Friday, December 07, 2007

Three Musketeers

I was deep in thought this morning, sitting at my make-shift desk (computer on my dresser with a tall bar stool), working on who-knows-what when I saw in the corner of my eye someone plonk down on my living room seat. Mind you, the seat is all of 6 feet from where I was sitting, but I was so intently working on a document that it took me a brief moment to look over.

There sat Solomon with a big grin. "Habari?" I asked.

"Mzuri," he replied, still grinning.

"You didn't say 'hodi.'" I replied kindly.

"Hodi!" (May I come in?) He was still grinning.

"Karibu sana!" And in walked two more friends. They had been delayed since they were taking off their shoes. Solomon, it seems, had a quick entrance since he had been wearing flip-flops. And he was happy to show his two friends a part of the world they had never seen...

So we visited for a while. Collins (in blue) and Dennis (on the right) gazed around at everything. My world is so much different from anything they know... Collins promptly fetched the giraffe carving and read to it.

Solomon, on the other hand, knows the place well. His dad is our director, so he gets to visit places where our other kids don't usually get to go.

"How's Kids' Camp?"

"Fine." Solomon's English is really improving. It's not bad at all for a 5-year-old for whom English is his third language.

The boys paged through some children's books for a while--Solomon knows where I keep the books. What's funny is that he's usually quickly bored by the books when Tovah brings him over to read. However, today, he was the learned one, looking at one book after another while Collins quickly shifted his attention back to his giraffe pet.

The boys posed for a photo before they walked me over to camp. The hall was packed with about 250 kids aged 4 to maybe 14. All throughout the day, the kids were mostly in one big room, listening to stories, singing songs, memorizing verses.

Kids' camp is very different from a big VBS in the US. The children here are much easier to entertain, and to keep in line!

In between various events, groups of children from community churches would get up and perform a number. Or six.

At a stage, they added a microphone and lots of speakers. So much so that I could follow every number back in my home office. As well as the talks in the nearby classroom for the recovering alcoholics. I've gotten used to it, living in a small compound like this where much is happening.

Throughout the day, as I heard them going into a new item on the agenda, I'd walk over and take some photos.

"Adele," some of the boys called me. "Are the children from Ilula still coming next week?"

"You bet!" Ah! I cannot wait to simply watch all the children hang out and visit with their "cousins" next week! I'll take photos, for sure! I bet I'll have a whole slew of visitors in between events during that day. The Ilula kids have been curious to know what my house looks like in Kipkaren. And how Flannel is doing. And if I show the kids here movies, too. (I don't.) Important questions in their world.

As I go to bed on this side of the compound, there are about 100 community kids sleeping in one big room just 100 yards or so away, their mattresses spread out side by side through the entire room.

They have a whole nother day of stories, songs and Bible verses lying ahead tomorrow. I bet the Three Mini-Musketeers will head over this way again for a short visit. But I won't be here. I am taking seven guests to Poa Place for the day.

When I'm back, I'll head up the mountain for our Saturday afternoon service, an outreach to a nearby community who has no church.

Life in Kipkaren is never, ever without new things to do, places to go, or people to meet.

And if you don't go to them, they'll come to you. With a big smile, and maybe some friends in tow.

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