After a great day with the Pendo Amani youth organization,
we got to sleep in a bit this morning. We took some extra time to get
everything packed, and then we had a time of worship at 9 AM. Matt, Tori, and
Eric A. led us in great songs reminding us of God’s control over this trip and
the call to share His love with those at home too. We then ate a wonderful brunch
at 10 AM comprising of eggs, chapati, sausage, goat, and PIZZA. The staff at
Hartfield Gardens has been amazing in waking up early to prepare all our food
each day. We got one more chance to say goodbye to Zippy and Daniel at this
time. I have constantly been in awe of their ministry and philanthropy in Kenya,
and I know many of us feel as though we have a second pair of grandparents in
After this, we made our way to the Nairobi airport. We
boarded our flight a bit late and had to push through some rainy weather, but
we made the 5-hour journey from Nairobi to Dubai. I am currently writing this
from Dubai as we wait to board our long 16-hour flight back to Dallas. We have
been enjoying eating fried food (McDonald’s and Shake Shack) for the first time
in 2 weeks at the airport. We are all very tired, but I know I cannot wait to
get off the plane and see my family.
Leaving Kenya was bittersweet. It was such an amazing trip! The people we encountered live drastically different lives than we do, but we found so much joy in singing and dancing together as a community. The phrase “unity in difference” has stuck with me throughout these last 2 weeks. God holds every continent in His hands, and He is present in all of our lives. Although it is important to recognize each individual’s unique identity and struggles, we also believe that we are united together in the Body of Christ, and everyone has a place. Trips like these help us get a broader perspective on God’s creation and how much love He has for all of His children. Personally, I know that I am taking away sense of calling to explore this idea more.
Our morning began much like others this week, with an early
breakfast and preparation of packed sandwich lunches. Today, however, we headed for a destination
not previously visited by a Baylor team: Pendo Amani. Pendo Amani (translated “Love and Peace”) is
a weekend music program for several dozen children in a community near Nairobi,
run Mike Wichira’s band of drummers and dancers who performed for us last
night. This was to be a day full of
teaching and service.
Up to this point, we had encountered very little “western”
or “classical” music, but today we worked with students of violin, flute, guitar,
trumpet, voice, and more. The Pendo
Amani music program owned a number of instruments for the students to use, on
which the leaders provided both private and group instruction. Our task today was to work with as many
students as possible on each of their instruments. The education we have each received in the Baylor
School of Music served us well as we divided into teams to teach our own
instrument or voice part. While many
students were beginners, others showed impressive skill on their instrument and
were able to read music and learn new pieces.
Some team members helped entertain younger children with fun songs and
games. Others worked on instrument
repair, fixing and servicing Pendo Amani’s equipment and donating instruments, spare
parts and method books.
We concluded the day at Pendo Amani with a group celebration
concert. Gathered in the courtyard, we
listened to various presentations, including the students’ violin and cello
rendition of “Blessed Assurance.” To
wish us well on our journey, the leaders invited us into a traditional dance
and chant. Although we wished we had
more time, our day at Pendo Amani was fruitful.
A first for Baylor Music and Missions in Kenya, the large-scale teaching
operation was not without confusion or difficulty, but we were able to connect
with numerous students and lay groundwork for potential future visits. As musicians, we must learn to teach others our
craft, and our visit to Pendo Amani was a wonderful opportunity for us to grow
as musicians and teachers.
To conclude and celebrate our time in Kenya, we enjoyed a
quiet family gathering at the home of our hosts, Zippy and Daniel Sindiyo. We were joined by many members of their
family and several of the safari guides from our visit to the Masaai Mara. The Sindiyo family treated us to a
traditional Kenyan meal of chapati, simosas, watermelon, and more in the front
yard of their beautiful residence.
Although an introspective evening, it was not without many introductions,
gifts (we each received a Masaai blanket), and most importantly, music. Zippy and Daniel shared their gratitude for our
work and told us of exciting things in future of Kenya, particularly the village
of Komolion that we visited last week. As
we boarded the buses there were many goodbyes, some tearful.
