By Fred Hegele, Board of Directors
So, what Saturday morning in Nanyuki, Kenya does not begin at The Market?
Carol Erickson is the supreme market host. The mission team didn’t need to shop for the Imara family, because the moms now do the food shopping each Saturday with the matrons. They are able to negotiate much better prices without the visible presence of “American” money and gives Carol and Sandy some freedom on Saturdays.
The Market is fascinating. Thousands of sellers and buyers carry out this important food distribution function of life. The displays of agricultural produce on the ground or on makeshift racks are simply beautiful. This year the extra rains are providing bountiful beauty and ample supplies.
I have not witnessed the pre-dawn arrival of the tons and tons of tomatoes, peppers, onions, bananas, greens, potatoes, and more on motorcycles, donkey carts, hand carts, and heads, shoulders, arms of sellers, but maybe some Saturday I will rise early and indulge.
These people work hard. Most of the sellers are women and they know how to negotiate. While there are stores in town where price tags are evident, commerce here is largely person-to-person establishment of price through negotiation. I find it fascinating to observe Carol and Sandy exhibit their skills in spite of the supreme disadvantage of their American aura of means.
Back at the Imara House, we are warmly greeted by all. The kids take a bit of time to warm to the vaguely familiar visitors from prior years, but by the end of the day we are again all one happy family. It is a beautiful gift from God that we have this distant, but intimate, loving relationship with each other. This is the reason we are called to return here again.
We enjoyed a bit of Christmas after the moms officially welcomed us with song and dance.
It seems that British friend Kim, who returned to London with the military last spring, sent bags of gifts for each and every mom and child. Sent several weeks ago, the gifts somehow got hung up in Customs and just arrived this week. So the good Lord provided this Mission Team with the unique Nanyuki Christmas experience in late January. Remarkably, the kids, one-by-one watched and waited for their turn to open their treasure.
We met Gibson, our new Day Guard and gardener and all the new puppies that Oscar our promiscuous guard dog has provided. In the days to come, we will try to introduce more of the new staff that cares daily for the Imara family.
We had dinner back at Cape Chestnut on the porch with Carol and Sandy and enjoyed getting reacquainted and reconnected as we prepare for the days ahead. Please keep the staff and team in your thoughts and prayers as we work together on the present and future needs for God’s precious gifts here.