July 3, 2018
We did it!! The plumbers came to fix the shower, electrician fixed the sockets and lights, tile man replaced tiles gouged out by plumber to find the shower problem and remove a water spigot right over the bed (yeah! Really), tile cleaner-man made tile that was very badly stained look almost new, other plumbers replaced the roof-top water tank with a bigger one so we’ll have water in the kitchen, rooms were cleaned, curtains hung, mattress, blankets, pillows purchased, soap, towels, TP in bathrooms. Not the Ritz to be sure, but livable and the good thing is it will now be available for other visitors, of which the parish has many. But it was great timing that they arrived a day late. (Read on)
My guests were to arrive late Sunday, stay in a Nairobi hotel, to be picked by Hillary and me on Monday. Another case of “people make plans and God laughs!” After their plane was loaded at SFO, some ground crew member noticed something amiss with an engine, which I believe had to be totally replaced. They sat on the tarmac for 3 ½ hours in over 100° heat and finally were airborne 3 ½ late. They missed the 1+hour connection in Amasterdam, lined up for hotel vouchers with all 300 +/– other passengers who had missed connections. Didn’t leave Amsterdam late Monday night, arriving Nairobi 6 am today (Tuesday) . I got up at 5, picked Hillary at the road by his house and off we flew to the airport, usually a 2 ½ hour trip, but traffic was light and we made it in 2 hours. Hillary is also an excellent driver, in the Kenyan style (AGGRESSIVE)!!! Whenever I have arrived it has taken a good 2 hours from touchdown to walking out the doors. They got bags, cleared customs walked out the door in an hour or less, so they had to wait for us.
Going back involved more traffic, but again, Hillary’s skill got us home in record time, after stopping at a petrol station to buy him a hamburger for his very late breakfast. We dropped him by his house, where I’m sure he fell into his bed, and we arrived at the church gates by 11 am. The car got unloaded by 3 very tired ladies, I showed them the 2 guest rooms, we sat for a few minutes and drifted off to our respective quarters to rest.
Afternoon we ventured off to Life Bloom where Kathleen, who has done a lot of counseling adolescent girls, many victims of sexual violence or exploitation, got very excited at the prospect of helping girls and young women in similar circumstances. Three LB staff members, Nancy, Eunice and Evelyn ? (can’t remember) were most welcoming and after hearing about Kathleen’s interests and experience became equally excited about her being with them. Mary told them a bit of her 53 years of nursing, 25+ at Stanford and another 25+ at Kaiser. She has worked in every department, including infant transplants of kidney, liver and intestines. I think the hospital will be thrilled to have her, once they see the depth of her skills and experience.
From LB we went off to the Naivas for a bit of shopping and for them to get a bit of orientation to the town. Back home, we went for tea with Fr. Ngaruiya, always charming and finally back to Mji, where they admitted having “hit the wall” and needing another nap.
Dinner was a tasty spaghetti, a “Margo surprise” recipe for which the ingredients are always whatever is in the refrigerator. I had some mince meat (HB), onions, tomatoes, green pepper and left-over pizza sauce from that previous (but patently unsuccessful) Margo surprise dinner. More chat and exchange of experiences until a 3rd wall was hit and I sent them off to bed, absolutely forbidding them to do the dishes. Lots of time for that. About an hour later, as I cleaned up the kitchen I realized I had failed to orient them to the vagaries of the instant hot water shower head. ARGH!!! Oh well.
In the midst of our preparations, Sr Irene called to say she’d had a successful visit at the US Embassy and was picking her visa later this week. She come in September, probably speaking at TMC and again at my house. I hope many of you will be able to hear her story of the first coming-of-age ceremony for Pokots without “the cut” (FGM)