Our lodgings at Hartfield Gardens are now a buzz of activity as we prepare to board our plane tomorrow. We must carefully pack paintings and other souvenirs, donate extra items and local currency, and double-check our to-do lists for the return home. Although we are excited to be reunited with friends and family (and perhaps enjoy an enchilada), we are sad to leave Kenya and the friends we have made here. For now, we close our suitcases and get one more night’s rest here in Kenya before a long day of travel tomorrow…
We kicked off our beautiful Friday
morning with a two-hour bus ride to Kajado. Our first stop took us to Priscilla’s
school. This school was founded specifically for girls seeking to escape female
genital mutilation (FGM) and arranged child marriages. As we arrived, the
students were singing “Injili,” one of the songs our team has sung throughout Kenya
during our trip, to welcome us. It was beautiful. We performed a concert for
them and handed out school supplies to each student, each one smiling as they
walked away with their hands and hearts full. The team had tea and mndazi (a Kenyan
pastry) with the teachers, and we loaded up the busses once again.
A short drive later, we arrived at
the AIC (African Inland Church) Disabled school. We took a tour of the
facilities with a man named Moses; he took us through the rooms where they put
together wheel chairs and prosthetics for students who need them. He also
explained how they help educate and rehabilitate each child that comes into
their care. He obvious passion and concern for them was truly inspiring. As we finished
the tour, the kids gathered outside with their teachers and a few of the
parents for our concert. While singing, I was overcome by the immense joy that
flowed from each of their faces; it reminded me that music has so much more power
than we tend to give it credit for. Their unbridled joy encourages me to keep
going, to keep chasing after God, to keep making music, if only to make a
single person feel the way each of those little kids did today. After the music
finished, we blew bubbles and played with them for a short while. It was honestly
the most fun I’ve had all trip. So much joy, y’all!
Time catching up on us, we walked
down the street to the final stop of the day, the AIC Girls School. The matrons
prepared an amazing lunch for the team before we met up with the students outside
for out third performance of the day. We sang songs for them both in English
and Swahili before presenting the school with a plaque from the Center for Christian
Music Studies at Baylor. A group of AIC students then came up and performed
music for us, to share the gift of music back with us. They were a super
talented group of young women. The group of performers is actually the official
AIC girls music group that competes on a national level; we wish them the best
luck as they compete at national contest this upcoming Tuesday! After they
performed, we handed out school supplies to all 720 girls. Shout-out to the amazing
student leaders on our team that kept that process super organized!
We loaded the busses once again to
drive back to Karen once we said our goodbyes. I wish I could give you a story
or funny anecdote from the drive, but I slept the entire time and have zero
regrets. I ended up thanking Tori-in-the-past for sleeping on the way home, because
we immediately joined a drum circle led by Mike Wachira upon returning to our accommodations.
The drum circle wasn’t us sitting around watching them perform or simply doing
some interactive rhythmic exercises. Nope, it was more like “Jazzercise: Kenya
Edition.” We were jumping and singing and dancing and trying not to have an asthma
attack in the corner as these beautiful people led us in song and dance
centered around the djembe. I’m pretty sure most of us did more cardio in the
few hours we spent with them than most of us do in an entire year. It was ridiculously
fun! 10/10, would dance again, even though it was way out of my comfort zone.
That seems to be a theme on this trip though. Many of the things we’ve done while in Kenya, whether waking up at an ungodly hour, eating food that we can’t pronounce, singing in a choir when we’re in school to play in an orchestra, building a relationship with a stranger in a village when you’re the mascot for team introvert, or dancing like a fool in front of a group when the good Lord blessed you with two left feet and no rhythm… all of these things are so far from comfort in so many different ways. Yet I have seen God display His glory through every single one of them. Twelve days ago, I couldn’t tell you why I was boarding a plane to go to Africa. All I knew was God said go, so I went. But now as we edge closer to the end of this journey, I see Jesus in my discomfort. God meets me in my places of greatest vulnerability, and frankly, greatest weakness, and shows up in a mighty way. Yep, I looked like a complete idiot dancing tonight, but I can’t remember the last time I laughed like that. I am far from a morning person, but the sunrises I’ve seen in this breathtaking country have left me in awe once again of my amazing creator. I cherish every second we’ve spent here in Kenya, and I’m grateful to God for the uncomfortable.
