Sunday, July 26, 2015

Bush Log Part 2

A few more pictures that help tell the story from Part 1 of my Bush Log Blog. If you missed it click here to read it first.
Beginning the walk to the farm with a post on my head!

Sweet little baby,
 wrapped tightly, even though it is hot!
Being held up as we cross back over. Only up to my knees in
this spot, but you can see I am much shorter than the average Turkana! 

Bush Log Part 2 and Updates:

After a long week of waiting, we now have an answer. The bull is not coming. Apparently it was getting tired and very uncooperative and the story we heard was that they just let it go out in the bush somewhere. Wow. 

The wedding must take place today, since the groom is the school headmaster and there is a sports competition this week that he is presiding over. Sounded perfectly logical to me as they explained it and told us that a camel was being slaughtered as a substitute for the no show bull!

Unfortunately it is Sunday and that means that there may be no one at church here. So we head out even further into the bush to another village that I have never been to before and won’t remember the name. We stop by the pastor’s house to pick him up and also load many of his kids into the back seat of the truck. They tell me the church isn’t far, so I don’t even bother to count or worry about how many are riding back there!

I love bush church. I love the simple act of worship, sitting in the sand, hearing the drum and pure voices singing, and sharing the word of God. This time it is in a smaller than usual shelter with a door size opening on one side and a larger opening at one end. It is not a hot day and actually looks like it might rain again, so I don’t mind being a little more closed in. We all sit in the sand and I take a position where I can lean my back against one of the upright posts. I sit on my mat and soon the kids are all crowded around me.

I loose track of the time and it is just beautiful. However, I almost begin to cry when I see a girl in the choir stumble and nearly fall as they enter. I realize she has limited use of her arm and leg. It wasn’t just that the smaller kids feet were in the way, but it was difficult for her to maneuver into the tight space and through the sand as they were dancing and singing. As I hold back my tears and think how hard life in this harsh condition must be for her, she just keeps smiling and dancing and singing. She is so happy to be there with the others worshiping God. What a blessing God has shown me today!

By the time the service ends, my mat is covered with kids and I am pushed to the very edge. I have to find my shoes, since some of the kids have been  playing with them. We take some of the kids back to the pastor's house and another lady rides part of the way back to the other village with us.

As we pass the wedding site, it looks like it is in full dance mode now, but I need a bathroom and some food, before going to a wedding. So we head back to the house. My food is done quickly and I am ready to go, however, the food the crew makes usually takes longer and unfortunately by the time we return to the wedding, not much is taking place. I believe the food is being prepared and much of the dancing is done now.I was almost happy to get to just go back to the house and rest. Later that week, we did benefit from the wedding and I was able to try camel for the first time. It is much better than goat, as it tastes less "gamey" and  more like pork.

(To read more about a wedding I attended last fall click here and go to the middle of the blog to the section labeled "Cultural learning at a Turkana Wedding".)
Looks like a lot!

The days begin to run together and drag now and I am ready to be home. I finish washing and drying my Moringa leaves and have them packaged to take back to Lodwar to crush and use.

Crushing the leaves. 

All those leaves and this is all I got. Need to plant more moringa!


I collect goat dung to take back. Of course every front porch needs a sack of manure on it, right? It will be used for fertilizer when I plant moringa trees, water melon, more sunflowers and other medicinal plants. 

I do not go back across the river and I am thankful for that. Last night hard rains kept me awake and moving my mattress for a few hours to avoid the drips and blowing spray. The guys head off to the farm and easily across the river, but apparently upriver from us there was much more rain and after they got across and part way to the farm, someone yelled to them that the river was rising. They hurried back and started crossing, but it kept getting higher and higher and at one point it was up to their necks. 

Back at the house we are given the news that the river is rising and the guys are coming back. I say a prayer and it is another hour or so before we see them, but one is missing. He is still on the other side, since he was farther ahead of them and hadn’t heard the report or turned back. I am worried, but they say, he would be ok and someone else will cross with him later. I sure hope so. A few hours later here he comes, with a smile on his face. He is always smiling and laughing and I am scolding the guys for leaving him. He doesn’t seem to care, but I know we are all glad to see him return safely today.

More rain overnight on our last night here and I am praying for dry roads and a smooth trip back to town. As we pack to leave, many vegetables and watermelon are loaded into the trucks to be transported and sold in town. It is really amazing to see this much food being produced in the middle of the desert. God is so good. 

He has also blessed us with an easy trip back to town, dry roads and no water on the concrete bridge, but wow has the wet sand and debris built up on the up river side. I really hope they built it well and it will be there for many years to come. 

Being home means ice cubes, cold drinks, a nice bed, happy cats and reconnecting with the world. As usual I send a message so everyone who has prayed knows we made it back safely. Thanks for all the prayers. 


First Moringa planted after my bush log trip. 
Round basins for watermelon
 and more sunflowers in between. 
My moringa continue to flourish in my yard with a good percent of the seeds sprouting. Just planted more last week and they are looking good. The watermelon and sunflowers are also popping through the neem leaves used as “Gods blanket” (like a natural mulch to help hold in the water).

Unfortunately, the concrete bridge at Kerio did not make it. So sad to hear this and to drive over the remains stuck down in the sand as we crossed that area on the last trip out.
More moringa growing

"On" the window, watching for me!
Ali and Bonnie always miss me, but are well fed (more than usual) by the guards who take care of them while I am away!

Fourth of July Celebration
Celebrated 4th of July with teammates, interns and visitors! I miss holidays and am glad this all worked out. We all ate and ate and ate and laughed and laughed at stories about our lives up here!
Putting the top on. 

The "car shade" (car port) is done now and Katy has a nice cool place to park!

Lake Turkana
Stations of the Cross
At the top of the hill. 
Playing Tourist in Lodwar: by going to Lake Turkana,  seeing the paintings of the stations of the cross at one of the catholic churches and climbing up the hill behind the diocese to see the "concrete Jesus". What a view of Lodwar! 

View of Lodwar, toward our houses

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