Monday, May 17, 2010

Mabanga to Nairobi

Yesterday was full of ups and downs. On the up side I have the memory of lively worship led by African Friends, and of some of the contributions that we visitors were able to make, in presentations and in leading semi-programmed worship with favorite readings and hymns from our traditions. I also treasure the enthusiastic welcome that we received, which continued throughout the meeting. We women were all given white USFW headscarves.

On the down side my brand new glasses went walkabout. I had left them, carelessly, on a dining room table and in the midst of black-outs I had not needed them, so I didn't discover they were missing till next morning. To try to get a police report so I can claim on insurance, I was taken to the police station in Webuye. It was a scary place, with two doors behind the counter, one marked "cells" and the other "female cells." I decided not to photograph the interior in case I might end up in the latter. They were unable to do the report on the spot, but promised one would be available to someone going to Eldoret today. We'll see if this is forthcoming and if it catches up with me in Nairobi before I leave early Friday. Another down side is news of volcanic dust closing parts of British airspace again,

The journey from Mabanga to Nairobi was mixed. We were divided into three groups and my group went to Webuye, which is part of East Africa YM (North.) Once again we were warmly welcomed and there were efforts to present part of the service in English, in addition to the Kiswahili and Luhya that they customarily use. Part of the program was an evangelist (probably not a Quaker - it was a kind of street preaching Pentecostal style) who yelled at us all with his lips touching the microphone. It took several hours for my ears to recover. The visit there was completed by drinking tea or Milo at the home of the clerk of the monthly meeting and his wife. We ate hardboiled eggs (straight from the chickens that were running around, perhaps) and fragrant honey.

We then drove to Nakuru, where we met up with the others at an Ethiopian restaurant and then on to Nairobi. On the way we saw zebra, gazelles and antelopes. The new main road was closed in certain parts, from repairs and in once case because of a horrible accident. The rain got increasingly torrential so it was hard to find Savelberg Retreat Centre, where we are holding our final meeting, but it is actually just behind the FWCC office on Ngong Road.

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