daily blogs and pray for safe journeys as you travel on again to Uganda tomorrow. Much love from us all here in Edinburgh

    10/27/19Reply
    Simon Burton

    Great to catch up with your news and all you’ve done. We’ll pray you have a good journey back. Lots of love from us both

    10/27/19Reply
    Debbie Messam

    I have been reading your updates...so interesting and you've obviously had an amazing visit. Sounds as if you may be homeward bound now so continuing to pray for you all and Zach as he stays on. What a big world we live in and so diverse and God knows each one of us personally. Xx

    10/27/19Reply