Sliding Down the Mountain

Dear Friends,
This morning begins a new stage in our journey. We are leaving Mabanga and heading to Kitale for the night before taking the bus up to Lodwar where we will spend a few days with John Lomuria and others from the area. I’m not even sure I’ll be able to post this myself as the internet is giving me a lot of trouble so I might be leaving this one with Eden to post to my blog when she gets home.

The night before last we had Culture Night. There was a lot of African dancing and singing as well as some Scottish dancing and other representations from whatever cultures we were from. During the Rwandan’s team’s piece, the thunder and lightening were roaring at full force. It felt like the heavens were drumming to the beat. With the rain pouring down, and the thunder rolling though with the wild beat pouring out from our feet and bodies, it was quite a party! Then the lights went out which I thought only added to the atmosphere. It was no problem, people just held up their cell phones to light the “stage” until someone brought in a lantern. Vivian and I made a lot of people laugh by getting up and dancing with the Africans on one of the pieces. He started and I joined in. I think it was the night when we all came together, laughing, dancing, singing, having fun. The European delegation brought people up for Scottish dancing and the Africans thought that was just hilarious. When it was us American’s turn, we started out with a classic, fun, praise song, “Praising the Lord” and then followed it up with a song very near and dear to our hearts that we wanted to share with them (that’s how I introduced it) by dancing and singing the hokey pokey. (More hilarious laughter from the Africans.) We polished off our set with a sincere song of thanks for what they have given to us and how our experiences with them have added to our lives. Some of the other teams did skits with a great point. I don’t think I could describe here why they were so funny but I will try. One were two women selling chapates, one consistently selling at a lower price and people kept taking bites out of it. We thought it hilarious because it was so like the experience of shopping here, people calling out to you, pulling at your arms, pleading with you to buy their wares. The point was at the end, the woman who sold at a cheaper price had a very holey chapate but the women who held out for ten shillings still had her chapate intact. The point was purity- a great illustration. The other were people doing all these sick things in a bucket, a cigar, taking bugs off, going to the bathroom three times (that one had us rolling on the floor!) and throwing up. Then a man came and drank it all up. That was a powerful illustration of what God has done for us. All in all, a great night delighted in by all.

Yesterday we got to go on a trip of our choice and I went with nine others to go see Mt. Elgon and the caves. The caves themselves were amazing and I loved hearing the bats in the dark, flying just over our heads. Peter, a man from Turkana, says I am very courageous to go in the back of the caves with no fear of what might be there. There must have been thousands of bats in those caves, the calls and their wings was a music I will remember and treasure. The real adventure was on the way back. It had been raining on the mountain for four days and by the time we were ready to leave, the tires were caked with mud and the roads themselves were all mud as well. Can you guess what happened? We SLID down the mountain, quite literally. For about forty-five minutes the moments we had any traction were few and far between. We weren’t stressed though- we laughed our heads off, it was so funny! Slide here, slide there, slide into the ditch and then drive along the ditch until we would realize a culvert was coming up then we had to get out. For a while, we managed quite well. Eden is an AMAZING driver. Then finally, we all got out and helped push her out, walking along side the truck and trying to get the lorrie (truck) onto the road. The mud was thick, red, and there was plenty of it to be had. Eden says it was even worse the last time. A trip that would have normally taken about six hours took over ten. It was an adventure to remember. What I was most impressed with was Eden’s attitude. She took it all in stride and enjoyed the experience, always staying calm with a level head. She gets a medal for world’s best driver.

I am writing this while we are in our last talk which I admit I am only partly listening to but I really wanted to write you before we leave for Turkana as I doubt I will be able to write you until I go to Kisumu next week. John has places there he wants to show us and then we are going to the youth ocnfernce where I am speaking on youth in ministry. I understand the road there will be particularly bad which here, is saying a lot. It will be a seven to ten hour bus ride on Monday to get there. I am hoping for a nap and a good book. Today we leave for Kitale on a matatu which I understand will be an experience in itself. I am looking forward to it.

I have been learning so much here and finding the courage to ask some questions that are a lot harder to ask at home. Oliver, the speaker at the moment, says it is very important to wait upon God and listen for him. I think I needed to go out of my context to hear him better and to find the courage to ask the questions. On the way to the mountain, we talked about this. Four of us women are at similar places and we got to ask our questions together. Oliver also says we must feed the spirit and feed the soul . He is telling us we need to read which I love but this is not a reading and writing culture. It is good to hear. I’m going to head back to my seat, I have been up in the front writing this to you and am ready to go just listen. I hope you are all enjoying your Christmas season. For me, Christmas is a long ways away from my world. We have talked about it a bit among the delegation, with the warm weather and no decorations, it seems a world away and I think we are quite happy with that. We are enjoying ourselves as we learn and grow here in Kenya.

By the way, someone asked what the temperature here is. No one knows. The weather is the same everyday so no one ever bothers to look it up and the newspaper and news don’t report it.

Emily’s mom – I will pass on a warm hello to Emily for you.

