A Travellerspoint blog

April 2010

Planting Aubergines

(and being bamboozled by a number of things)

sunny 28 °C

Hello! We have seen some funny sights since we last blogged, including a herd of bishops (all dressed in various shades of aubergine) planting trees around a church, the same bishops all came together in a brown retro Peugeot, which has amazingly survived years of dirt roads and pot holes. REAP was planting trees as part of the ‘Easter Tree Planting Campaign’, so necessary in a country where rainfall and climate has changed due in large part to deforestation. And trees can have all sorts of wonderful uses such as shade, food and timber, so they are an amazing provision from God…!
The Aubergine Brigade plant their trees

The Aubergine Brigade plant their trees

How do bishops get around?

How do bishops get around?

Church planting

Church planting

Bored Aubergine Bishop

Bored Aubergine Bishop

Sam Ouma, one of the REAP staff contemplating

Sam Ouma, one of the REAP staff contemplating

Dr Roger (the man, not our cat) has given me (Emma) part of the REAP showground to display some of the school resources at the end of July, which has given me the incentive to press on with making things out of bottle tops and bamboo and various locally available material/ junk. Have discovered that bamboo takes a lot longer to work with than I expected, spent about 2 hours yesterday trying to make a bamboo xylophone, which is still not finished. Beanbags are also being modified, as filling bags with a good number of edible beans might be too much of a temptation, so we’ll be using seeds from trees.
Emma (trying) to make a bamboo xylophone

Emma (trying) to make a bamboo xylophone

Other potential news is that I might be working with some other girls on developing some kind of re-usable sanitary item. We met last night and it seemed quite a surreal discussion, (David looked very uncomfortable and intently watched the football) but undoubtedly, the need for tried and tested sustainable, safe protection is a priority in the more rural areas. Recent interviews and research from the charity the girls are with, the Kenyan Orphans Project, has shown that most girls miss a week of school each month due to lack of suitable items. This amounts to 3 months of education each year, and the knock- on effect on their grades and job prospects is noticeable and alarming. At the moment I’m not really sure how I can help this research or implementation, but I am keen to get involved and think it is a vital area of attention, so we’ll see how it pans out.

We utilized our guests as house- and- kitten- sitters, and went to Nairobi last weekend. It was good to see Mama Jos (Roger’s wife) and stock up on her homemade peanut butter. We met a lovely couple from Reading , Sue and David, who are celebrating David’s 80th birthday with his twin sister (who lives in Nairobi). The Vails (for once without their veils)

The Vails (for once without their veils)

We also visited new friends from the Pioneers conference, who had invited us to stay at the African Theology College (where they work) in Nairobi, and we enjoyed chatting with them, playing with their kids and eating their pancakes for breakfast. David and Ben (the dad, not the mum) spent a good deal of time discussing missionary kid issues together, Ben also having grown up in Zaire (or Congo or whatever you want to call it). Ben’s siblings had various difficulties with their identity (something any potential traveller-type needs to be wary about for their kids…).

Posted by africraigs 12:41 Comments (0)

Bow and Arrows

sunny 32 °C

Hi! sorry it's been a while, loads has happened in the last few weeks and we haven't had much time to write about it. A few weeks ago, David spent a week away with some of the REAP team in Eldoret taking part in some Natural Medicines training at a Kenyan missionary training college, which I gather was very interesting and equally exhausting. He came back with various oils he had made for different ailments and a black 'stone' which is actually a cow's thigh bone that has been treated and is used to suck the poison out of snake bites as first aid before reaching the hospital. Amazing!George and Rosalia demonstrate Natural Medicines

George and Rosalia demonstrate Natural Medicines

Pounding Chilli

Pounding Chilli


(This picture was the weekly winner in travellerspoint- woo!)
Natural Medicine Training

Natural Medicine Training

Whilst he was away I visited another primary school which is run with a sponsorship programme from the UK, which was really interesting and there were many similarities between the school and the orphans nursery, although this school was more resourced. We made friendship bracelets with the children as it was last day of term, and I was amazed at their clay models made from mud around the school.
We had a brief visit from our roaming Romanian/ Australian missionary friend, Graeme, and enjoyed being tourists in Kisumu with him for a couple of days. We always seem to have intense and deep chats with Graeme due to the nature of his fleeting annual visits, and it was good to share some of our highlights and frustrations with him.
DSC_2362

DSC_2362

DSC_2371

DSC_2371


DSC_2439

DSC_2439


Fishing on Lake Victoria

Fishing on Lake Victoria

Lonely Hippo

Lonely Hippo


Fish Eagle, Lake Victoria

Fish Eagle, Lake Victoria

Last weekend we went to an American boarding school for missionary kids in the Rift Valley, which was a suprisingly smooth journey on easycoach (no relation to easyjet...) for our first Pioneers get together. David was particularly concerned that the people there would fit a 'missionary' stereotype of floral patterned dresses, long hum-drum prayers and the use of buzzwords like 'ministry' and 'fellowship' at every opportunity... Like the smooth journey, however, we were pleasantly surprised and both came away refreshed and encouraged, (and a little scared). We find the Pioneers Kenya team to be a dynamic, down-to-earth group of people keen to see Kenya flourish. We heard various first hand experiences of life in Kenya: getting held up at gunpoint by bandits, fighting poisonous snakes in the north, stories of drunk, corrupt policemen making life difficult and many more depressing stories. This led to a very meaningful and emotive time of prayer for this country.
Morning Sunshine, Mount Longonot

Morning Sunshine, Mount Longonot

We now have a couple in their twenties from the UK, Harry and Susie, staying with us, who have come to work with REAP for a few months. The number of bodies in the house has doubled which has changed the dynamic and routine a bit. We have enjoyed trying to show them how the get around Kisumu, and give them the low down on prices, transport etc. We are intrigued to see Harry's windmill ideas come to fruition.

We were just walking back into the housing estate where we live and saw the guard and his friend surrounded with bows and arrows which they had been making today. The arrows were so sharp and beautifully carved, and when we asked what they were for, the guard's face burst into a big smile and said 'these are to get the thieves'. So I guess we're in safe hands, (as long as we stay on the right side of the guards...)

Posted by africraigs 08:25 Comments (0)

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