This morning, after I had had chai at a number of colleagues' homes in Ilula, I noticed Silas Sifuna standing at our training center, obviously waiting to visit with me. Mama Chiri was there to translate.
It's the first time I've seen him since his graduation and baptism, and he was beaming!
"He has come to say 'thank you,'" Mama Chiri explained. Silas explained to me how different his family's lives are now that he is sober and his children and healthy and in school.
"But the best thing I got in rehab is Jesus," he said with the biggest smile ever. "Thank you for giving me Jesus."
And then he explained how, when they moved back home after rehab (Mama Chiri was taking care of his children during that time), that there were NO JIGGERS at the house any more. None. Not even one, he emphasized. "Those jiggers were all Satan's work!" he said without blinking.
We continued visiting about life at the Sifuna house. He's been trying hard to continue finding day jobs. Sometimes he works at our training center (whenever there's a job), but most days, he walks throughout our neighborhood to look for a temp job.
"This week was hard. I didn't find work even one day," he explained. He made it clear that all he is asking of me is if I would keep my ears open about a job in that area.
I was able to send him with some Unga (flour for ugali) and sugar (considered a staple here for chai), and he was very thankful for that. And some bread I had bought yesterday. Unfortunately I didn't have more food with me. But I know Silas wants to work; not get handouts. At the same time, it helps being able to come home with something to feed the kids.
When I drove by his house later in the afternoon, the kids came running. I was thankful from the depths of my heart to see all four looking really good. Kipruto speaks more than before, saying, "Mzuri" (Fine!) with the biggest smile when you ask him how he's doing. Joanna (Jemutai) was sure to use all her 1st grade English on me, and told me that they really like school.
She made sure to tell me "Adele... Pole kwa ghari" (Sorry about your car!). I know she really, really meant it. Here, when one person in the community suffers, so does everyone. People hurt with you!
I picked up Kit, our new intern, from the airport, and headed back to Kipkaren in the rain. The kids here couldn't be more excited about Kit's arrival. He's our first intern this year, and the little ones can't wait to teach him Swahili.
Kit and I joined Allison, Juli, Michelle and some of our Kenyan friends for dinner at David's house, ending the evening with a game of Sequence. (We girls won, just so you know.)
Like almost every single day in Kenya, it was yet another packed day, but a good one... Tomorrow, visitors are coming to my home for lunch. I'm planning on serving lunch in our new gazebo by the river.
Anyone joining us?