NEWS END OF JULY 2015
I have so far raised $500 towards the $7000 I’ll need within the next few months if I am going to go ahead with my USA trip in 2016.
My trip to Congo fell through because of lack of visa. One theory is that the process was complicated because I applied in other than my passport-country (i.e. I applied from Kenya, but am British). The perhaps more popular theory around here, is that my ‘error’ was that no-one was ready to pay a bribe to the embassy officers in Nairobi. I will see if I can make a similar trip perhaps next year. I plan to do the Tanzania part of my trip, starting my travelling Monday 27th July, getting back home 31st August 2015:
29th July to 3rd August, Dodoma, Tanzania, with Church of God people.
3rd to 8th August. Babati, Tanzania, with Church of God people.
8th to 13th August, at Mbulu, Tanzania, with Church of God people.
13th to 18th August, at Singida, Tanzania, with Church of God Fellowship people.
18th to 24th August, at Mwanza in Tanzania, with Mennonite people.
24th to 26th August, at Musoma in Tanzania, with Coptic Orthodox Church.
26th to 31st August, around Migori in Kenya, with Zion Harvest Church.
31st August – back home to Yala in Kenya.
For the first time since I started keeping children, we have had someone hospitalised. The housemother suddenly got very sick with vomiting and diarrhoea, so was admitted to hospital for five nights. Please pray that she continues to recover.
For me, her unplanned absence has been a learning experience. Having 18/19 year old children at home, I didn’t really need a baby sitter. Yet the same children being in school all day (6.30am to 6.15pm), means that there is a lot that they couldn’t do either. To be honest, had I done nothing, somehow we would have got through. But I also felt responsible to know a little of what was going on.
The thought came to mind, that perhaps I ought to employ someone to help out for a few days. Monthly pay for a house-help can be as little as £25-£40. A few days’ help could cost a fraction of that. But then I realised because there are a lot of people already helping us out on a kind of voluntary basis, going to employ someone would be serious error. I should instead ‘run with the system’ as it is. That system is connected to neighbours, plus various relatives of the children I keep, and of the housemother. Girls who once stayed with me, and wives of boys who once stayed with me, are now active women in the local community.
I have discovered a ‘throbbing hub’ of caring for children and the old and sick going on in the village around us that it could be possible to entirely miss. Especially for a man. Now it has become my responsibility to latch into that hive of caring activity to place requests with the right ladies at the right time; please do shopping for us, please clean for us, please . . . That is not to pay anyone, but to continue a network of mutual obligations in which I as a man have (somewhat unknowingly) played an implicit role for years, and from which we, (i.e. my household) can now reap benefits. It is amazing how much can be going on that keeps us all going that some of us males sometimes have little clue about. If I were to employ someone by paying them a salary I could easily totally miss out on these aspects of the cultural complexity of village life. Not having a lot of money enables integration into local community. (It is immediate family who are helping mostly. We don’t have any official programmes here!)
I have just come from KIST graduation. KIST have lost their bachelors programme, so they remain with diploma and certificate. This is because new government policy forced them to relinquish the relationship that enabled them to have the bachelors. The graduation went very well!
For information on my latest book see: here.