Sunday, August 5, 2012
The Kick-Off Ceremony
The morning started off with hitting the snooze button a gazillion times until it was REALLY time to get up. Breakfast consisted of toast and jam and the local brown, unrefrigerated eggs (the Kenyans say they will keep for up to a week!).
At this point the group split with most of leaving for church. Rural Kenya is full of places of worship – Catholic, Anglican, Salvation Army, Greek Orthodox (!), African Christian, innumerable variations of Pentecostal and the occasional mosque. Many churches are small, rectangular, built of brick and unlit. They are often marked by colourful flags. The congregation size ranges from a few dozen to one hundred.
The non-church group, under Andi and Jenn’s direction, spent the morning sorting the ton (literally) of pharmaceuticals/medical supplies carried here in duffle bags. Some did laundry (thank heavens, as they were getting smelly). David headed out with Tom to search for building materials.
For those at church the experience was amazing! The church was much more complete than the other churches we have seen. It had stained glass in the windows and sat 400 people. Everyone was dressed in Sunday best clothing, with many wearing white. The service was very musical, with drums, an electronic piano/organ and a very large choir. The service was half speaking, half singing , with the songs lively and harmonic. There was lots of hand clapping and dancing around the church and Eric Post and Michael spoke on behalf of the group. The service, though, was a bit long (2½ hours). As we filed out we were mobbed. Everyone was ecstatic to meet us and we were invited/expected to stay for lunch.
After lunch, we toured the new clinic behind the church, but it wasn't properly equipped to treat patients at the moment, so remains a mostly empty building. Most of its funding comes through the Catholic Church. As a private clinic it will offer pay-as-you-go services when complete.
When we returned to Tindinyo Falls Resort we were told we were required at the worksite. It was verrrryyy short notice, so we rushed to get ready. On arrival we began to move bricks from the clinic lawn to the worksite using two parallel lines of workers. Kenyans and Canadians passed the bricks to one another and kept up the passing pace by singing songs and shouting cheers. The Kenyans were a little (okay, much) faster than the Canadians and did not wear work gloves. There weren't quite enough people to cover the distance, so a few spare bricks flew around. Fortunately, everyone was wearing safety gear, so no one was hurt. It was hard work. We were proud that (surprisingly) the Canadians weren't the first to call for a water break! It was a productive day.
Later in the day Kevin and David learned there were some problems with the Kenyan Scouts, due mostly to internal politics. Their organizer had decided he didn’t want to play, so had taken back his large white canvas tent , along with the foam mattresses and the Rovers’ personal baggage. As it was near the end of the day and there had been rain, the Rovers were cold and upset. It took about 1½ hours to sort it out, but the eventual solution was for them to spend the night in a nearby hotel (not like any hotel in Canada, but more like a rundown motel with a dirt parking lot).
Back at the resort the rest of the day was a big ol' chill pile. We ate food n' stuff n' slept. Yay.
By Kristin, Eric Davison, Alanna and Aaron