Today, two of us visited Hedaru to talk about integrated farming project with the farming committee. A score of exuberant children waiving branches, a dozen laughing adults, and a brass band met us at the main road through town.
We jumped out of our van and danced our way up to the church with them. What a greeting! They welcomed us “home” to Hedaru, and sent their greetings to our families and to St. Andrew’s Church.
We had chai, which means tea, but really is a small meal of chicken, chapati (flat bread), fruits, and tea. Well, maybe not such a small meal. The tea was made from a local lemongrass and is truly delightful. Next we had a long meeting to talk about the direction the integrated farming project should go next. It takes a while because everything has to be said in two languages. Then we had lunch. Which is a big meal. I am coming home several pounds heavier…
Another fun part of the day (no the meeting was not fun) was the giving of the gifts. St. Andrew’s and my family were very generous, so I delivered a package of school supplies to Grace the school teacher, a package of office supplies to the church secretary (another Grace), a stocking hat to the head of the farmers (yes, pun intended), a hat and reading glasses to our translator Mr. Mtaita, two solar lights to Pastor Zaburi, tea bags and pens to the farmer committee, and a pile of toiletries for Pastor to hand out to the needy.
Hedaru is full of familiar faces after 8 visits. The people are so warm and giving even though they have so many challenges. Relationships are always important to them, and they are never too busy to say hello and give you a hug.
Back to the hotel tonight, for a small dinner. I bought fruit in the market and ate that with a couple of samosas. I will be ready for a more active day tomorrow.
(received around 1pm Saturday, March 11, 2017)