On that note, you may have noticed that I have hidden Z's face in the photos I post. I'm finding it so difficult to manage any posts, that those I am able to get to, I would like to have her photos archived as well. We were recently asked by our Kenyan agency to be interviewed by a reporter for a Kenyan newspaper about international adoption. They took photos, many of them, all with our agency's approval. What's more public than a national newspaper? Certainly not my blog! Ha.... So, I do not see the harm in posting her photos prior to our adoption order nor have we been instructed to not post them by our lawyer or local agency. I will (eventually!) get around to posting the photos from the past few months as well. We hope you enjoy our little beauty. :)
Unfortunately, this is the first Easter that we had to spend without Dan, as he is back in Canada dealing with some family and work obligations. In his absence, we managed to have quite a full Easter!
We spent Easter Saturday at Mogra Children's Rescue Centre, sorting and cleaning their storage room. Bags upon bags were sorted into age and gender as well as stuff useable by the orphanage, Mathare Slum, or simply garbage. All the boys were outfitted in new soccer jerseys and shorts and the girls received new undergarments. It was amazing to see how happy they were to receive a simple item... a great Easter gift for them all!
Sunday, we were invited by our good friend Francis, (who is also our taxi driver) to his son's baptism and family Easter celebration. Francis and family, please forgive me if I get any of the below details wrong.
His home is in a small village called Gachie, outside of Nairobi. The church was the nicest church we have been to here in Kenya. The music was lively with an African beat that had you tapping your toes at the very least. The Pastor was friendly and funny, frequently breaking out in laughter. I would love to find a church like this back home!
We were so delighted to share in celebration of their son's Baptism.
The service was in Kikuyo, but the Pastor greeted us in English, and later on asked us to come to the front of the church to say a few words. Having this experience before in another Kenyan church, I nominated our fellow Canadian friend Dane to have the honour. After Dane gave a beautiful little Easter message, his wife and I and the kids were asked to come to the front, answer a few questions, and then he prayed for us. Having had these experiences a few times now in rural Kenyan areas, I often feel like we are not deserving of the attention. We are really treated like royalty!
|Francis and immediate family with the Pastor.|
|This is only a small part of the extended family.|
1.5 acres of land is home to the large family house owned by his parents, and 3 smaller homes bordering the edge of the property where a few of the sons call home. (Women move to their husband's family estates.)
|The large family home where Francis and his 5 brothers and 2 sister were raised.|
|The outside of Francis's home, where one of the women prepare Chapattis for the feast.|
|Inside Francis's 2 room home. He had posted motivational quotes all over the wall. He's a very hard working, motivated man. ;)|
There were a few exceptionally happy, friendly men.
It wasn't until I was offered a glass of their homemade wine or moonshine, that I realized why.
|Our fellow Canadian friend Dane gratiously choked down a taste and said it was good... only to later pass it off. Ha. It tasted very similar to apple cider vinegar. We were assured it was 100% natural, no alcohol added. Ha...!|
|Fun group of guys joking around with Mister.|
The soup broth. They offered me a cup, it tasted like any other meat stock.
|Helen teaches Muffin how to work the well. All water for cooking, cleaning and bathing is hauled up by hand. (Francis's house in the background.)|
|She was surprised that Muffin was strong enough to do it.|
Once the goat was finished, we were escorted inside the house for dinner.
It was a grand feast of stew, chapatti, Mukimo (mashed potato with spinach and maize), cabbage and rice with goat meat.
|Z was in her glory!|
|The men carve the remainder of the goat.|
|Goat head anyone?|
It is the rainy season now in Kenya, so the roads were quite muddy.
|The adults were laughing, hearing the boys talk in English and watching them feel Mister's hair.|
|A common sight here in Kenya. Good use out of a Bicycle!|
|The boys in disbelief that Mister actually not only touched, but held a Chameleon and no harm came to him. (They are very afraid of Chameleons here.)|
Back at the house, we sat and visited with Francis's family. They were all very nice and we really enjoyed our time with them.
|Such a cutie. Two things worth noting. The baby tied on her back Kenyan style, and the winter jacket she wears. While we were quite comfortable in our short sleeves, they find it cold and bundle their babies up like we would in the middle of winter!|
This is Francis's lovely Mother. In Kenya, it is customary to call her Mama Francis. Mama Francis told Francis that she was very happy to have Mzungus in her home. She said the last time they had 'white' visitors was many years ago. He brought out the photo to show us... it appeared to be sometime in the 70's.
I know they were honoured to have us in their church and their home, but the truth is, the honour was all ours. They opened their home and families to us so lovingly, from the best pieces of goat, to their customs, children, stories, etc. We felt very welcomed and look forward to future visits.
As our friend Dane mentioned to the church, we are blessed with friends and communities such as Francis and his family to open their hearts to us, to allow us an inside view of our children's country. (Okay Dane... not quoting your here... I know you said it more eloquently.;)
And as Dan asked me to relay to Francis in his absence, 'It is because of people like Francis and his family that make us so proud to have a daughter from Kenya.'
* * *
And the outtakes... 'A taste of Z and her love for Kenyan food'...
|"I spy a BIG plate of food over there... Perhaps if I slowly make my way over there, I can nab some..."|
(This is Stanley, another good friend and driver.)
|'He's falling for it... I'm on his lap, so close to the food now."|
|And she scores!|
|"Not only did I get Stanley's food, but I fooled someone else into thinking I was hungry and they got me my own plate!! Score again!"|