Zuri Watoto Wote

My last weekend in Kenya……….

Posted in AIDS Orphans, Gratitude, Kenya, Nyumbani by Lynn Ouellette on 02/09/2012

Following our departure form Nyumbani Village on Saturday morning we drove back to Nairobi and then to Karen and our lodging at the Dimesse Sisters. We had a very long ride partially because we stooped at a worrdcarvers workshop and store but also becuase we got caught in a lot of traffic around Nairobi and arrived back much later than expected. The drive was yet another reminder of how much we appreciated our driver Justus since none of us would want to brave driving in the crazy Kenyan traffic or on the really bad Kenyan roads with crator size potholes and for which speed limits are determined not by signs but rather by enormous speed bumps. Knowing we were going to arrive late, Lloydie called ahead to let Sister Rhoda, the very hospitable and outgoing nun at Dimesse sisters that we would not make it back for lunch. She offered to leave a snack out for us and when we arrived mid afternoon  there was a table set with a full course meal plus some extras treats. She wanted to be sure we got something to eat because we were “doing such good work.”   You just have to love that Kenyan hospitality! And having just come from the village, this was especially a most delicious meal!

Carving a giraffe

We were headed to Nyumbani Children’s Home in the evening for movie night and had to make yet another trip to the local Nakumat to buy popcorn and such but a priority for everyone before that was to take a real well needed shower .  We all seemed to emerge from our showeres slightly euphoric from the feeling of being squeaky clean again! So well groomed and well fed we set off to buy the movie treats and headed to the Children’s Home. In my cottage they were just finishing up with dinner and had to do the after dinner chores. Everyone pitches in with doing the dishes, sweeping, washing the floor, etc. After that was done they all watched the news, broadcast primarily in Kiswahilie, but the older children translated for me. After that we settled into a viewing of “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs” as I dispensed cup after cup of cheese curls and juice baxes amidst a chorus of pleases and thank yous. That was my last evening at the Children’s Home.

Cottage E children cleaning up after dinner--everyone helps out

The plan for the next day, my final day in kenya was to do something fun and relaxing and Lloydie had scheduled us to go to a tea farm for a tour and for a lunch. I have to say that the drive there was quite beautiful and one of the most lush views of Kenyan vegetation. The day was beautiful like every other day, but a welcome bit cooler. As we got closer to the tea farms the view got more and more beautiful.

Fields of tea plants

 

 

We went to the Kiambethu Tea farm in Limuru which has been in existentence since 1910. The original beuatiful house is still there and has been in the same family for four generations. There is a beautiful garden on the property and a preserved section of the original deciduous forest.

Garden at Kiambethu Tea Farm

We began our tour with Fiona, the owner, showing us the original tea plant, now a non-harvasted tea tree, and then taking us inside for tea and telling us much more about the growing of tea as a criop and how it is processed at the local factory.

Fiona and the original tea plant

We then took a walk through the forest with Kamangi who pointed out much of the indiginous vegetation and its medicinal purposes. We met the geese of the fram and the cows who supply the milk for the delicious homemade ice cream.

Kamangi giving us a tour

 

Kiambethu cows

 

Kiambethu geese--they didn't seem that happy to have visitors

The walk was followed by drinks on the veranda and then by a very delicious lunch including fresh salad and vegetables and some of that homemade ice cream amongst other tasty treats for desserts. This was a wonderful thing to do on my final day in Kenya.

The group at the tea farm

Since I would soon be departing when Justus drove us back to our lodging we gave him a special gift for having been such a pleasure to work with and to let him know how much we appreciated him. The rest of the afternoon was spent sorting our 6 duffels of donations plus 4 additional huge duffels that were left by the last group.

Justus gets a thank you gift

 

Deb sorting donated clothing

I must admit that I got a pass for much of this so I could do some packing of my own, but more importantly so I could blog the rest of the time spent at the village since it had become a way for everyone else to be able to share their experiences too. As my bags were packed, the reality of leaving became all too real and the time was drawing nearer for me to head to the airport. I must admit that it was hard to leave since I knew that everyone else would be staying on for at least another week, but I could not be gone any longer from my practice. And it was, of course, especially hard to say goodbye. Though we talked about reuniting in the fall for the annual Nyumbani fund raising gala in D.C. and at least Deb and Lloydie and I were already talking about returning next January, that only softened the sting a little. We had all had this wonderful experience together, knowing that we were making a difference in people’s lives, loving all these adorable children, building relationships with many people, hearing their stories of hardship and loss, being moved to tears and being inspired by all of them to be better, do better, appreciate more….a bonding experience that will keep us forever connected to each other and to the people of Kenya.

 

4 Responses

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  1. sharon said, on 02/10/2012 at 7:10 am

    Thanks for sharing you last blog. I know how much you care and it must have been hard leaving. Most of all coming back to a whole different mindset. These blogs have touched my life in some way I can’t explain. Thank you for all your unselfish kindness to help others. I am sure they will miss you too. Saying goodbye is so hard.

    Like

    • Lynn Ouellette said, on 02/10/2012 at 7:34 am

      You are most welcome! I will continue to write a few more as I have the opportunity even though I am home. It gives me the chance to post more pictures and talk about a few things that I could not get to while we were there. We were incredibly busy while we were there so blogging was always a late night activity and if the internet was slow it was a timeconsuming one. As was true after the last trip I have more photos and more things to say so stay tuned and yiou’ll get to hear about some more!

      Like

  2. Bill said, on 02/10/2012 at 9:18 am

    Fabulous photos.

    Like


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