(EN) March 2010

marzec 2010
click on a photo to see the gallery

March has gone so quickly that we even didn’t have time to keep updating our blog, so I’m afraid that you have to put up with all-in-one post now. I’ll try not to make it too long.

First of all as usually St.Martin had a lot of visitors, but apart from expected ones, we had a very nice French couple coming from the north (Egypt) and heading to south (South Africa). They travel by tandem (having their impressively small luggage attached to their enormous bike) most of the time not knowing where exactly they will sleep, where and what they will eat, what kind of welcome they will get from local people. We have welcomed them in our house and had lovely supper together followed by storytelling accompanied by pictures from their blog (for more details check yourself: www.tandemetafrique.canalblog.com). The evening was so good that finally Helene and Olivier decided to stay for three days to take a rest, do some washing and visit St.Martin. Riccardo showed them around Nyahururu, so they’ve seen centres for street children, Talitha-Kum, Effatha house, Marleen Project (with a new signboard, which attracts more tourist and local customers), Thompson Falls and famous hippos (the highest hippos in the world!). The best time to see hippos is 5-7pm, because it’s cooler and they can actually move and lift their heads above the water. Other times of a day you can see only their ears…

When you say good-bye to visitors usually there is other occasion to celebrate. This month it was Margaret’s birthday. Margaret is a live-in assistant in Effatha, for many regarded as Mum, so a big celebration was organised to confirm that we appreciate her presence in the house and celebrate her life. Celebrating birthdays (so important in Europe especially in L’Arche) is a foreign custom to African people who often don’t know how old they are, not to mention the date of their birth. Giving presents for this occasion is even more strange, so usually if people have a birthday party, they get ‘messages’ written on wood. The message can be a verse from The Bible or different famous quotation. But of course in L’Arche you get other presents as well (thanks God! 😉 ). But more important than presents is a ceremony of ‘getting baptised’ to make a person younger (still not sure about the connection between those two things). ‘Getting baptised’ is treated very seriously in the way that after the supper, no matter the weather (it can be really cold in Nyahururu especially during the night), buckets of water will be poured over you. I did feel for Margaret, but she seemed to be so happy to be soaking wet that I couldn’t resist encouraging core members to carry on with baptism celebration.

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