Last year we decided that we would stay at the farm one or two nights a week. It will save us money for transportation to and from the village and also help us to become closer to the land, the village and the villagers. Moving in wasn't quite as easy as we thought. It took us quite awhile to get enough furniture to live there comfortably. Furniture isn't easy to come by. We found that what is available in the local shops is not good quality and is very expensive. So, we began to look around for alternative means. It turned out to be quite fun, although very time consuming. One of the fundies (pronounced: foon dee - craftsmen - often self taught) who was doing some work for us happened to run a carpentry shop and builds furniture. We designed two single beds for the one bedroom and he made them. We discovered that an older gentleman who does handiwork at the compound where we live in the city also makes furniture and we hired him to make us two tables - one for eating and one work table to use in the temporary kitchen. Then, near our compound, on the corner of a street we saw some men making wicker chairs. We ordered two chairs and two stools (they are actually like end tables). These things took awhile to make - especially the chairs, as the fellow kept having reasons why they weren't being done when he said they would be. Finally we were able to move in. We only told one or two folks we were moving in, but not when! That was a social blunder!!! It seems that when someone moves onto his or her land or into their home it is tradition to give them a feast. It is a deep-rooted cultural must.
Now, some time back Lydia, Johnfred's wife, insisted that she was going to teach me how to prepare and cook a meal from scratch. Which would involve sacrificing the life of a chicken. She was going to show me how to do that as well. Keep in mind that there is no electricity, plumbing, running water or kitchen appliances. All food is cooked on a wood fire or, sometimes, a small charcoal burner called a jiko!
The next day, after our first night on the farm, Marty looked up the lane to the top gate where she saw a boy coming with his arms loaded, including some pots and - upon close inspection - a chicken! It was Lydia's son Enoch and he was bringing the beginnings of a feast. Awhile later Lydia and Evelyn arrived with potatoes, tomatoes, onions, sukuma wiki (kale) and cornmeal (for ugali). It was time for Marty to learn how to prepare a chicken meal (ohhh nooooo!) and Lydia & Evelyn patiently and methodically showed her how - working right alongside of her.
When it came time to slaughter the chicken, however, Lydia - she who for weeks had been saying how she was going to teach Marty how to do a chicken - sat in a chair with her head turned and eyes averted while Enoch dispatched said chicken (we won't show the actual deed). Let it be known that chickens are not too bright, and she willingly held still for the process, which was quick and appeared to be painless with absolutely no fuss on the chicken's part. (Oh dear!) This is daily life in the village! Chicken isn't an everyday meal, but we don't know of any avowed vegans in the village!!
Back to the UK and Kenya
- Please continue to pray for John's eyes - his vision is fading. We are believing for a miracle.
- We have been considering the purchase of a used car for our use while there, and for Johnfred to use in the management of the farm and credit union, as well as to travel from the village to his church in Kisumu. We have been presented with a great opportunity to buy an excellent car at a very good price ($5000 - £3500) from a Kenyan pastor who was given a new car. Our two greatest expenses while in Kenya are for transportation and rent. Our expenses would be greatly reduced if we had a car.
Blessings and Much Love
John & Marty