Friday, March 21, 2008

Very Good Friday

Yesterday was one of those odd ELI days. Up early. Meeting with colleagues regarding options for a family in the neighborhood. Presented training on photography and writing to Ilula staff. Drove to town. Met with another colleague to pick out light fittings for our new guest housing in Kipkaren. Fought my way through crazy Eldoret traffic (2 trucks seemed to have broken down on the main road, and the first heavy rains of the season fell, causing more chaos.) Drove the 90-minute (that's honestly how long it takes to cover all of 37 miles between town and the village) journey back home, visiting with a Kenyan friend.

I love the conversations you end up having while driving. Because all parties are distracted by the drive and not sitting knee-to-knee, I've had the most profound conversations with people on the road to and from town. About culture. About the reality of being Christ's followers. About politics. Because for the past 6 months or so, you can't get away from talking about politics in Kenya.

By the time we turned off the main road, my friend and I were welcomed by the first real mud of the rainy season. Going through the second dip on the way to our village, the car was fish-tailing. And no, it doesn't mean I was going fast at all. The mud just does stuff like that to your car after heavy rains. I slowed down even more as we approached villagers on the side of the road, careful not to baptize them in mud.

We unloaded the car and headed straight to our meeting hall. I had to set up to show a movie after our Easter party. We had goat and rice and chicken. And soda. Because no party in this part of the world is complete without several crates of soda. I try to avoid the sodas. I'd rather save the calories for good stuff. Like chocolates. Which never gets served at functions. Kenyans aren't big on chocolates. Which means we're celebrating Easter today without a single Easter egg. But that's another story.

A party is not complete without several speeches, either. "Now, we need to move a vote of thanks," the headmaster of our school announced formally. One after the other, representatives of each department was called to talk. Some, like the communications department (that would be me), took all of a minute to speak. Others started with "I don't have much to say" and progressed to give the lengthiest of speeches, commenting on everything from the music I had played, to going back to 1992 and talking about the bag of fertilizer he had gotten as a gift that year. (The Kenyan staff had all gotten a bag of fertilizer and some seed maize as a thank-you from ELI earlier in the week.)

So, no fewer than 10 speeches later, I showed the staff some photos I took in Ethiopia, and then those who weren't heading out for the weekend stayed and watched The Passion of the Christ.

Jesus' death and resurrection will never loose its power!

Though today's a national holiday, it seemed much like any other Friday around the compound. I was asked to help with some computer issues, which ended up taking several hours. But I did bake dinner rolls, just to make the day somewhat special. The agricultural students have asked to watch The Passion again tonight, but I've decided to show it to them tomorrow instead so I can combine it with showing the kids a movie in the afternoon. Because the kids have asked, too, to see a movie.

Tonight, rather than show movies, I'm going to try and finish one more book from my class reading list. Better get started on the reading!


  1. No Easter eggs, not much chocolate but Jesus is the same everywhere!