Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The Road to Amagoro

... is paved with faulty material. A recent adventure took us over several kilometers of tarmac which looked more like railroad tracks than road. In addition to the usual potholes, humps of asphalt, running parallel to the roadside ditches, delineated the route. The ruts were a hazardous diversion from the usual matatus, lorries, boda-bodas, goats, cows, chickens and pedestrians that we hurtled past in Missionary/Padre Zach Drennan's refurbished Land Rover. Brandon, a young Diomass visitor, and I were recently Padre Zach's guests -- and the guests of "Bishop Zach" Epusi and his wife, "Mama Catherine," for two days in the Katakwa Diocese.

"A Big Man probably built a Big House with the money he made from skimming the materials list," two of our Kenyan companions chuckled. "And then someone else probably made kitu kidogo (a small 'appreciation') by allowing big lorries on the new road too soon." Barack Obama and The New York Times are right about political corruption here. It's not a new problem, however. That road was built seven years ago. The sad thing is that only the rich get richer. 'Twas ever thus?

Brandon and I both appreciated the generous hospitality of "the two Zachs" and the bishop's household. We also thoroughly enjoyed our visits to Elewana sites (see Zach's blog @ www.elewana.org) and watching "the great tire race" at Amagoro Junior School; walking across the Uganda border to shop in Malaba; and climbing (in my skirt and flip-flops) to the top of the rocks at Kakapel Monument, where cave paintings date to 3000 BCE. 

Along the way, Zach stopped to introduce me to his English class at the Teachers' College, and I suddenly found myself teaching "Health Ed in the Age of AIDS" (a/k/a "safer sex") to bright young Kenyan adults. Took me back a few years... The highlight of our visit, for me, at least, was sharing quiet evenings with the bishop-in-Bermudas, his family and the assorted friends who gathered in the living room to pray.

We returned home to Maseno just in time to say goodbye to University of Wisconsin med students Ali and Holly, and to say hello to five nurses from Children's Hospital in Boston. It is a blessing to be able to share this amazing place with so many wonderful visitors! And it is a blessing that they share their countless gifts with us...

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