After a good night’s rest at the
Hartfield Gardens, we ate a full breakfast including samosas and sausages and
various hot beverages. We loaded the buses and headed to our first shopping experience
of the day: Amani Ya Juu. Amani Ya Juu is a non-profit organization that employs
primarily refugee women – they provide them with fabric skills and techniques
to empower themselves. As a result, these women learn how to make items such as
placemats, various apparel, accessories, bedding, and even paper bound
When we arrived at Amani Ya Juu, we
were greeted with a big smile by one of the head workers, Maggie. Maggie
informed us that Amani Ya Juu allows women to, “touch and spread (empowerment)
because they don’t want to keep it for themselves.” As our team followed Maggie
and ascended three flights of stairs to the fabric workroom, we were greeted by
the sound of beautiful voices. There were about 30 women in the workshop who
greeted our team through swaying, clapping, and singing a song that resounded celebration
and hope. There wasn’t a single person on the team who couldn’t help but smile
and clap along to their joyous melodies.
Amani Ya Juu translates to “Peace from
Above.” That phrase resonated into every aspect from its facilities to its
people. We learned about where some ladies were from and their names: Beatrice (Kenya),
Betty (Kenya), Janet (Rwanda), Alice (Kenya), and so many more. What brings all
these women together is the strength within their differences.
Amani Ya Juu impressed me with the
impact that their imagery and words can have on their community. At the back of
the fabric workroom there was a mural that was captioned, “pamoja tunabadilishwa.”
This translates to “together we are transformed.” It included four colors that each
corresponded to different meanings: red (blood of jesus), yellow (materials),
blue (socialize) and green (environment). The blood of Jesus is evident in the each
of the women at Amani Ya Juu. Their faith is the top priority before all other
things. It is through the blood of Jesus that they put their heart and soul
into the materials use so that we can partake in their community. In engaging
with their community, we are cultivating an environment that not only is
sustainable but is also impactful to rest of the world.
Throughout the remainder of the
Amani Ya Juu tour and shopping, our team was so moved by all the women who make
the organization what it is today. Each
product takes so much more time than you would think. Most of the items our
team purchased from the store took anywhere from a couple of days to a couple
of weeks to create. Each item is created by one woman, whom then tags the item
with both her name and country she comes from. Our time at Amani Ya Juu was
filled with music making and sharing to both the women from the shop and visitors
from all over the world. It’s amazing what a song can do to bring people
together. The women encouraged us to continue singing our songs up until it was
time for us to leave for Kazuri Beads.
Kazuri Beads was our last, but not
least, shopping experience for our mission team. When we arrived there, we were
given time to shop before heading on the tour of their facilities. One production
room lead to another as we saw the raw materials to the final product:
beautifully handcrafted glass-finished beads. Like Amani Ya Juu, we shared our
music to the women of Kazuri Beads. The women danced and sang along to our
songs like, “Injili,” “Baraka Za Mungu” and “Hakuna Mungu.” Almost every stop
along the tour we sang and shared music with the women at Kazuri Beads.
Throughout most of today I wondered what we could possibly give these women in exchange to their tangible items they’ve spent innumerable hours creating. The answer is what happened at the end of the Kazuri Beads tour. Our team was finishing up singing, “Baraka Za Mungu” on the last stop of the tour. The ladies in the room next door happened to hear us and we could hear an uproar of cheering and praising. Before we knew it we ended up next door singing more songs with the women in the next room. In no time, our whole team ended up dancing and experiencing music that the women chose to share with us. I may never know how to sow a quilt or create a beautiful work of handcrafted clay jewelry. However, I know that God works in mysterious ways and today he was revealed in the music we shared with women we met at Amani Ya Juu and Kazuri Beads. Today I learned that it is not about what you can give but what you can take away. I took away a glimpse of the everlasting joy and peace that prayerfully one day all of us will experience together in heaven with our heavenly father.
