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News for Middle of July 2003

Dear Friends,

Crashing sounds echoed around me in this small roadside centre on route to a YTC class, as government workers set about destroying local business premises to make room for the to-be-expanded road. I guess an Englishman would describe these as rusty little shacks made of old bits of corrugated iron and timbers. To people here they were hotels, shops, workshops and offices!

One of the costs of 'progress' is that people who do not realise that 30m each side of the road is government property, come unstuck sooner or later. These informal-sector traders soon realised that the odds were stacked against them, they were not going to be able to save their premises, but they did manage to negotiate for more time to find an alternative location to move to before the destruction continued. One of those affected is our YTC director.

My travel back from America was largely uneventful. Sitting at airports gave me opportunity to read and study - providing I didn't get too worn out through lack of sleep! It is often fascinating when coming to Africa to find one-self sitting next to young people about to begin an adventure of a lifetime! This time I spoke to one American medical student coming to a rural hospital for her elective, another young woman coming to help to administer a project in Rwanda, and an English church group coming to spend time with Anglicans in Kenya.

It was good to be able to spend time with family in England during a one-day stop-over there.

Back at home, news of death awaited me. 2 babies, one old woman and one young woman's death were soon announced to me. All these were of people that I am close to. I actually saw a white person at the funeral of the old (64) lady. That is very rare indeed. I remain with the task of taking my condolences to the other 3 places. My first day at home I was at a funeral. In fact whenever I come back from a trip I seem invariably to find myself at a funeral within 24 hours or so of my arrival.

Prayer is valued for three of the girls who I look after here, as their position has become ambiguous following their mother's being inherited. This especially as the inheritance has been by someone who does not qualify as being an in-law (i.e. by a member of a different clan).

Pray also for our 1 year old here, who has been unwell..