Tag Archives: chai

August 13

As I mentioned previously, today we were to go to the Ranch Council meeting at 9 AM (Joseph is the Chariman) and then to a wedding at 10:30 AM. Here’s how the morning went:

8:05 I come for breakfast

8:10 Have tea; Franco, Paulo, and Joseph go to work in the Shamba (garden)

8:25 I have my second cup of tea

8:40 I join them in the shamba to plant beans

9:01 I start my fifth row of beans

9:10 I sit down, soap up my hands, and try to get my bangles on

(Notice that we are already ten minutes past meeting time)

9:15 I lay in bed and write; Franco bathes; Joseph visits with a neighbor

9:30 I get dressed

9:35 Have another tea and one chapati

9:40 We leave the house

9:45 We stop at Francis’ to chat

9:50 Stop at another house; I see a Kenyan midget

9:55 Stop at someone else’s house

10:05 We see someone walking and stop to talk to them

10:20 I learn the meeting is no longer happening because the members aren’t there. (They were probably there an hour and 20 minutes ago when It was supposed to start)

10:35 We’re sitting in town talking to a shop owner

(Five minutes past wedding time)

10:45 I learn the couple isn’t there yet

11:01 We go to another pastor’s home for my fourth cup of tea

11:30 The bride arrives at church (how we found out I have no idea)

11:45 We arrive late, of course

See…scheduled times mean nothing here, even for church on a Sunday.

The wedding was interesting. About four different phones went off, one multiple times, and one was the grooms. Children all sat on one side and adults on the other. I had my own special seat on the front row–benefits of being white. All the preachers in town were in attendance, or at least I hope they were because if not they may outnumber ordinary citizens. The preacher also gave a sermon which took just a few minutes shy of an hour. I seriously almost fell asleep five times, partly because I had no idea what he was saying or why… I don’t really know what to say about the wedding without seeming like a douche. How about you ask questions and I’ll reply! 

Following the ceremony we walked to the reception at the family home. I got to sit under the tent with all the pastors and a few very well put together women. Lunch was provided and included rice, potato, and goat. I’m a vegetarian here in Kenya. I just can’t bring myself to eat it, especially goat. The other night I was given the stomach and intestines  so I handed it to the child next to me. Believe it or not, the inner organs are more expensive than the meat itself here.

Once it started raining, I was pushed into a five passenger car with 15 other people by Joseph. I’m not even exaggerating; we were packed in like sardines. It honestly was kind of painful.

While waiting for the rain to stop, I had my fifth and sixth tea in a shop owned by one of the area chiefs family. This huge person walked in and I couldn’t tell if it was a man or a woman so I asked… It was a man and he’s apparently a famous gospel singer. As soon as I asked, the chief ran and found his CD and played it for me.

It finally stopped raining and we walked home and have just been doing the usual since being here. Tomorrow I am going to the church Alpha and his family attends–the Anglican Church of Kenya; it’s where the wedding was today.

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August 11

Let’s just start from the beginning…

Hot chapati and chai–this day has potential.

Washed the privates–this is going to be a great day.

Then it was off to Sarah’s to see some of the beadwork that she does. I left with four bracelets and one ring. That woman is the epitome of Maya Angelou’s “phenomenal woman.”

It was also a youth day so I spent the morning and afternoon in a meeting with them. I wanted to tell them more about myself and see if they had any questions for me. One boy said that he had heard in the news that gays and lesbians had equal rights in America and was curious if I agreed with that sentiment. I explained that yes I did agree with that and how the culture regarding those individuals was completely different in the States. A part of me thought he was hoping for that answer because he might be gay.  In Kenya, homosexuality is still believed to be a taboo invented by Western nations. I’m still trying to figure out how exactly to approach this situation.

We then went to play some volleyball and of course had to stop when our ball got punctured. I have bought four balls here and literally every one of them has gotten punctured.

Fundi, the repairman, known here as an engineer, is usually able to fix them, but he charges 100 Ksh. We decided to have a snack while we waited, but when we went back two hours later,it still wasn’t done. Oh, and it started pouring so we didn’t even play as a team. It had looked like it was going to rain all day so when Moses asked if we would play, I said “I am down to play as long as the rain doesn’t stop us.” He then looked to the sky and then said, “Me, I think it will rain at 4:00.”  Sure enough, right at 4:00 PM it poured buckets.

It turned out that most of team was there waiting for the ball to be repaired so we ran through the rain for some hot chai. Some of them of course tried to push their luck and order more than one tea, but this mzungu wasn’t having that.

Following tea, I was off to the home of Alpha and his family. They have one of the nicer houses I’ve seen in this area, but it was still very basic. They also built two traditional manyattas for visitors to stay in that were neat to see. Despite the rain, Alpha was all about playing football. I, of course, fell in the mud.

Franco and I walked home after saying our goodbyes and arranging a time to meet for tea and football the following day. Paulo had left before us but we found him at Penina’s family’s home and decided it was best not to interrupt–it may be about time to negotiate a bride price.

