This morning we had our breakfast under the tree again. After breakfast, we had our “parting ceremony” under the tree. Dan and Tim, as our leader and pastor, were presented with special “leadership” gifts. The rest of us also received gifts. All of the gifts were items of Maasai beadwork. I received a necklace and bracelet. It was quite moving to be treated with such honour. We also presented them with gifts. I presented Lydia (one of the women serving us, Solomon’s wife) with a bar of soap from Canada.
As parting words, Bernard (local MCC worker) reminded us of the passage Pastor Stephen had read the night before (Psalm 133) about how unity is like precious oil poured out on the head. He said he’d often wondered why the passage spoke of oil rather than water, but one day he realized it was because oil lasted much longer than water. He’d placed some oil and water on the acacia tree under which we stood, and said that in a few weeks, he would ask Pastor Stephen which was still there.
Before we left, we learned that the goats and cows at the farm were part of the tithes that people gave the church. It seemed that Liam, the young boy who hung around quite a lot and was especially interested in my indigo watch, was the goat herder. I took a picture of him with his goats.
At the breakfast table, I spoke with David Muturi, the principal of the Najile Boys High School (which hosted us the first night). He told me about the boys school schedule each day and talked about how much they needed a library.
We left the farm at around 8:30. We drove most of the day today, stopping only a few times. Our first stop was Narok where we bought gas. I bought a necklace, bracelet and beaded staff.
We saw a lot of animals again as we drove – giraffes, zebras, gazelles, vultures, and others.
The terrain changed a lot while we drove. The region where we stayed was a little hilly with scrub trees all over. We drove into a flatter region with wide open spaces and then over an escarpment to an area that’s quite green and lush with sugar and tea plantations.
For lunch we stopped at Kisii. I had chicken and chipati (fried flat bread) and mango juice (yummy). After lunch, we strolled around the market. I bought some fabric and coffee. It was a little too crowded in the market with too many people crowding around us and wanting us to buy from them. It’s hard to say no when you know they may go to bed hungry tonight.
We got to our hotel in Migori at around 5:00. We have private rooms tonight. Mine is fairly large, with a double bed, chairs, and tables. It’s still primitive, though, even though it’s probably the nicest building in town. It’s probably the equivalent of the crappiest hostel we stayed at in Europe.
When we got here, we placed our orders for supper, and then went for a walk in the market. I didn’t buy anything this time. I ended up stopping for a cold drink with Ed, Peter, Tim, and the security guard we’d met at the hotel. The security guard was on his way to his second job at a nearby shop.
Tonight we had supper at the hotel. I had fish and a cold apple cider. After supper, because we wanted somewhere to gather and debrief, I invited everyone to my room. We had quite a serious talk about how we should respond when people as us to give. People also wanted to know why they were discouraged from bringing gifts for the people we met. It wasn’t an easy talk because there are no easy answers. It breaks your heart when you know that just a few dollars could help these people. But at the same time, it just doesn’t seem right to be bringing them too much when we don’t really know what they need. It bothers me so much that there is an expectation that we are the givers and they are the takers. I think it would do so much more good if we all chose to change our lifestyles rather than dump trinkets on them.