Tuesday, 17 July 2012

I have Visitors!!

Well, it has been seven since I've last written and so much has happened. Let me begin to explain...

I have been expecting the arrival of a Dutch CRC family from Edmonton for quite awhile and they were slated to arrive on Saturday that 14th. True to Africa, the expected arrival time of their flight in the Kitale airport was several hours off schedule. We had taken two large vans and had at least 8 people to welcome this family of 5 from the airport. What a welcoming committee!
Meet Jason, Andrew and Robyn. It is so like being with my own siblings that I just can't stop smiling.

Therefore, in an attempt to make efficient use of extra time, my entourage and I went to the “gigamart” in Kitale to buy the necessary foodstuffs for their three week stay. I walked into that giant store and promptly felt the desire to do an about-face and walk right back out to the van. But I held my initial panic in check and, for the next couple of hours we inefficiently searched for certain foods, up and down dozens of aisles, while I awkwardly pushed a cart with wheels that barely turned and kept tally of the bill on my cell phone's calculator. Now the reasons for my panic are odd, but understandable. For the last 11 weeks I have been almost completely in the backwoods of Africa. The largest store that I have been in consisted of four aisles and it claimed to be the “largest” superstore in that area. To enter a store such as this, that also boasted multiple white shoppers, I experienced a panic due to culture shock. I felt like a small, insignificant fish out of water. I stared at those white people, fascinated by their skin and the way they dressed- just like Africans do. I was like a kid in a candy store- so much to see and experience that I was completely overwhelmed.

Now, because of my unfortunately timed and dramatic fainting spell earlier this week that nearly gave half the compound a heart attack and had mama Mary running down the road from her house, waving her hands in the air, and ululating, I have suddenly acquired more mothers than I know what to do with. Constantly everyone is asking if I am hungry or if I am drinking enough or if I feel alright. I try to smile and say “I'm fine,” but the constant attention is a little much. After about a week without a repeat of the fainting episode and, having received my four injections and taken my 20 antibiotic pills, the mothers are starting to calm down a little. Thank you for your prayers- I am now back to 100%.

We drove back to the Kitale airport to meet the plane that was delayed and expected to finally arrive at 4:30 PM (after the scheduled arrival time of 3:00). Not bad for Africa I have to say. I saw even more white people get off that plane and was so excited to finally meet Ken, Marlene, Robyn, Jason and Andrew Eerkes. They are a wonderful family who have been planning and praying for Omwabini and are so excited to finally be here after so much time. Because I have already acclimated to Omwabini and the culture here, James and Mary both decided that I would pretty much move in with them and help them to get adjusted to their first visit to Africa. They are here for three weeks and will be doing a lot of work in the surrounding community. Omwabini helps to build houses for those in need as well as protect water sources. With the resources that the Eerkes' brought with them they will be kept busy during their visit helping to build houses and dig out springs. I am honoured to be allowed to help with the building and community work however, I really miss my time with the teachers and the students.

Sunday I took the Eerkes' to the English service at the church I have been attending. I kind of forgot to warn them about some of the differences they would face and was so interested to watch their reactions to the African style of worship. For starters the sound system is cranks to a decibel that nearly explodes the ear drums and muffles the already hard to understand words. All the congregants move to the music and I have finally been able to master the most basic moves so I can at least try to blend in. The set up is just so foreign and different to our CRC background that it is difficult to describe. I also failed to remember that it takes a long while for the ear to adjust to understanding the English spoken here in Africa. The 45 minute sermon that I thoroughly enjoyed as the best I have heard in my 11 weeks, I later learned that nearly every word the pastor said was nearly incomprehensible. It is so hard to remember what I experienced so long ago.  

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