#18 2014 A Visit in East Pokot
Monday’s drive from Nakuru to Maragat was long but uneventful, except for the traffic bumps, some of which I didn’t see and got quite a jolt—maybe b/c I was listening to a good book on the ipod. Once my ipod slid off the seat. I pulled over to pick it up and happened to be right in front of 2 ladies selling honey. They happily rushed over to make a sale, for which they would charge a mzungu lady way too much. Before I even registered what was happening, I had picked up the pod and sped on, leaving 2 very disappointed ladies. I could have bought some honey—I know Fr. Kiriti likes it in his tea, but before I processed all that, I was too far.
Fr. Kiriti found me in Maragat. I followed him to the Catholic Mission compound, where we lunched, moved my things into his truck and were off with only a quick stop at a small stand to buy fruits and vegetables. This is a very fertile area and evidently Maragat has received sufficient rain because the produce was plentiful. Later I would learn that around Kositei parish there had been little rain and the maize harvest had failed.
As we drove along, the landscape became drier and more desert-like. All along we’d see herds of goats, sheep, a few cattle, and on occasion domesticated camels. Cacti abound—the ones with the small fruits that I think Latinos use to make a traditional alcohol. Here they are just consumed for food. Other than that acacia bushes are about all that grows.
Finally we reached the compound. The air was humid and HOT, and I was very happy to arrive. It’s full of sounds of bird, including roosters who seem unclear on the concept—they announce the dawn all day long! Three geese trumpet the arrival of any stranger.
Once I thought they were attacking me, but they backed off when I stamped my feet and yelled at them. Ducks quack and chickens cluck occasionally and the shower outside my room drips constantly
This is the week of the mobile medical clinic being here. Srs. Irene and Modesta are the mainstays, accompanied by an intern, Bro. Hillary. Irene is diminutive, quiet-spoken and very sweet, so we were quite amazed when I snake (cobra) showed up behind the kitchen and Edward the cook called for back-up. They first tossed a pan of hot water on it, then went at it with a stick. Sr. Irene pushed everyone aside and proceeded to beat the $!$%#$ out of that snake! He was a goner. She picked up the body and draped it over a branch—maybe as notification to all other snakes, “This is your future if you dare come into this compound.” This was the first time in my 3 visits here that a snake has dared to enter.
Brother Hilliary, Fr. Kiriti, Sr. Irene, Sr. Modesta
Just after dinner it began to sprinkle and before we knew it we had a real African downpour, the sort I once described as raining giraffes and elephants. We ran for the house and were drenched, but it felt so good. It rained far into the night and I remember waking briefly to hear the river rushing by. Earlier in the day it had been almost non-existent, just a few puddles of muddy water. Now it is evening again and I don’t hear it, but it may rain again. Fr. Kiriti tells me that fording it was impossible today. If it rains much we might be marooned here. That would be a bummer, as we are returning to Naivasha on Friday to attend the board of governors meeting Saturday morning. This gives new meaning to “God willing and the creeks don’t rise.”
Today (Tuesday) I helped Fr. Kiriti finish his financial report. He has learned EXCEL, but it’s not his favorite activity. I think he is greatly relieved to have that small burden taken from his must-do list. Later in the afternoon he went to check on the condition of a guest house near the church. Sr. Irene had announced last night that there was a possibility of some visitors. They would be driven here, but she was requested to return them to Nakuru. When she asked for a donation to cover the petrol, they demurred. I was reminded of my first visit when I was totally clueless about the needs of the clergy here. It would cost her some $50 in petrol to take them back. However, after seeing her go after than snake, I am confident she’ll get her $50 and maybe a lot more.
I will be going out with the mobile medical clinic tomorrow, so will have a full report in #19.