365-09 #350

Labels: ,

Walking the Sea: Sliding Down the Mountain

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Sliding Down the Mountain

Dear Friends,
This morning begins a new stage in our journey. We are leaving Mabanga and heading to Kitale for the night before taking the bus up to Lodwar where we will spend a few days with John Lomuria and others from the area. I’m not even sure I’ll be able to post this myself as the internet is giving me a lot of trouble so I might be leaving this one with Eden to post to my blog when she gets home.

The night before last we had Culture Night. There was a lot of African dancing and singing as well as some Scottish dancing and other representations from whatever cultures we were from. During the Rwandan’s team’s piece, the thunder and lightening were roaring at full force. It felt like the heavens were drumming to the beat. With the rain pouring down, and the thunder rolling though with the wild beat pouring out from our feet and bodies, it was quite a party! Then the lights went out which I thought only added to the atmosphere. It was no problem, people just held up their cell phones to light the “stage” until someone brought in a lantern. Vivian and I made a lot of people laugh by getting up and dancing with the Africans on one of the pieces. He started and I joined in. I think it was the night when we all came together, laughing, dancing, singing, having fun. The European delegation brought people up for Scottish dancing and the Africans thought that was just hilarious. When it was us American’s turn, we started out with a classic, fun, praise song, “Praising the Lord” and then followed it up with a song very near and dear to our hearts that we wanted to share with them (that’s how I introduced it) by dancing and singing the hokey pokey. (More hilarious laughter from the Africans.) We polished off our set with a sincere song of thanks for what they have given to us and how our experiences with them have added to our lives. Some of the other teams did skits with a great point. I don’t think I could describe here why they were so funny but I will try. One were two women selling chapates, one consistently selling at a lower price and people kept taking bites out of it. We thought it hilarious because it was so like the experience of shopping here, people calling out to you, pulling at your arms, pleading with you to buy their wares. The point was at the end, the woman who sold at a cheaper price had a very holey chapate but the women who held out for ten shillings still had her chapate intact. The point was purity- a great illustration. The other were people doing all these sick things in a bucket, a cigar, taking bugs off, going to the bathroom three times (that one had us rolling on the floor!) and throwing up. Then a man came and drank it all up. That was a powerful illustration of what God has done for us. All in all, a great night delighted in by all.

Yesterday we got to go on a trip of our choice and I went with nine others to go see Mt. Elgon and the caves. The caves themselves were amazing and I loved hearing the bats in the dark, flying just over our heads. Peter, a man from Turkana, says I am very courageous to go in the back of the caves with no fear of what might be there. There must have been thousands of bats in those caves, the calls and their wings was a music I will remember and treasure. The real adventure was on the way back. It had been raining on the mountain for four days and by the time we were ready to leave, the tires were caked with mud and the roads themselves were all mud as well. Can you guess what happened? We SLID down the mountain, quite literally. For about forty-five minutes the moments we had any traction were few and far between. We weren’t stressed though- we laughed our heads off, it was so funny! Slide here, slide there, slide into the ditch and then drive along the ditch until we would realize a culvert was coming up then we had to get out. For a while, we managed quite well. Eden is an AMAZING driver. Then finally, we all got out and helped push her out, walking along side the truck and trying to get the lorrie (truck) onto the road. The mud was thick, red, and there was plenty of it to be had. Eden says it was even worse the last time. A trip that would have normally taken about six hours took over ten. It was an adventure to remember. What I was most impressed with was Eden’s attitude. She took it all in stride and enjoyed the experience, always staying calm with a level head. She gets a medal for world’s best driver.

I am writing this while we are in our last talk which I admit I am only partly listening to but I really wanted to write you before we leave for Turkana as I doubt I will be able to write you until I go to Kisumu next week. John has places there he wants to show us and then we are going to the youth ocnfernce where I am speaking on youth in ministry. I understand the road there will be particularly bad which here, is saying a lot. It will be a seven to ten hour bus ride on Monday to get there. I am hoping for a nap and a good book. Today we leave for Kitale on a matatu which I understand will be an experience in itself. I am looking forward to it.

I have been learning so much here and finding the courage to ask some questions that are a lot harder to ask at home. Oliver, the speaker at the moment, says it is very important to wait upon God and listen for him. I think I needed to go out of my context to hear him better and to find the courage to ask the questions. On the way to the mountain, we talked about this. Four of us women are at similar places and we got to ask our questions together. Oliver also says we must feed the spirit and feed the soul . He is telling us we need to read which I love but this is not a reading and writing culture. It is good to hear. I’m going to head back to my seat, I have been up in the front writing this to you and am ready to go just listen. I hope you are all enjoying your Christmas season. For me, Christmas is a long ways away from my world. We have talked about it a bit among the delegation, with the warm weather and no decorations, it seems a world away and I think we are quite happy with that. We are enjoying ourselves as we learn and grow here in Kenya.

By the way, someone asked what the temperature here is. No one knows. The weather is the same everyday so no one ever bothers to look it up and the newspaper and news don’t report it.

Emily’s mom – I will pass on a warm hello to Emily for you.

365-09 #350

Labels: ,

1 Comments:

At December 16, 2009 at 4:27 AM , Blogger Karen Stewart said...

Thanks again for this wonderful news!! and for passing on a hug to Emily (and all of you!)
Love,
Emily's Mom

 

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home