Today we finished up our days on safari in the Maasai Mara
and headed back to Hartfield Gardens in Karen. The day began with a lot of
excitement as we embarked on our final game drive.
Throughout our safari, I was struck by how quickly the tables
can turn when it comes to nature. We started out without too much excitement or
too much going on, but toward the end of the drive we came upon some giraffes
who were being watched by several other safari vans. Little did we know that the
main spectacle was actually a group of about 8 lions that were moving about the
area. First, we saw a few juvenile male lions playfully interacting and then we
spotted more and more lions patrolling the area. Once the giraffes started
running away, we realized that the lions were on the hunt.
Not long before our van had arrived in this area, we had had
a scary moment with a very steep trench on one of our turns. It wasn’t until we
were surrounded by a pride of hungry lions that we realized that we had a flat
tire! We were shocked as our driver exited the vehicle to investigate the
situation in spite of the many animals around. The other drivers nearby also came
to help out in changing the tire.
One thing we had been taught on the safari was that when we
are in the vans, the animals don’t see us as humans but rather as a part of the
vans. Because of this we are only in danger if we exit the vehicle, at which
point the animals see us as intruders and will attack. We watched in the vans as
our drivers fearlessly walked around the vans in the midst of the pride of
hunting lions. Many of us grew worried as we saw that the lions had lined up
and were clearly looking in our direction while several of them had even begun
to walk down the path toward us. One van shouted to their driver, alerting him of
what was happening. The drivers collectively laughed and finished fixing the
van. Finally, all the drivers returned to their vans and we zoomed off. While
we were not able to see the lions carry out the hunt, we were glad that we didn’t
become the hunted…
After this eventful final game drive, we headed back on a
lengthy bus ride to Nairobi. While this wasn’t the most eventful experience, it
did give us a lot of time to further deepen our relationships within our teams
as well as to reflect on what we experienced during our safari. Later in the
evening we shared more time as a community, dinner, and our nightly reflection
time. One member of our team, Austin Rabon, talked about what he had learned about
fear from our drivers today. He spoke about how often we live in fear: fear of
the future, of if we will get a job, of how things will turn out, etc. but that
“if the drivers can change a tire in the middle of a pride of lions, I think we
are going to be okay.”
As we wrapped up our safari and are nearing the end of our
time in Kenya, I am filled with gratitude about the experience we have had
here. We have developed deep friendships and a community within our team. We
have experienced a multitude of facets of Kenyan culture. We have grown in
patience, in teamwork, in flexibility, and most importantly in empathy for people
of all walks of life. In our safari, we were able to see God’s creation in all
its grandness and all its detail. We saw how animals, like humans, live in diverse
community and connection with each other and with God, the creator and
sustainer of life.
I am thankful for today and for the new things it revealed to us about ourselves, creation, and God and I look forward to the ways we will continue growing toward God together in our final days in Kenya.
We awoke at 5:45am for a very early morning game drive. On
this game drive we saw a beautiful sunrise as we drove through the Maasai Mara
and quite a few animals including: a large pack of hyena, eight or nine
elephants, gazelles, zebras, topi, and a cheetah near the end of the drive. The
cheetah was sitting perfectly still for a few minutes while it was stalking a
heard of gazelles about a hundred yards away in the brush. Then the cheetah
started moving slowly towards the herd and started running full speed into the
brush where we lost sight of it and we do not know if it successfully caught a
gazelle. After that eventful drive we returned to Fig Tree Camp for a delicious
breakfast. The menu had Spanish potatoes, French toast, pancakes, sausage, and omelets.
We were very thankful for the wonderful meal after our early drive and we were
excited for the next part of our day.
after breakfast we went to visit a Maasai village that is on the edge of the Maasai
Mara. We met the village chief and a few young men, whom would be our guides to
the village and answer all our questions. We then walked roughly one kilometer
to the village. Our guides were about twenty years old and they spoke English well,
which I learned that they had studied at a university in Kenya to learn about
more cultures and languages. Along the way we learned how the Maasai use different
trees and plants, such as a tree that they use to clean their teeth. When we
arrived at village the men and women came out and sang a song to welcome us.
