Thursday, May 15, 2014

May 12, 2014

Family and friends,

We had a one of a kind week last week.  Most of our appointments got
bounced, which is very difficult since we then have to think of
somewhere to be on the spot.  Because of the rains that have come our
appointments and our backups just bail on us.

Nevertheless, we had fun.  Of course it was great talking to my family
on the phone.  Fastest hour of my life.

One of the elders I work with has a really short
temper, and though he is not one to yell or get all rambunctious when he is upset, the things he says sometimes just are funny.  We have a lot of trying and difficult times here, and sometimes it gets to him when people try to take advantage of us because we are white or when kids will not leave us alone.  It all got to be a little overboard the other day when some kids were yelling at us.

Scene: a long uphill road coming back from a 2-3 mile bike ride to the
sticks to see a member.  Bikes: the other elder's bike does not change
gears, my bike only has one pedal.

Story: After a decent lesson, the rains were coming, so we were
hauling it back to town.  I say hauling, but there are a lot of hills, so we were slow.  About halfway up the last big hill (the only paved road on the whole journey) we decided to get off and walk since the
rain and mud were too much.  They would've destroyed our white shirts if we kept riding (happened many times before).  As we got off to walk, about 8children, all boys, start walking up to us saying (partly Swahili,
partly broken English) "Hey white guys, give us money!"  "Give me your
bike!"  This is not a strange thing at all.  Usually we just tell them
no, or "Nyamaza" (be quiet).  But today was a hard day.  I told them
to be quiet (in Swahili) but they just didn't shut up.  So my buddy used his time-tested intimidation method of taking off his belt (the kids get beaten by their dads so they usually get scared) but they didn't run away as fast as usual.  Here comes the crazy part.  With my friend you can never tell how much he is bothered by his facial
expressions alone, since he doesn't have any, but you can definitely tell by what he says.  He takes off his belt, and in a very firm and direct voice says "Unataka kufa?"  Which is to say "Do you want to

WOAH elder, don't worry about them!

But it isn't as bad as it sounds, and I guess you would not understand
that until you got into the culture, but I was really surprised.  As we were walking away, the kids kept saying "Mzungu, I'll beat you!" So I turned around and said "What?"  And stopped walking.  They booked it!  That is the last time they bothered us.  I guess you gotta do what you gotta do!  I was surprised, but no worries, none of us are
perfect!  But most of us are really funny! Like my companion that day. That
guy is absolutely hilarious.

Also, an investigator of ours accidentally SMS'ed us a booty call that
was very much intended for someone else he knew.  It was quite
detailed.  We dropped him.

Karibu Kenya, karibuni kwetu.

I love all y'all!

Elder Dick

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