By the time you read this, we will likely have exchanged our view of Victoria's Inner Harbour for a vista that includes palm trees, bougainvillea and the dry grass of the Kakamega golf course in Western Kenya. Instead of being greeted in the morning by the revving engines of float planes and the cries of gulls we will be awoken at dawn by the squawks of the hens, the two turkeys, the goats, the cows and the sheep that live on our compound.
We shall again grow accustomed to walking across the golf course to church, which will be nearly empty at the start of the service but whose congregation will swell to standing room only by the time the thirty minute sermon begins. We shall join in the hymns from Golden Bells with the rhythms that lend themselves so well to African voices and we will also raise our hands to greet visitors and respond Bwana Asifiwe (Praise the Lord.) During the service we will hear the singing of over a hundred children under the huge jacaranda tree.
People will greet us as "Brother" and "Sister" and exclaim: You were so lost! Welcome home! And we will be back in the Diocese of Maseno North, continuing our work for Bishop Simon Oketch. Our Isuzu Trooper with four wheel drive and metal plates bolted to the undercarriage will carry us over the incredibly bad roads to schools and villages. Many of the paths we have
to take are, in fact, dried up stream beds and have never known the benefit of a grader. In one school where Pat visited, the parents spent about four days digging out rocks and smoothing the way so she could drive up the long hill and into the compound.
We are looking forward to savouring the sweet pineapple form Uganda, the huge mangoes and avocados that grow freely. Our friend Arthur in the market will pick out the best pawpaw for us and Lydia next door will let us know when the fresh pears and plums are coming.
The Rotarians in Kakamega and Vihiga will want to know the details of the projects that we are bringing back with us. During our last tour, we selected nine sites for wells and seven of them have been subscribed by Rotary Clubs in North America. Rod will supervise the digging together with a retired Hydro Engineer whose wife will be an agent for the Canadian
Harambee Education Society. The two guys are going to have lots of adventures!
The women's cooperative group that is upgrading the herd to dairy quality thanks to donations from Canada, now has the first kids, born last May. We shall have to visit the 'nursery.' The women will be overjoyed to hear that a Rotary Club in BC, Canada, is hoping to dam a spring and provide water storage for their goats.
Last November Pat taught cooperative games to the 200 Sunday School teachers who attended the annual conference. They have asked for more during this year's conference. It was such a lot of fun last time and they say they are using the games every week.
There will be four classes in Leadership Skills taught to Head Teachers and Pat will introduce the Virtues Project and Positive Discipline to teachers. One school, Ebusyubi, has been selected as a Model School for the diocese and Pat will be visiting often. Their first project has been to draw up an HIV AIDS awareness program and we shall be looking at that, refining it and
making it available to other schools. This school is the only one Pat has seen at the Elementary Level that has a library. They have no power but one solar panel, sufficient to receive BBC schools broadcasts on the radio. We are hoping to begin a correspondence between teachers and children of Ebusyubi and our own Cathedral School.
Rod runs a computer school in the diocese and we are hoping to find computers and books from a container delivery waiting for us when we return. We have had some smart T-shirts made for the instructors. We shall upgrade the school and take computers to High Schools which have
power and wish to begin to teach the curriculum. In addition Rod will begin teaching a basic course in Bookkeeping and we hope this will lead to a computerized accounting course. Although many people wish to learn, the poverty in the area means that even our low priced courses are beyond the reach of many. We have given a few scholarships both for adults and
children, but not as many as we would have liked
We shall be sending our newsletter about once a month and would love to get email from our friends: only caveat is no pictures, please. Since the phone lines are so unreliable and we have to carry our laptop to connect, there can be a delay between receiving your message and the response. firstname.lastname@example.org