22 July, 2014

Chicken Intestines and Chai

  Yesterday my dad, my married sister Eileen, her husband Jason and their crew of 6 children headed back across the big pond. They are planning a day and a half of sight seeing in London before they fly back to the good ol' USA.

  It was so much fun to show my family Kenya. One of my favorite things about my dad is that he is so not racist and it showed. He was often surrounded by smiling faces even if they didn't get everything this white "mosay" (old man, a term of respect) was saying.

  Last monday we headed to John and Benter's place, a couple from our church, for an authentic Kenyan meal. So after an hour of bumpiness and potholes and goat and cow dodging, and a 15 minute walk, we arrived.

Heading into the "dala" 

Living room straight ahead, goat enclosure to the left, and a sleeping hut to the right. 

John and Benter

  We were ushered inside and were asked to pray a prayer. That's tradition, especially as many Kenyans believe that the white people bring blessings, such as fertility to both man and mammal, and even crops. We then sat and were served steaming hot chai and mandazis, a first for my family.

Cousins eagerly waiting. Oh, the joy of your very own cup of scalding tea. 

My sister Eileen and her husband Jason, with their oldest child, Ina to the left.

Amazing how much furniture they squeeze into a room. Every couch and chair has spotless, wrinkle free, embroidered cloths carefully placed on them in every home i've been in. Sadly, til our crew leaves they're no longer any of the above. Joseph, the bishop and pastor at our church, and his wife Becky, kindly consented to go along. They're from Belleville Pa and are serving their sixth year in Kenya.

We then headed for a walk to a tiny shopping centre while the ladies got a massive feast prepared. It truly gave my family a taste of Kenya, walking between sugar cane fields and feeling that hot, African sun beat down on their heads. 
The white man and the African expounding to each other. John, the man on the left, is a young man from church who has been a member for a number of years. He would very much appreciate a wife, as he made known at a youth seminar where he shared that the "Lord's return is imminent so get married quickly." Amen.

Of course we hadn't taken enough water for that kind of hiking and would you believe we could buy bottled water at a little store in that tiny "shopping center." So one of the ladies had the privilege of carrying our water back to the "dala." What can i say. Marlin just wasn't up to carrying it on his head. 

Back to the house for a feast and what a feast it was! Boiled beef, fried beef liver (can't believe i'm going to say this but it was DELICIOUS! I've had it wrapped in bacon and drenched in bbq sauce. I've had it grilled and baked with onions. One word. Nasty. But this was really good, much to both my shock and my sister's.) There was chicken fried in oil and chicken stewed in a tomatoey broth. There was rice, fried cabbage, potatoes, chapatis, ugali (always ugali!), steamed sukuma, (a  type of greens and the children loved it. Go figure.) There was chicken intestines. For some reason that was pretty much untouched altho our innocent brother in law, Jason, consumed a bit, thinking it was just chicken. Which it was. Kind of.
The meal was wonderful and the "mazungus" thoroughly enjoyed it. After the meal, we were all given sodas for dessert. And i really don't know why i have my head resting on the back of the couch, looking for all the world like i'm in need of a nap. Now that i think of it, maybe i was. Heat, much walking, and copious amounts of food have a way of doing that to a person.

The ladies hard at work in the kitchen, making all that food over little fires. American women? You are SPOILED! It's ok, you can't help that you were born an american but don't take it for granted. And be willing to leave your comfortable kitchens if God asks that. Speaking to myself here because i have an American kitchen in Africa. I love African women. They work HARD but you don't hear them complain. They always have a big smile for visitors, which is more than what most women could say if they had to serve their guests food cooked over a little fire with little or no ventilation in the cooking hut. 

The food has been served, the soda's drunk. It is now between 3 and 4 o'clock in the afternoon and time for the final speeches, prayers of blessing, and introductions. I don't know why introductions are saved til last but it's how it's done and it works. So John and Benter gave a small speech first, then everyone had to introduce themselves, including the row of Kenyans sitting behind Joseph and Becky where you can't see them. Afterwards Joseph read some scripture, we stood for prayer and then were dismissed. We drove into the compound at home at 6 o'clock, just in time to clean up and head to Mark Beachy's house for supper. And would you know, she thot we might just be in the mood for American food and would you know, we were. :) 

  It was a great day, albeit exhausting, and we are so grateful that John and Benter were willing to host us. So thankful that my family got to experience it and make lifetime memories. 

  And that will have to do for this blog post. I will try and quickly add more posts but there's simply to many pictures to do one post justice. Because there's a boat ride on Lake Victoria to see the hippos, there's Bible study, there's supper by Lake Victoria, there's the market, there's tuk, tuk rides, and there's the Mara. And other things i can't remember. 

 I'll be back. :) 


  1. What a fun post! I'm glad your dad and sister were able to spend time with you in your new home. And, I'll admit, I'm more than a bit jealous!

    Your food descriptions often leave my mouth watering, but this time the chicken intestines seemed less than appealing. I'm glad your brother-in-law liked them! hah!

    I think of you often!

  2. Hi friend! I would LOVE to have you spend time with us in Africa. We'd have a blast....

    Love you, Darla


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