The song included a call and response and the men sang in low grunts that is
special to the Maasai people. We then entered the village and the women sang two
songs to us: one of welcoming to their village and the other was well-wishing
for us and wishing for the women in our group to “bear many children”. The
Maasai believe that having many children is a sign of wealth that will benefit
the village in the future.
of the village was a circle with all of the homes on the edges and space for
the livestock in the middle of the village. The Maasai livestock mostly
includes cattle, goats, and chickens. After the welcoming song from the women
the men sang another song and then showed us how high they could jump. Jumping
is very important for the men in the Maasai tribe because it is a sign of peak
physical fitness. The man who jumps the highest is respected and may choose his
girlfriend(s) and/or wives (this community practices polygamy) and he pays a
discounted bridal price. Then we were shown how they make fire in the village
using dry elephant dung as kindling and using a stick made from a sandpaper
tree and a block of red cedar to catch the dung on fire using friction. Next,
we were given a tour of a home in the village. The home was rectangular and
made of wood and dry cow dung. It was very spacious compared to the homes in
Komolion, with a main room for cooking and bed, a guestroom, a room for the
children and a space for small animals during the night. After touring the home,
we looked at their market that is connected to the village and they had some
We finished by singing Injli and
Baraka za Mungu for the Maasai people. Once we started singing in Swahili the
people were surprised, which caused them to smile and join in dancing and
singing with us. We then walked back to Fig Tree to enjoy some downtime. It was
a blessing to join in with these people in song and dance and praise the Lord
in a different language and with a different culture.
We later left for another game drive and although very tired at this point, we really enjoyed seeing some giraffes within arm’s reach of the safari vans and another pride of lions. We have been incredibly thankful to see such a beautiful part of God’s creation that is this wonderful game park.
This morning we woke up early for one more wonderful
breakfast at the Tocco’s compound. We are so grateful to them for opening their
home to us. At 6:30 AM we started the journey to the Maasai Mara. We packed
ourselves into small vans in order to go on the rocky journey there. It was a
long ride, but we were constantly amazed by the beautiful Kenyan scenery. We
drove by mountains as well as green grass and trees that we would never see in
When we got
to the gate leading us into the Maasai Mara, we were overwhelmed with women
determined to sell us things through the windows of our vans. The journey was a challenge, but after a
while the long, hard ride began became worth it when we began to see the
animals: giraffes, zebras, elephants, gazelles, buffalo, and even more. There
were so many of them, each uniquely magnificent. Upon arrival at the lodge, we
were hospitably greeted by a staff ready to feed us a late lunch, as we were
very hungry. We were then shown to our rooms, which are more like tents that
sit alongside a water bank. My favorite part is looking out at the hippos
visible from our tents. We believe that they will be our alarm clocks tomorrow
God has definitely made Himself known through the hospitality of the people we have met on this trip. In addition to this, however, God has made His power known through creation, being ever present in nature. Throughout the busyness of everyday life as students, we often neglect opportunities to go outside and see the beauty of nature. Each plant and animal here has its own place and unique way of being. I am reminded of Psalm 8, when the author ponders why God would care so much for humankind when He has created such marvelous things. I also think of Romans 1:20, where Paul states that God’s power is shown so clearly in creation that we are without excuse not to believe in Him. It is biblical that we can experience God through observing what He has made. Personally, I have been pondering how this applies to my own ministry. Since God is the Creator and we are made in His Image, we are also blessed with the ability to be creative. As musicians, we believe that creating great music communally is a way of glorifying God with this ability. Going abroad, we can see how music breaks down barriers and brings people together in worship. We look forward to making more music and observing the wonders of creation more tomorrow!