On the way home, we stopped to gather the roots of this bush that would be good for our colds. We cut it up and put it to boil and then mixed it with our chai. Man was it bitter…We’ll see if it works.

And with that Ladies and Gentlemen, I’m off to wash my feet and head to bed.

In other news:

  • An elephant was found dead so the Kenya Wildlife Service was all over it. However, if a human is killed by an elephant it takes months to have the case reviewed.
  • Some members of parliament are refusing to pay their taxes even though they were the ones who passed a bill saying everyone must pay taxes. The President has already paid his.
  • Two people came up to Joseph saying, “The white man brings kids to play football and volleyball on our land, he must pay!” Um, about eight of those kids are members of your family. I will not fuel your drinking problem. This frustrated me to no end.
  • Five people were trying to cross the seasonal river on the way out of town and were swept away. They formed a chain and three survived, one was found dead, and another is still missing.

Day 8: August 5

I realize I am going to sound like a complete pedophile when I say this, but I’m going to say it anyway…

I met the cutest eight year old today.

I was at this “conference” thing-a-ma-jig where people where singing and dancing in the street, but I needed to sit down and just happened to sit next to Victor, the boy I mentioned. Immediately he introduced himself and started speaking the best English I have heard since being here, most likely because he attends a private school built by the Speaker of Kenya. I promise I am not a pervert, it’s just that the future parent in me sees qualities in children that I want my own to possess one day.

Now, let me regress.

Today started like any other. I woke up before my alarm, had chai and karibu, used to toilet, and changed clothes. Today there was to be a youth conference for those youth in the churches around the area. The conference was to start at 10 am, but we left around 8:20 am. First we went to Pastor Francis’ home and, of course, were greeted with Chai. Then, I had my first unprocessed honey that came complete with the honeycomb and the bees that made it. Apparently I wasn’t supposed to swallow the honeycomb, but I did and was quickly corrected; it was kind of like gum. I don’t think I’m a fan of unrefined honey–way too sweet for me.

Next, we walked through the bush a little more and came to the home of the Chief (area administrator). He owned camels rather than cows so the chai here was made with camel milk. I’m 0 for 2 on trying new things today; I didn’t really like this either :/ It was here that I also got on my first motor bike that would take me through the bush. Now, I’ve been on motorbikes in the states, but I’ve never ridden on trails. One of the pastors that I mentioned yesterday was the driver and he kept chanting, “Don’t worry!  Do not be afraid! We are warriors! Soldiers of the Lord!” Okay…whatever you say boss…

Luckily we made it safely to the church at 10:20 (20 minutes after the program was said to start) and left to have a soda at the house of another pastor.

We headed back to the church just as they were finished the one song I know. There ended up being about 50 youth. We sang, we danced, and ate. Ni (mom here) prepared lunch for everyone which I bought for about $25.

It was a good day. Despite being infested with fleas, I am beginning to get into a routine. I feel like I am truly becoming “a big brother.” I can now be sarcastic and joke, but also have serious conversations with them. I still feel as though the next three weeks may go by really slowly!

We have a soccer practice scheduled for 11 am tomorrow with the youth. It seems as if my volunteer work will be helping to establish a youth union in Doldol; I’m really kind of excited!


Day 3: July 31

Today was a church day. I set my alarm for 8 AM but was awakened a lot earlier by the cow and her silly bell as she grazed by my hut.

Following the morning chai and buttered bread, I had my first shower in the bush. I was given the equivalent of about three bottles of water and told to bathe myself. Well, I didn’t ration my water well enough so I was left with a soapy butt and even soapier arm pits. I guess this beats a wet wipe bath, though. The towel did manage to get all the remaining soap off. I had no idea what to wear to church, but I noticed everyone else was wearing the same thing they wore yesterday so I too proceeded to wear the same outfit I’ve worn for three days, but this time opting for a shirt with a collar.

The trek to church was no shorter than any other I’ve been on since being here despite all the “shortcuts” we took. We made two visits, well three, on our way. We were looking for Joseph’s father-in-law but he was at wife number two’s home. We then stopped at Sarah’s, a member of Joseph’s church. I guess now would be a good time to mention that Joseph is a pastor; he has helped start three churches in this area.

There were not too many people at church today. Joseph explained that this was because of it being the dry season so since many of the Maasai are pastoralists they were in another area trying to find water and green grass for their herds. Other than the small numbers, it was a really spiritual experience. It was obvious that they believed whatever it was they were singing. I had no idea what was happening most of the time. Thankfully, one of Joseph’s younger sons sat next to me and tugged at my pant leg every time I was supposed to stand or sit or pray.

Now, I’m sitting by a water hole watching one of the boys wash their clothes, while another pets my arm, and another wraps a plastic ball he made with string. Wh0 knows what the rest of this day will bring.


Sam G

I absolutely dig adventure and travel!

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