Eeeeehhhhh, after the initial eeeek moment as the first splashes of cold water hit your warm dry skin, a cold shower under starry Kenyan skies is a real treat at the end of a hot and sunny Sunday. And ‘Yes,’ you would be right in guessing that it’s NOT raining here (I’ve just looked at the BBC UK headlines and seen that the rain is still falling on most of you!) If it wasn’t so tragic for those caught up in the worst extremes you would have to say it’s kind of funny that everyone back home is praying for the rain to stop whilst everyone here is desperate for it to start! To be fair, we haven’t actually started the official rainy season yet and I’m sure many people here will also be praying that they don’t get the volume of rain that they had for their first growing season last year- when the fields became so water logged the new plants simply rotted in the ground.
As many of you will know, after more than ten years of having to be satisfied with just two short visits a year (and sometimes even less than that), God has been kind enough to allow me a second chance to return for a much longer stay. Although we’ve only been back for four days I cannot describe just how good it feels to be here and to have the time to think and to pray before I rush off to ‘fix’ and to ‘do’ the ‘busy stuff!’ Those of you who know me well will know that I am, by nature, much more of a Martha than a Mary (see Luke10:38-42). For everyone else’s sake as well as my own, I am hoping that this will become my season for being more like Mary!
Having said that, a lot of the things that made me so ‘busy’ in my last two short trips do appear to be bearing fruit and the Home feels like the very happy place I remember when the children were all very small (the majority of our children had become teenagers and it was important for us to find positive ways of adjusting to that fact!) I’m hoping that tomorrow we will see the same positive experience in both of the schools. Unfortunately, because of a few personal family issues and the government’s practise of last minute ‘teacher absorption’ (it takes about 5 years for newly qualified teachers to be offered a post in a government/public school) we began the year with four less teachers than we had when the school closed last November. I guess it was what you call ‘a baptism of fire’ for our Head Teacher Madame Josephine – she had only agreed to step into the role at the end of last year! Fortunately she resisted the temptation to run away and, even though she was competing with many other local head-teachers who were facing the same predicament, she was able to successfully recruit replacement teachers before the beginning of the second week. We have already had one day of teacher training with them and are very optimistic about the year ahead.
Tomorrow I’m heading for the ECD Class (the equivalent of a combined nursery and reception class,) without doubt the best and most important class in any school. Though we’ve had some very famous names through our school so far, names like Princess Diana, Vladimir Putin and Will Smith ….. I think tomorrow could top all of them when I finally meet our new children two of whom are little boys called Barak Obama and Fidel Castro! How awesome is that!