Today we started the day by going to the Sunday service at CuCu’s
church. They greeted us with singing in Swahili and we joined in as best we
could. We learned the tunes and the dances they performed, and it honestly felt
silly at first to be dancing, jumping, and singing with the local people very
loudly. But it eventually didn’t feel that way; it felt joyful and happy and I
felt God’s presence all the same. I realized that if God lets us feel peace and
joy and happiness when we worship, then feeling silly and being able to laugh
in worship is something that God wants us to feel too. After all, God does have
a sense of humor. While I was warming up to this way of worship, I appreciated
that the best worship is whatever worship brings you closer to God, and I am growing
closer to God by singing and dancing with new people.
The sermon was also powerful because it was very honest and relatable.
We talked about pizzas, the boogie man, and how to catch a monkey with a glass
bottle. First, to be fulfilled is not to have more things or to always get the
newest and greatest thing, but to be grateful for the things God has already
given you, which is similar to eating only two slices of pizza and feeling good
after instead of two whole pizzas and feeling very bad afterwards. The second
point made was that when we were growing up as kids, we were scared that the
boogie man or whatever monster you can think of would come get us, but
eventually we realized that the boogie man wasn’t coming because he isn’t real.
But God IS NOT the boogie man! Just because God’s judgement does not come immediately
does not mean that he isn’t there, and we should not give into whatever is
tempting us just because his judgement is not immediately apparent to us. Lastly,
you probably haven’t ever tried this, but to catch a monkey, you put food in
the bottom of a glass bottle, and when they reach in and grab the food, they
cannot pull their hand out with the food because they won’t fit, and then you have
caught the monkey because the monkey will not drop the food. When we give into
temptation and grab onto whatever it is that looks so good in that moment, the only
way for us to get free is by dropping the beautiful poison we have found and ask
God to guide our hearts and hands instead.
We closed the service with more songs and prayers and
following the service we went to CuCu’s house to celebrate her 94th
birthday! We ate and we sang and danced some more in celebration of CuCu’s long
and beautiful life. In the evening we returned to the Tocco’s campus where we
ate and sang a full concert with the Lake Nakuru Choir. After all the dancing
and singing, I can say that I got my steps in for the day.
Today was a beautiful and exhausting day. It was surprising and awesome to get to see firsthand how God, love, and joy are the same in every person all around the world. Dr. Zeiss got to say a few words at the beginning of today’s service that I think summed today up very well: “There is no man or woman, Christian or Jew, Kenyan or American; we are one in Christ.”
Today was our last morning in Marigat. As we ate breakfast
outdoors, we enjoyed the company of some beautiful birds and curious monkeys. Our
breakfast was cut short due to some buzz going around. An army of bees took
over our delicious breakfast that consisted of eggs, butternut squash, cereal, bread,
honey, and bananas. We decided to be charitable people and shared some of our
breakfast with the bees.
As we headed south, we stopped on the side of the road to
buy some watermelons and local honey. We made another stop as we passed the
equator. Many of our teammates returned to the small shops at the equator with
improved bargaining skills. Vendors in these shops expect customers to bargain.
People got great deals and even traded items such as rain ponchos and a calculator
for small souvenirs.
Before we left the equator, we had an impromptu performance
for the vendors. After singing a couple of songs for them, they sang for us in
return. “Mungu ni mwema” (“God is good”) was the last song they sang for us as
they sent us off.
God is good
God is kind
There is no one else like God.
Thank you God for these visitors.
They have been good to us.
Bless them as they go.
I am blown away by the instant connection that can be
sparked by music. When our team sings songs like Baraka Zu Mungu, we do not
sing it for the people, we sing it with the people. They join us as we sing,
and dance and our performance is transformed into a joint celebration. We may
not be able to hold a conversation or spend much time together, but for those brief
moments none of that matters because we are one in song and spirit.
After a long bus ride, we finally arrived back at the Tocco’s
where we enjoyed a relaxing afternoon. We enjoyed tea, coffee, and good
fellowship in the beautiful gardens. Some of us took advantage of the beautiful
weather and breathtaking view to do yoga overlooking the majestic hills and
valleys. Others had lots of fun playing frisbee in the open field as the sun
was setting. We were very blessed by the delicious dinner that was prepared for
us tonight. We had Chapati with beef, cheese, lettuce, tomato, and guacamole as
toppings. You could say that the chapati was used as a tortilla. We decided to
call this meal, “Ken-Mex Tocco tacos”.
