Last post from Kenya
This will be my last post before flying out on Friday. It is Wednesday evening and I just finished talking with Abby in Portland, Oregon. I woke her up at 8 AM. She is leaving for a week in Mexico the same day that I return. So we both really wanted to talk and because of Skype- we could do that.
This is Ngoima, me and William in Kitere at William’s compound. We are all SIT graduates and have shared a special bond here together. Ngoima is Kikuyu, like the tribe that Karen Blixen (Out of Africa) tried to defend as she left the country years ago. William is a Luo, like Obama’s father. These two are excellent teachers here explaining their history and the current realities in Kenya.
Butchering a goat takes a great deal of work. Everyone was involved and Ngoima was the director of the process. He saved the intestines and made sausage the next morning. As a most-of-the-time vegetarian, I managed to observe and help and eat a few small bits.
Although my stay in Kitere was only for five days, it was a joyful assimilation for me – and this was my “team”. We spent a lot of time together – shopping for charcoal, dried fish, tomatoes, soap,and toilet paper in the market; going to church; visiting gardens; washing dishes and preparing food; praying at a graveside of someone who recently died; drinking milk tea; talking about anything and everything that came to mind. I am welcome back – and I hope one day to come back – and bring Mike along. WOW- that would be great.
Yesterday Ngoima, William and I drove 6 hours in a rented car to Ngoima’s place which is just outside Nairobi. From his home here- I can see Mt Kilamanjaro- It is a faint outline on the horizon and is 100 miles away. His house is under construction, but we managed to make a dinner, sleep well and all have hot showers this morning. (He put his water system and instantaneous water heater in first!)-
Soon we will be going to visit some neighboring farmers and then head into Nairobi. William and I will be meeting a friend of his who will help us do some “tourist” shopping. We will get better prices if I don’t go alone as a Mzungo….
This evening I will be meeting Janet, a Kenyan woman with whom I have skyped and had a few conversations. She, like me – does Re-evaluation Counseling. This is a kind of peer counseling started in Seattle more than 50 years ago. It has spread around the world and Janet is a leader here in Kenya of this type of counseling. I met her through a publication and because she has met several of my Vermont colleagues in Poland at a workshop. SO- tonight she is teaching a class and I am invited to attend. I am very pleased to cap my journey with this type of experience and solidarity.
Tomorrow, Eric is going to take me to “Karen”, the land area which was Kikuyu land where Karen Blixen had her coffee plantation, and then to the airport.
If you have followed my journey I am grateful. Arriving in Brattleboro, the Rich Earth Institute appears to be exploding with possibilities and I have MUCH work to do. Refreshed and ready…..