Molly in Africa

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Highlights for June, July & August

Haven’t written on here in a long time, so I’ll try to do an entry of highlights from the past three months:


My birthday- My birthday fell on a Wednesday this year and that’s our community’s night to have guests over so I got to do the inviting.  We had three of my co-workers from MIRACLE and it was really nice.  The Brothers community came over bringing a cake and singing to me and Alick and Vicki had made a cake too—although they hadn’t originally presented it or anything so after I gave them a hard time they sang and danced and were pretty ridiculous about it, which made me laugh REALLY hard.


Kujimanya- Retreat at Chaminade that Sarah, Matt and I helped to organize/chaperone.  We took about 55 students (including 18 leaders)—all form 3 and form 4 (juniors and seniors) in secondary school—on this retreat and it went really well.  I actually enjoyed the preparation more than the retreat itself because it gave me the chance to get to know some of the Chaminade students.


Family coming to visit- Wonderful time for me to just be myself, laugh, sing, play games, tell stories and have my family understand my day-to-day experience better here.  There also is a great story of our encounter with elephants that, if you know my mum, pops, David or Maryjoy, you should ask them to share with you.  If you don’t have the privilege of knowing my family, shoot me an email and I’ll explain.


Mid-service/Closing Retreat in Nairobi- Our community from the first year had our closing of community retreat in Nairobi with Br. Jack (an American Brother from the States who was in Nairobi for the Marianist Lay Communities international meeting).  I really enjoyed the retreat and came away from it with new energy for a new community and to jump back into work with the Women’s Empowerment Program.


Activities since Alyson and Chris (my two new community members) have arrived:

Malepenga dancing- This is one of the traditional dances here and I’ve been wanting to see it for the past year and we finally went to go!  The dances were in Alick’s home village which is about 45 minutes away if you take the most direct route.  The walk was fun because we had to cross the river, which was easy since it’s STILL the dry season so the water was only at the middle of our shins, so we just took off our sandals and walked across.  This dance is done primarily by men, but they put on earrings and women’s wigs and even some make-up.  The dancing was fun (very energetic), but I enjoyed getting to see Alick’s house in the village more and where he will be constructing his house in this next year.  On the way home it took us about an hour and a half, but by this time it was dark and we walked on the main road, which was a little less direct.  All in all, that was a great day!


Borehole trip- The next day, we had to get water for ourselves and for Chaminade Secondary School (we’ve been without water coming out of the taps in the day time for the past two weeks).  So we piled into the Chaminade truck with the big green tank and went to the borehole for a little water adventure.  We provided some entertainment to the women and children who were there by drumming on our huge tank in between dumping buckets of water in it, drenching Chris with a bucket of water, following Alyson’s directions and “just dumping it” on her when she was washing her hair and then pretending we were on a water ride at an amusement park as we drove back to Chaminade and tried to avoid getting splashed by the water, falling out of the truck or letting the big tank fall out.


Giving Medicine to the Chicks- Our chickens have all been dying since the beginning of August and it’s because of some disease called New Castle.  I rode our bike into town one day this week to go to the bank for work, but before I left, I stopped by the Vet’s office and talked about the chicken problem.  This morning, Matt and I spoon fed a vaccine to the chicks that haven’t yet been affected by the disease (we hope).  I had never caught a chick before and I got pretty good at it after the first couple tries. :)  Also, just an update- our ducks had ducklings!  Two have hatched so far and we still have six more eggs… very exciting!



Tonight we’re celebrating the official welcoming of Alyson and Chris at Chaminade and probably making a visit to our favorite/only dance club in Karonga—Planet K.A with some of the teachers.  We start language lessons on Monday with a woman named Shupe who teaches the Peace Corps volunteers so I’ve very excited, hopeful and now (as the lessons draw nearer) I’m getting a bit nervous.  So please, keep me in your prayers that I can push through the awkward moments of all the mistakes and embarrassments that I’m sure I’ll experience as I try to practice out in the village. 


As I hope you can tell in this post, I’m doing really well.  I’m happy and I’m getting back in the groove of things here.  I miss people from home still and I still get lonely here, so keep sending those emails and letters… I love hearing from you all!  Quick shout out to my Wellspring Community- it was WONDERFUL to hear your voices just now!  :) :)


Lots of love,

Molly :)


At 6:00 AM, September 06, 2009, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Mol! What a wonderful update. I am so proud of the the questions you are asking regarding equality; though it makes many people uncomfortable to hear it, efforts made in the name of equality so often fall short. The pastor of our church has challenged the pastors of all the island churches, without regard for denomination, to work together to address societal problems which have led to a skyrocketing homocide rate. Young men are killing each other and efforts to stem the tide of violence thus far have been fruitless. Pastor Gary feels it is the church's responsibility to get involved but - just as you said in your post - the community response is often "that's just the way things are".
I'm praying for you, for your progress in language lessons, your women's business group and your community.
Love, Aunt Ter

At 7:00 PM, September 09, 2009, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Scoots, it is so wonderful to hear the joy and imagine the smile on your face as you share your experiences. I love and miss you! Take care :) -Wags


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