Tonight was another bittersweet night for our team. We have
had the joy of having John Wheatley and Dr. Bradley with us for the first part
of our trip. Both of them will be on their way back to Waco tomorrow morning.
We spent the remainder of our evening saying our farewells and thanking them
for their tremendous leadership. We reflected on the gratitude we have for the Bradley’s
commitment to their ministry in Kenya. This ministry is a product of patience,
consistency, and great love.
As the vibrant Kenyan sunrise overlooked our cleaned and refreshed
faces, the students and adults got ready for our final day at Komolion,
starting with a hearty breakfast of sausage, eggs, wheat, cereal, tapioca, and
fresh fruit. The breakfast tent was buzzing with excitement over getting to
visit our newly-made friends again. The busses then made their way back to the village
as a cappella renditions of “Great are You, Lord” echoed from some of the
seats. We even made a brief stop to get a good look at three ostriches
on the side of the road.
The team received just as warm a welcome as yesterday once
we got to the village. While a small group of team members began to set up the
medical clinic and a room for distributing baby clothes to mothers, the
remainder spent a joyful time exchanging songs with the village people.
Everyone was so pleased to see the children in their new clothes, especially the
beautiful new dresses we had brought yesterday. We want to thank Cindy Sterling
and her team of women from all over the United States for making over 300
dresses for our mission in Komolion.
Once the clinic and baby clothes room had been set up, families
began lining up to visit them. making a line behind doors as the play team began
their task of occupying the children so that their mothers could visit those
two places. Using the supplies the play team brought for the children, everyone
joined in on playing an intense game of soccer, blowing bubbles, skipping rope,
and playing some singing games. A group of our Baylor students even had an
attempt at a beginning music theory class, using solfege hand signs and a staff
drawn in the dirt. Later this evening, so many of our team commented on how they
saw so much joy being exchanged amongst the students and Baylor team. Meanwhile,
the medical team, composed of three Kenyan nurses, one Kenyan doctor, and our
own Lisa Monsivais saw over 200 patients from Komolion and other nearby
villages. The most common treatments were for hookworm, ringworm, conjunctivitis,
and urinary tract infections. We are so thankful that the Komolion Human Development Fund was able to supply the
medical supplies needed for this clinic.
After a successful morning, we were served once again with
freshly cooked goat (which a couple of people compared in taste and texture to
brisket) and chapati, with watermelon for dessert. The group then went to
explore the shore of the nearby Baringo Lake, skipping rocks and taking in the
view of the peaceful water against the trees standing amidst it. Once we
returned to the village center, the children sang for us. The Komolion women,
clothed in their celebrational regalia, then sang songs of praise. According to
Zippy and Daniel, one song’s lyrics translated to “God is good, isn’t He?” They
then invited Dr. Bradley and Dr. Dowd to dance with them, as the children and Baylor
team cheered them on. After an enthusiastic applause, the Baylor team was then
invited to sing some of our songs. As we sang, the clouds began to gather and a
cool wind began to blow. God’s presence was stronger than ever as we finished
our time by singing “Injili” together with our newly-made friends.
All too soon, it was time to say our goodbyes and gather
onto our busses to drive back to the hotels. As rain began to fall, we shared many
a handshake and a high-five. The children again followed us for the better part
of a mile as we departed for the last time, some of them repeating lyrics from “The
Coconut” or “Baba Yetu” as we waved back.
We had time to relax at our hotels before a delicious dinner
of goat, chicken, chapati, lentils, greens, fresh fruit, and sodas for dessert!
We then had reflection time, sang for our friends at Kefri (which they then
reciprocated by teaching us some new dance moves!) and turned in for a good
night’s sleep before a long day of travel tomorrow.
As we reflect on this bittersweet day of goodbyes, we are struck
by our unity in our difference, and have grown so much to appreciate the way
our Komolion friends live and interact with each other and nature. We have so
much respect for the culture we have seen the last two days, and our own joy is
simply a reflection of the joy we experienced on the faces of the Komolion people