Today, the entire country of Kenya celebrated its 49th Madaraka Day, when it first received the right to internal governance. Since the kids had a holiday, we decided to go to the nearby forest. We had a beautiful hike down and up hills, through corn fields, over rivers, and through fields of cow manure until we reached the forest (aka jungle). Along the way, the children kept asking us if we were tired. Ha! I think we wazungu women are considered weak little girls around here (and we are, compared to the Nandi women). When we arrived in the forest, we caught glimpses of monkeys swinging through the treetops. I think I enjoyed seeing our students’ reactions more than the actual monkeys. It really felt like we were in “Tarzan” or “The Lion King” (when Simba meets up with Timon and Pumbaa). We even started singing “Hakuna Matata,” which the kids know from watching that movie during entertainment. J
We had such a wonderful morning with the kids and were all so tuckered out when we arrived back at Mariann. After some rest and a nice little afternoon rain, we walked with one of our students, Faith, to her home. Her lovely mother, Sally, also happens to be one of the nursery school teachers at Mariann. We had taken a walk by her house on the previous night and stopped in to say “chamegei.” She invited us to stay for tea, which turned into a full meal AND an invitation back for supper the next night. We watched her prepare a mountain of chapatti, which she fully expected us to eat before we left (we actually got pretty close to finishing it). The whole time we were there, we were entertained by Mercy Chemu, who is the craziest, cutest little girl you will ever meet! She loves to beat up her older sister, who just calmly and sweetly takes it. Chemu will chatter in Kinandi the whole time; and when we ask for a translation, it’s usually something like: “I am going to beat the chickens” or “I am going to kick you” (to her sister, never to us). But you see that big Chemu smile, and your heart just melts. She loves for us to come to her home and was especially excited last week when she got to come to our house for tortillas and guacamole (or chapatti and avocadoes, as she calls it). God has blessed us with such a beautiful community!