|Madam Dorcas and M. Nancy|
|The family compound|
While we visit with her in her sitting room, she frequently darts into the other room, tending to the baby or whatever. This is African hospitality -- anyone is welcome to drop in any time, but entertaining may be interrupted with household activities in a way that is casual and accepting. Sure enough, the neighbors drop in to see who’s visiting. Because she lives in a cluster of the huts of relatives (actually, her husband’s family: mother, grandmother, brother), and as they noticed us walking in, they soon drop by for a spell. (Her own family lives some ways away near Kisumu, with a sister in Mombasa and some family in Nairobi.) The kids are also in and out: Venezyl is oldest (about 4 ½) then there’s Momzi, Bebe and Denis (2 girls and a boy).
|With M. Dorcas in her sitting room|
Madam Dorcas started teaching when her now-deceased husband was working away from home and she wanted something to keep herself busy. She’d been invited to teach by Madam Nancy (Akoko, the older teacher Nancy), who knew her from the local Seventh Day Adventist church (that Richard also attends). It was Nancy and Dorcas who began the school.
After a while, it is time to go and I walk back to the road with all of them. Venezyl wants to walk me to the hotel gate but M Dorcas heads in the other direction to pick up her posho (maize meal) from the miller and Venezyl is torn and cries in frustration. I wait on her but she finally heads back to her mother.
- scoring the 6 or 8 tests (depending on grade level) for each of the 110 students,
- entering them all in Excel,
- calculating student totals and class subject totals and averages,
- sorting them by student totals to get the class position for each student,
- then recording, on a government form for each student, their midterm and final exam scores plus year-end review comments.
Room to Play
The children immediately spread out over this considerable space: in one area boys get a soccer game going, elsewhere mixed groups are playing dodge ball, jumping rope, and engaging in other games. As I take it in, I realize the current lot is oppressively small for a play area. We simply must obtain this additional land as soon as possible. We have new buildings to put up (a granary, classrooms, showers, latrine and more, whenever we get funding), and some are needed right away, but we will need this land before we can start any additional building. Somehow we must make it happen!
The Home of a Guardian
I tell her it is a wonderful thing that she is doing and she gives God all the credit. That faith has no doubt sustained her through hardship and grief that I cannot comprehend. Her hut, although similar outside to Madam Dorcas', is not holding up as well and has very little furniture of any sort. But she is surviving and giving B a family.
Back to school for closing assembly and some devotional songs. Then, on my way home, I see Silvia waiting for me. She invites me to visit her home near my hotel. She lives in a single room with her aunt (she was taken in after her parents died) behind a tiny shop that her aunt runs. This room is shared with her aunt's 2 other children and new baby (and I guess, husband).
She also tells me that Sylvia wants me to stay for tea and sends Sylvia out for some ears of roasted maize. When she returns, I have something to chew on for quite a while (tough maize)! They are all very gracious and pleasant, including her oldest daughter (7th grade), 2 yr-old son, George William, and the Baby, improbably named Joe Biden! After a good while, I bid them adieu and head to the main drag to buy some water.