This week's news

I was thinking last night it has been nearly a week since our last blog. It is not that there has been nothing to write about, just no time to write about it. So now I have found a quiet moment I will fill you in on the week’s activities.

This week we have knocked off another week of home schooling, only 3 more weeks to go!! The boys are counting the days, but I surprisingly am sad. I will miss our time together each morning at the kitchen table. Despite the tantrums and tears I have enjoyed the experience. It is certainly not something I would chose to do and if we were here long term I could not manage. But having said that I do feel we have achieved some education throughout the year. I know I have certainly learnt stuff that I didn’t know before, like whether or not a shape tessellates and my grammar and vocabulary have increased. Mitchell is still a better speller than me but thank goodness there are answers in most of the books we use and I always have the dictionary close at hand. Jake has had a late run at the school work and spends many hours out of school time doing English exercises and asking me for maths questions and doing creative writing. His spelling and handwriting is improving as he is slowing down and re checking his work. He likes to join me when I do English with Lameck and Co. Oliver remains a challenge but I am sure he has something stored in there in that clever head of his.

Cut Outs

I have been busy making little people figures cut out of any cardboard we have, cereal bxes are very useful. Here nothing is thrown out like we do in Australia - everything is used again and again and again. My main aim for these figures is to give out to children at the hospital. The other day I was doing it on the veranda while some of the local boys were playing with our football. They slowly crept up to see what I was doing and had a wonderful time playing with them. They chose one each to take home. On the back they say in Swahili ‘Jesus loves you’. The boys were walking them around and calling them Mama and Baba Mitchell, they preferred the boy figures and laughed together at the girls calling them Bibi and mschana (grandma and girl).

We have had quite a week with the kuku’s, on Saturday we had 6 eggs hatch and 6 new baby kuku’s. This was the most we had ever had in one go and the boys were very excited. Given the fact that our track record had not been great we decided not to name them just yet and see how they went in their first week. We were pleased that the mama’s seemed to be taking good care of them and given that we had eaten one big kuku and given away another it was a little less crowded in the coop. We were hopeful that they wouldn’t get trodden on and pushed around as regularly. We were also unsure who in fact was the mama or in fact if there was more than one as all three had been sitting on eggs and seemed to be caring for the young. Unfortunately as the week progressed each day another one was found dead and by yesterday they were all gone. One of the guards suggested we get some dawa (medicine) but I just think it is time for all the chickens to go. I gave one to Menas (head guard) last night and one to Thomas today (the fellow that just got married). I have promised one to Ephraim to take home to his family in Dec and I have one left. The novelty has well and truly worn off and we will certainly NOT be getting chickens in Australia. It has been a nice experience for the boys though.

The boys have moved on to a different type of bird and have spent the week hunting birds. First with their catapults and then with traps they have made. Gilbert has been by their side all week and it has been lovely to see them all out and about in Murgwanza together. They even had one day when they didn’t watch a movie…….amazing!!! They are yet to catch one and in between times Mitchell has continued to corrupt all the locals with screen addictions, whether on his DS, computer games or watching a movie!!!!

Mitchell and Oliver have had another haircut, the last for Africa. Jake has declined and prefers to let his locks grow a little. Oliver remains wild and I spent over an hour patching his pants on Monday to get us through the last two months (I had bleeding fingers by the end). He has a tooth he wears on a string around his neck and his NAPS tie he wears around his head as a bandana (with or without a feather sticking in it). He is often carrying at least one stick or weapon of some sort…..he is all boy!!!

Yesterday I went to Murgwanza Secondary after school (in place of Rob who was unwell) to the bible study group that Ephraim attends. He had asked Rob to come and teach them ‘things’ from the bible. I went simply to tell him that Rob could not come this week and of course was not allowed to leave. So with no English bible I had to quickly pull something together. I asked Ephraim to read John 15 (from the Swahili bible) and shared with them about remaining in God. The Swahili bible is not broken up with headings for sections and the likes it is just one long monologue for each chapter. So not being able to select certain verses I had to just speak generally. While they are secondary school kids and are taught in English the whole proceedings were done in Swahili. I was able to introduce myself in Swahili but then had to teach in English. I hope they took something away from it.

On Wednesday, Rob and I were at Liz’s, he was fixing her computer and I was browsing her DVD collection (which is vast), I found a Fat Burner exercise DVD. We decided we were sick of being slugs on a mostly carbohydrate diet and we had 8 weeks to get back in shape so we don’t die on the first bike ride we do on our return to Australia. Now I am quite the aerobics fan and have spent many hours moving and grooving to these tracks but Rob…….let’s just say was a little uncoordinated. None the less after locking ourselves in our room to avoid unexpected visitors we emerged hot and sweaty and feeling great. I since have done it again and wake each morning feeling a little sore but a good sore!!! I wish we had got it months ago. Look out A grade netball I am coming back.

With just over 8 weeks till we leave Murgwanza people are starting to ask after our stuff!!! We are getting many requests to buy or just leave things for people. So far our microwave, speakers, printer and some chairs have all been promised. I have had a request for our spare bed and one nursing student just asked me for anything!!! They all want our computers but we are not giving those up(Rob's Mac actually belongs to his employer in Aust.), they’d also like our iPod and cameras but these are coming home. Rob is 99% sure he will leave his guitar - we are just not sure with who exactly - maybe one of the Aussie missio’s in Mara or one of our friends who wants it for his church choir.

colouringOur house remains full of guests most afternoons either colouring, studying, playing, chatting or watching movies. The yard also often has local boys swinging or playing football. How long they last depends on which guard is on. One guard joins in the football, one tolerates them for a while and one sends them straight away. I love to hear all the happy voices and laughter outside as they play.


Time Difference

Faith is the key to fit the door of Hope, but there is no power anywhere like love turning it.~

Elaine Emans
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