14 December, 2013

No more......

   .......language class!!!!! Today was our official last day so to celebrate we went to the Luo culture museum with our language teacher, his wife, daughter and granddaughter. Tony and Judith, Rachel Miller and Janette Stoltzfus also went along since they had never been there and it's kind of tradition that going to the museum is what you do to celebrate. It was interesting and added another dimension to our understanding of Luo culture. The most interesting part for me was the traditional "dala", meaning home, of the Luo people. The round mud huts with the thatched roofs and raised dried mud sleeping platforms. The first wife's mud hut, the second wife's, the third's and so on......all i can say is "thank you Lord that i'm not Luo!!" I just can't get excited about the thought of sharing Marlin with numerous other women. But i'm jealous like that and prefer to keep him to myself.

Meditating on sharing the "dala"....

    My least favorite part was the snake exhibit and the most boring were the fish tanks. The snakes of Kenya are nothing short of nasty and if you are bitten by a black mamba you have an hour to say your good byes. My favorite part was the little sleeping 5 month old baby boy asleep on the floor while his mama sold necklaces and other kenyan trinkets. He wasn't part of the exhibit but he was beautiful. But what african child isn't?

    After the tour we headed for Lake Victoria and ate lunch by the lake at a fish restaurant. I never really enjoyed fish in the states unless it was covered with many herbs and much butter, or breaded and slapped between two pieces of buttery, toasted bread, oozing with tartar sauce. But the fish in Kisumu? Delicious! First you have to go choose your fish that's hanging on racks, find out the prices and give your order...

Then you wait. And wait. And wait some more. About the time you're ready to swim across the lake to another eating shack they start showing up with plates of whole deep fried fish, globs of ugali, bowls of dark green sukuma and piles of french fries, called chips in Kenya. The fish is gutted of course, but the head is still on and so are the fins. It's not breaded but simply fried in oil and the skin gets crispy like fried chicken, while the meat is soft and white. And you can't forget the tomatoes, mixed with onions and cilantro, topped with slices of lime that you drizzle over your tomatoes or fish. I didn't even use silverware, just tore hunks of fish off and added some tomato mixture and dropped the whole delightful bite into my mouth.

(Ken & Kathy - you would love the "Filapia" over here!)   ;-)

    We took our teacher and his family back to his home area afterwards and headed for Nakumatt to pick up a few groceries, where i met an obstetrics nurse from Cincinatti who is here for 6 months doing vaccine research. We had quite an interesting conversation and as we left with our brood of very dirty, tired little men i couldn't help but think how very blessed i am. And when we pass glue boys with their bottles of sniffing glue or those sad souls who are so very lost mentally and physically, wandering the streets of Kisumu with tattered clothing and filthy feet, i find my heart aching. I feel so small and helpless and right now the only thing i know to do is pray for them as we pass by on our way to our comfortable homes filled with loved ones. I wonder if i will ever feel i am doing "enough?" When i take that question and my frustration to Christ He continually gives me the same answer...."be faithful in the little things..."

Wilberforce Akula our language teacher, and now friend.

Bethany -Wilberforce's youngest daughter is almost Emily's age.

Wilberforce & his wife Rose, daughter Bethany, and granddaughter Vivian.

Yours Truly...

  And so another week is over and tomorrow we once again head to church. I don't dread it like i did the first 3 months and to be honest, i know much of that is related to hormones. Hadassah's pregnancy was a hard one and now that i'm healed physically i'm amazed at how much more enthusiasm i have for life. I want to squeeze all the joy out of living that's possible because we never know our next valley. When i took care of my mother i realized that it gave me a deeper appreciation of life and family. It enriched my life, although at the time i didn't always think so. And so it is with Hadassah. She has given our life a deeper richness and the heartbreak of giving her up has given us a greater love for life and others, while giving a greater anticipation for eternity. The little pink blanket wrapped bit of humanity called Hadassah was truly a gift from a loving Heavenly Father.



  1. You make me want to eat fish, Darla. And I don't even really like fish :-)
    thanks for all the lovely pictures as well! Good to 'see' you all...

  2. Wow! Those pics are making my mouth just water! Even Andrew couldn't resist that fish, though he'd still skip the cilantro.
    It is good to hear that you have been given a renewed and deeper love for life. In the midst of heartbreak, we are still invited to enter into abundant life. The ways of the Lord are so beyond our understanding! In one hand He offers abundant life, yet that same life is intertwined with suffering... which unexpectedly leads to more life.

    Only with Jesus!

    Love to all!

  3. Your language teacher reminded me of Aquil,can't tell I miss him or anything:)
    Loved the picture of you & Marlin....you both look happy & healthy in spite of the recent heartache.
    Looks like Emmy made a new friend!What a beautiful girl, reminds me of Sam's bestie.I'm partial to African ppl, btw:)

    Tell Marlin he doesn't need to worry about any additional wives,they would all run the opposite direction.Ba-ha ha ha! I miss having him around to pick on,so this is the next best thing...
    Love you guys,kath

  4. Enjoyed the post. Bethany is a beautiful girl.would love to try the fish. great seeing the pics, esp. my big bro! Love to all~Jan

  5. I have been thinking abouy your family recently and praying for your work there and thought it was time to check your blog again to see if their are any fresh updates. It is with delight that we can share in just a small window of your life there in Kenya, especially the fish. =-) You guys look so good and it is apparant that the sunny equater agrees with you.
    It is so encouraging that God is turning your sorrow into joy and we pray with you that it will continue to deepen your faith in Him. Thanks again for being willing to share!


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