Sue & Richard update Saturday 9th April
Sue & Richard update Saturday 9th April
As I write in Nairobi late on Saturday afternoon, the rain is coming down and the thunder rumbling around. We’ve had some very pleasant warm days (rather like the best of an English summer) since arriving back here late on Tuesday, but there is definitely a change in the air today! Ah well, it starts to acclimatise us for the UK next week, I guess…
Following our mad painting session at the Care Centre last Saturday, Sunday started more slowly, with Church (next door to Millicent and Eric’s house at 11am. We were glad of the lie-in, because the rural peace had been disturbed for the third night in four by loud music ALL NIGHT! (See previous post.) Church at Magina is not brief: by the time all the usual order of service, prayers, readings, talks, a christening, communion and lots of singing – not to mention a lengthy auction of goods to raise funds for a youth event – had taken place, it was 3pm! Richard then drove Edwin and Amos, two of the older boys who live at the Care Centre during holidays, and who have been a great help to us, to a orphan’s conference; while Sue went to the Centre to complete her painting job. I’ll post a picture when we’re back in UK – all the children have put a painted handprint or footprint on the wall and signed it – much fun!
Our final day in Magina started with painting the gateposts at the school, so with the new banner, it now looks quite smart. We also needed to get a lot of paperwork together to bring back to UK: with such a fragile internet connection the safest way to ensure important information is transmitted is to physically carry it. We also brought and set up a number of toys and games for the children: compared to most children in the West, they have very little so any gifts are appreciated. This was followed by a final session of singing together, as ever done with great enthusiasm, final words and prayers, and goodbyes – but with the hope that we will be able to return to our friends sometime later in the year, God willing.
Tuesday’s journey back to Nairobi started well – the roads have improved for the first two hours of the trip – road signs and markings have appeared since we were here in November, and the traffic was light. The next section was busier, but we made good time and stopped for a late lunch at a hotel on Lake Naivasha, enjoying the peace and the wildlife. As we approached Nairobi, I missed our turning, and we ended up in the infamous Nairobi traffic jams for 2-3 hours, with Sue doing a sterling job of map reading, while we found our way back to Alan & Ruth’s home. In the end, we were just thankful of a safe journey, a warm welcome and a hot shower – something we had not experienced for a few weeks!
We had planned to take it easy on Wednesday, but during our journey we spoke to Mildred at the Kware Care Centre, who told us that many of the children would be going to stay with relatives the next day, so in the end we spent a few hours with them. Nairobi traffic was crazy again – buses jumping queues by driving on the mud pavements and on the wrong side of the road, etc. But it was worth it! The highlight was when, at the end of the afternoon, we asked the children if they had any Swahili songs they could sing us, and, led by Alfred, one of the older boys, they treated us to a non-stop medley for at least 25 minutes! It was also good to meet Esther, a girl now in her twenties, married with a baby, who was a former Pamoja sponsored child and who now calls in on a regular basis to help.
One of the older sponsored boys is soon to start a teacher training course: his sponsors in UK have generously given enough money to buy him a laptop. Over the past couple of days we have bought one, set it up and given it to him – one very grateful and happy boy! It has been one of the joys of this visit to meet several older children who have been sponsored (or who are still sponsored) who have really made the most of their opportunities and thereby to confirm again that the sacrifices that people make in order to support children really are worth it.
Tomorrow, Sunday afternoon, we are planning to meet up with Patrick, who is our contact for those lovely bags. He should have a number for us to bring back to UK – we know a number of people are hoping to buy them! This is another way that Pamoja helps people, giving work to those who make the bags and buying them at a fair price. And then Monday will be packing…and Tuesday flying back to UK…looking forward to seeing our family and friends again, but with hopes of returning to Kenya, God willing, later in the year.
Thank you once again particularly for everyone’s support in prayer: we have been blessed with good health and safety, and trust we have been able to encourage and help some of our friends here.