#25 More About Nakuru Weekend July 27, 2015
Saturday morning Lydia and I took the 2 older children, Joy and Stephanus, into Nakuru, Stephanus to hang out I think and Joy to give a swimming lesson to a new child. We arrived at the Bontana Hotel (very nice) and climbed the steps to the swimming pool. A man was there with a 6-year old girl, Tabi and a 2-year old boy. He introduced himself Dr. —–(didn’t pick the name) and Joy went off to the shallow end with Tabi where she gently and patiently drew her across the pool, encouraging her to put her face in the water, blow bubbles, etc.
We watched for awhile then left to do the grocery shopping. It’s amazing to watch her shop for her family of 6. I had forgotten what it’s like to keep food in the house for a big family – plus there are 2 boys (6th and 8th grades) in a boarding school very near where they used to live. They also support 3 other children at that school. She bought soap, tooth brushes, shoe polish, some very small chocolate bars (forbidden) and some biscuits (= cookies) to be distributed among the friends of 2 of the children who have had recent birthdays.
Among Joy’s many talents is baking. She is opening a small shop, Joy’s Delights and Home Industries. The last part refers to the craft projects Lydia and Wilco do. Some of their wares will be sold in the shop. The shop won’t open for another week or 2, but Joy has orders for donuts and needed some ingredients as well. We stopped in to see it, on the 2nd floor of a building in central Nakuru. The space is small, maybe 10’ X 12’, possibly 15. She’ll do the baking at home and have only sales in the shop.
Joy joined us at the market, then off we drove to a cheese shop I’d never known of, but it has an amazing variety of cheese. I’d forgotten to buy cheese for the hamburgers I planned to fix that night, plus Lydia bought several different cheeses. The shop has a small deli, so Lydia and I had a sausage and Joy had some chips. “What about taking some chips home to have with the cheeseburgers?” “Oh, good idea!” While we sat under the awning outside, a big refrigerated truck arrived with a delivery of cheeses. They were covered with pieces of plastic and I asked the delivery men whether we could have the plastic when they were finished. They looked at me rather oddly, but handed me one piece. I had imagined we’d get a whole lot, but they didn’t offer again, although they made maybe 10 trips inside, carrying heavy crates of cheese (covered with plastic). Joy and Lydia were laughing at me, although she had been surreptitiously picking up “treasures” for her crafts projects. (Recall she melts down all kinds of plastic to make planters and many cool things). As we were leaving, I reached into the truck and grabbed another piece. The men came along just after and I confessed I’d stolen more of their plastic. I could see the minds, “crazy old mzungu!” We got a good laugh from that, as we drove off to the boarding school to visit her children.
As I indicated, the chocolate bars are strictly verboten, but each child received it happily. Here is Lydia, handing them out. The small one is Mary, in class 1. She’s a very solemn child, having had many hard experiences in her short life. She’s not one of the Venter family, but is a child they support, both financially and emotionally.
From there we had to go back through Nakuru and out the north end (school on south end) and finally back home – and a nap for both Lydia and me.
Everyone pitched in to make the cheeseburger dinner. I’ll never replace Big Macs with my cooking, but they tasted good to me. Again after dinner we stayed at the table talking. Lydia finished her story of how each child came to them. I wish I could tell it, but you’d have to hear the passion in her voice and see the tears to know just how special each arrival was. In each case it seems that God told her this child was coming, often including the names. Both she and Wilco thought long and hard each time, but eventually said “yes” even when the bank balance was screaming NO!!!!! They’ve not had an easy time, often just scraping by, but I don’t think there has ever been a child who had to go to bed hungry. They are very resourceful people who believe so strongly they are doing God’s work and it will all be fine – just not always easy.
The family includes other members than mom, dad and children. There is Shadow, a big, black part Ridgeback part ??? He’s a bit intimidating, but very loving and he was my buddy after only 1 or 2 sniffs of my hand. He was so much a buddy that he wanted to be petted and ear-scratched all the time and I feared he would knock me off the steps up to the front door.
Then there is Bella, a small dog, who birthed 2 pups while we were gone and 2 more while Lydia and I napped. Wilco reported that Shadow had made a very unusual bark/cry earlier in the day. He was alerting the family that the babies were coming. They kept him outside, lest he harm one of the babies, but he kept his vigil right outside the porch where Bella labored and gave birth.
Sunday morning we had a wonderful breakfast, complete with apple/banana muffins with a small bit of chocolate buried in the center. YUM!!! Then we all piled into their car/truck/minivan to attend their church. The congregation seems to be mostly missionaries (as are Lydia and Wilco) mostly non-Kenyans. There were maybe 40 in attendance at a lovely service of songs and sermon. Quite inspirational.
Bella and babies on their birthday.
Saying Goodbye to shadow as I leave on Sunday. Such a sweet dog!