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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

A trek to Pius'!

Yesterday afternoon Katy and I had the opportunity to head to Pius’ home to buy eggs.  So of course we took it! We thought it would be a fairly quick trip.  But one thing we have learned since being in Kenya is not to assume or expect anything J.  So we could not have predicted what was about to happen on this trek.
   As we were leaving Mariann the nursery school children were also leaving.  They are some of the sweetest children, so naturally they wanted to walk with us.  Katy had an amazing line of five children hand in hand J.  I also had a few children holding my hands as well.  Being as small as they are their strides were quite a bit smaller than Katy and mine.  We slowed our pace to match their strides.  Don’t misunderstand me, we loved walking with these children but it slowed our progress to Pius’ a great deal.  Katy and I like to joke that the Kalenjins produce great runners, but they do not produce speed walkers J. 
   Once we left the children we continued our hike to Pius’ making only one wrong turn, which we realized very quickly.  As we approached Pius’ we received a call from Ludya, his wife, explaining to us that she would be home shortly.  One of the perks of being the only two wzungus in the area is that people can spot you from almost anywhere! Anyways Katy and I thought that Ludya must have been at a friend’s home and seen us pass by. 
   When we reached Pius’ we learned that Pius had just arrived home, and Ludya was down at the river rescuing one of their cows that had fallen in (just to clarify these rivers are more like small streams).  Pius asked us to accompany him to the river.  When we got there Ludya, Rosa, and another man had managed to get the cow out of the river.  But the cow was very weak and was now lying in tall marsh grass.  Pius explained to us that when cows stand in water for a long time it makes their legs very weak, which helped us understand why the cow wouldn’t just get up and move.  Granted they were not sure if the adult cow was hurt or just being stubborn, but they seemed to conclude that the cow’s legs were too weak for the animal to stand up. 
   The poor animal was poked and prodded for over an hour.  Pius, Ludya, Rosa, and a neighbor were able to slide some pieces of wood under the huge animal (around 300kg).  At one point they successful got the cow onto her feet.  Unfortunately after one step her legs gave way, and she was back on the ground againL.  There was some more poking and prodding, but Pius finally decided that they could not move the cow at this time, so we left it in the marsh grass for the time being.
   You are probably all thinking wow Katy and Ashley tried to help get a cow to its feet.  Quite the contrary haha, we stood there and watched as everyone else gave assistance.  We wanted to help but really didn’t have any experience in this area.  We felt like we would be more in the way than help, so we took our position and observed J.  The Kenyans kind of view us as dainty weaklings from the U.S. anyways haha.  In the words of Pius (sarcastically talking to his neighbor) as we were walking to go help Ludya with the cow, “I brought some wzungus from America to help pull the cow out of the ditch.”
   We went back to Pius’ home where we had chai and bought 11 eggs.  Finally around 6:45pm we headed home.  Pius left with us to try to help the cow. And I received word today that the cow is now on it’s feet, but is still needing support.  Pius reported that she is slowly improving--Praise God! So what we thought would be a fairly quick trip yesterday turned into quite an African experience!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Running Club!

Athletics (Track & Field) will begin next term! I'm so pumped!!

The kids are already wanting to prepare for competition, so I invited them to join me on my morning run (thinking that only a few would come). I showed up at 6:30 AM, and no one was stirring. Ha! But when they eventually started showing up, practically all of the boarders came. :)

I thought to myself, "Okay, Katy. Yes, they are Kenyan; but they are still children. Do not make them do too much." So I said, "Let's just run down to Sang'alo Primary. You can turn around there, or keep going farther if you want." They started out in a full sprint!! I kept trucking along at my normal pace and began catching up to some of them. Many of the older boys kept going, but the rest stopped at Sang'alo, so I told them they could run back to school. Two girls, Regina and Marion, joined me in following the boys, who showed me how two of my favorite routes link up. :)

We finally made it back to school, but all of the others had not yet arrived! Of course, I started panicking and thinking, "What if something happened? What if someone's injured? What if they're lost?" The last thought is actually quite humorous since I, the mzungu, am the most likely to get lost. So I kept running back and forth down the road. Finally, I spotted the whole group making their way back. Praise God! Come to find out, they had run farther up the road (not knowing that we had turned to make a loop) and waited for us to return. I guess we had another miscommunication. Go figure!

I am so looking forward to running with these kids and cheering them on during their competitions!

Recent Updates

I cannot believe that it has been a month since our last post! We have had many new experiences and some unanticipated changes.

We are sad to announce that Laura decided to return to the U.S. last week. She will be greatly missed by all here at Mariann. May God bless her in the next chapter of her life.

Mr. Oscar, our beloved head teacher, was transferred to another school closer to his home. Thankfully, we are able to see him on the weekends when he comes to Sang’alo to check on his field. Mr. Yego, a teacher at Mariann for the past decade, was promoted to head teacher and has been doing well. We have welcomed some new teachers, Jonathan and Paul, who are quite the jokesters.

Toward the beginning of the month, we found out that the children had a mid-term break for one week. On the spur of the moment, we decided to travel through Uganda to Kigali, Rwanda. We were able to visit some old friends from Harding who are teaching at schools there. We also were blessed to meet new friends from Rwanda, who welcomed us into their homes and took us to their favorite places in the city.

Our gracious host, Ian, with Laura and Ashley in front of the Hotel des Milles Collines

View of Kigali (with Parliament to the right)

We are so thankful to be back at Mariann with our students, even though we will be leaving soon for another break for Easter holiday. We treasure every precious moment!

Ashley, handing out marshmallows to the nursery class