24 February, 2014

Dishon and his Homeland

  Dishon is a friend of ours who sits at our table every saturday evening and eats supper with us. He's in medical school, his schooling paid by a donor from the states and the mission has helped him out in other ways. He's an orphan, or we think he is, but whatever, the family lines are long and complicated. So he has taken a real liking to Grandma Weaver and requested that we visit his homeland. Today was the big day and by the time we rattled back into our compound late afternoon i think we were all exhausted. There is something about traveling and visiting in Kenya that takes the sap out of a person. But it was a good day and an excellent cultural experience for Grandma.

  We began by visiting where he was born and where his grandmother still lives. It seemed to be inhabited mostly by women but i'm assuming that's because it was midmorning. This is where the language barrier is FRUSTRATING, but Dishon was happy to translate. They served us a feast of mandazis, twisted into fancy shapes, along with chai, roasted and salted peanuts, and cooked "cooking" bananas.  I wasn't hungry before and was plain stuffed afterwards. Of course you have to pray as soon as you enter the house and pray before you leave. We also sang them "Amazing Grace" and with many smiles and handshakes we headed off to where he grew up. Before i forget, Dishon's "mother" or aunt, had walked almost 30 miles from her home to the grandparents to let the family know we would be there this morning. Five hours of walking.........see why there's no changing our minds?

  Dishon's "mother" is a teacher so we stopped at the school where she teaches. LOVE those gorgeous dark faces, all shining with smiles and excitement.

 It's a primary school so the children are quite young, altho i was impressed with all the posters on the walls. Looked almost like an american school except for the desks.....and the walls.......and pretty much everything. :)

Oops, how did that white face slip in there???

    After they sang a song for us and we sang "If you're happy and you know it" we continued heading for Dishon's home place. That's where the real party was to begin. After driving over some very narrow and very rough trail/roads we pulled into the home dala. We were ushered into a room where all the furniture was covered in spotless cloths, embroidered with maroon flowers. You can imagine what they looked like til we left. People started arriving and shaking our hands and some little old mamas sat and watched us, smiling and apologizing through Dishon that they couldn't speak english. Then the food arrived.
Mashed cooking bananas, some kind of bitter plant cooked in milk, chicken, beef.......

Ugali, and cooked rice, followed by some very sweet bananas for dessert. We barely made a dent in the food, still being full from our feast just an hour or two before. We ate alone with Dishon, since no one eats with the guests of honor. 

After lunch we headed outside to hand out Bible storybooks and Bibles. People had arrived from all over the place and they loved the gifts. Americans have a hard time understanding the Kenyans love for anything literature.
Caleb handing out Bible storybooks. I just loved the traditional kitombas on the women's heads. In the interior the people are very modest for the most part and the women's heads are covered. Love it. 

One of the many children.....notice the hedge surrounding the dala. Love it but have no clue what it is. 
Then it was time for pictures. Kenyans LOVE having their pictures taken and everyone swarmed around to get in on the action. And then they needed pictures with the white missionaries.

Next? Gift giving. Caught us a bit off guard when they started handing out chickens to the 4 little ones. And ground nuts for the grandma. 
Can i just say that my mother in law is THE BEST missionary ever with her sweet spirit? They LOVE her! 

Second best missionary ever........holding the large chicken that they gave Daddy Weav. Standing beside him is Dishon's "father" (uncle?) 
We took this one home with us. 

And the future Jesus soldiers, holding up their beloved new pets that they informed me they had been praying for. ??

And when we thot we were ready to leave they come carrying three little cypress trees that we were to plant, in memory of our being there. 
Marlin planting his cypress.....

Then the mama of the family.......

And last but certainly not least, Grandma. (forgive the lady in orange, not sure how she managed to get in there.) 

And THEN, the father/uncle (please don't ask me to explain that whole "is it father/uncle, mother/aunt".....way to confusing) asked Marlin if we cook cassava and he said yes! I'm like, "we do???" He said he's had it and yes, we will cook it. So off they trot and harvest a TREE, whose roots are called cassava and apparently you cook and eat it. So after that was hacked apart and safely stowed away in the "boot" of the van, along with chickens and a huge hangar of bananas....and don't forget the avocados and papayas...... we finally headed towards Kisumu. Oh wait, first we had to traipse back into the house and they sang a wonderful Luo song complete with clapping for us and then they thanked us for taking care of Dishon for them and after praying again, we at long last climbed into the long suffering vehicle. Between the poopy diaper bouncing in the back, the squawks of the chickens and the hearty singing of 4 little weaver monkeys, we came home exhausted and with pounding heads. But it was worth it and and an experience i'm grateful for. It is considered a great honor to host the americans in their homes and it is so very humbling for these americans to be treated with such respect. May we show them Jesus who cares not that we are white and them black but cares only that we love and serve Him. 


  1. What a day! Your mother-in-law looks like she had the time of her life!
    I'm glad that your relationship with Dishon has continued to grow - you have opened your lives to him and, it seems as though he is opening his to you!
    I love that picture of Levi at the school - he looks so angelic!
    And that lady is orange? She looks lovely! I hope you are feeling way better, now.
    Missing you!

  2. Amazing post...thank you so much for sharing. I love reading your lovely words, Darla. It's almost as if I was standing there talking to you, like we have done in days of yore. :-)

    God be with you.

  3. Love the rooster! Might even come at 5 in the morning to hear him crow LOL!

  4. Very funny, Tony! (or Judith) :)

    Thanks Marcia, would love to catch up on your life and what's happening!

    And Licia, i dreamt we were hanging out with your family the other night...... how much we miss you guys!


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