Welcome! KARIBU!

Front Entrance to Tumaini Center
Notice the security guard on the left
View when entering thru the security gate.
Outside entrance to the computer lab
View 1 of our crowded classroom
View 2 of our crowded computer lab

Daily Journal

Sr. Bonita is a member of the Yankton Benedictines: Sacred Heart Monastery, Yankton, SD.  www.yanktonbenedictines.org

Saturday, July 20

 

Jackie and I left Yankton @ 10 and met Jackie's sister, Pat, at Noodles, a brand new resturaunt in Sioux Falls.  The resturaunt was packed and the food was delicious.  We ate outside. 

I checked in and got thru security with no problems.  They have the full body scan feature here at Sioux Falls.  I had to be patted down because I had my vitamins in my pocket. 

My flight was scheduled to leave Sioux Falls at 2:32 p.m.  Before I even checked in, it was already an hour delayed.  I have a 2 hour layover on Chicage.  I think I may have already missed my first connection.  I arrive at a domestic gate and depart from an international gate.  The fun begins.  Cool  But, the clerk at the counter is confident I will make my connection.

Monday, July 22

Thank you for your email.  Even though my connection times were very tight, I made all of my connections.  As I told you, we were late leaving SF.  I walked very quickly to my departure gate.  Thank God, both gates were on the same concourse.  It was a long line.  Lots of people going the Brussels.  The flight to Brussels was uneventful.  I was sitting next to 2 college-age girls from Brussels.  They were very nice.  I had the aisle seat.  I was grateful. 

The connection time was also tight in Brussels.  I had a long walk to the shuttle gate, then rode the shuttle bus to my departure gate.  When I arrived, they were boarding.  So, I made it. 

My flight arrived on time and Lina was waiting for me.  The plane was warm & stuffy.  Since we arrived here at midnight (Nairobi time), there were no lines to get luggage or to go thru customs.  The Tumaini Center is only @ 20 minutes from the airport.  When we got outside, the evening air felt fantastic.  It was around 78.  Lina's room is across from mine.  Even though she stays at their convent here Nairobi most of the time, she has a room here also.  She spent the night. 

I got mostly unpacked and then crashed. I slept under the mosquito net and used only a sheet and a light bed spread.  I always find the beds here to be very comfortable.

 I got up in time for the noon meal and worked with the students all afternoon.  Last Friday, they moved all of the computers from the computer to a different room.  There are 27 computers, tables, and chairs in the new lab.  Yes, it is a larger room than the previous one.  However, because there are more computers to accommodate, I don't think any progress was made.  We are packed into the room like sardines.  It is all but impossible to get to a sister unless she is at the end of the row and even then, it is very tight.  The typing software is not up and running yet.  So, I thought I would show them how to play solitaire so that they could learn to click and drag.  Well, some computers had games, some did not.  Some of the mice did not work.  On the computers that did not have solitaire, downloaded it when I could.  Some of the computers could not access the internet.  One computer had a monitor that did not work and one computer did not turn on.  In order to turn on the projector, I needed to unplug one of the computers.  The power cord on the projector kept coming loose so it kept loosing power.  I also discovered that the same version of Windows is not installed on each computer (There are 3 different versions).  And, the same version of MS Office is not installed on each computer (There are 2 different versions).  To say that the afternoon was challenging is an understatement. 

But, there is no need to get upset.  This is Africa and that is how things are.  I had other challenges when I was in Uganda, but eventually, things will get resolved.

The afternoon went like a flash.  It was 5:30 pm before I knew it.  Then we went to chapel and prayed for an hour, then supper.  After supper, Lina and I went to the shopping center.  She needed some things and I forgot my moose. 

Lina flies out to Tanzania for ASEC this evening to help to host the Hilton people who are visiting each site.  I think they will be here on Thursday.  I hope I have the lab in shape by then. 

I measured the computer lab and the tables when we got back from the shopping center.  I want to see if I can reconfigure the lab so that I am able to get to each student during class.  I am not sure if it can be done, but I will play around with things on paper.  No point in moving tables if there is no improvement. 

Skype worked well for me tonight.  I had a Skype session with Jackie (audio and video).  And, just as I was climbing into bed, Sr. Symphorisa Skyped me.  She is still in New Jersey and was surprised that I was in Nairobi. We had a good visit.  I told her it was high time that she returned to Tanzania. 

Had hoped to get to bed early, but it was almost midnight when I finally made it.

Tuesday, July 23

My day began with Mass at 7 am followed by breakfast.  I am still learning the schedule.  Prayer is at 6:30 am.  So, will get up a half hour earlier tomorrow. 

Every day, I meet new people.  Too many names to remember for me.  I can handle 3 at a time and they are coming at me much faster than that.  But, I am learning a few. 

I worked up a diagram for the lab last night, and today, we are making it happen.  We will arrange the computers along the back and the side walls and 2 rows facing each other up the center parallel to the side walls.  The configuration is the shape of a W.  So, there was lots of heaving lifting first thing this morning.  We moved 12 computers into the previous lab so that I could work with those who have no computer experience.  Then, we rearranged the tables and began re-wiring the lab with the new configuration.  I believe that we will complete the work today.

The lamp on the projector is burned out, so was not able to use that this morning.  Fortunately, there is another projector here at the center, so will use that one this afternoon.  Will continue to work with the 'newbies' this afternoon until it is time to move the 12 computers in the small lab back to the other lab.  The sisters with more computer experience have the day off. 

In the afternoon, the newbies began to use the typing software.  They really did well.  They worked hard all day and learned lots.  They are a great group. 

Hopefully, we will finish the larger lab tomorrw and I will work with all of them at the same time. 

For the noon meal, we had cabbage, beans, rice, gravey, and goat meat.  Another first for me.

Tonight, I enjoyed a couple of Skyping sessions, took a nice hot shower, and then journaled while listening to an audio book.  I have wireless in my bedroom.  Really convenient.

Today was cooler than yesterday, but not by much.  It was cloudy all day. 

Last night, I slept in my fleece bottoms, a t-shirt, socks, and my fleece jacket.  I slept fine.  I do have two very heavy blankets, but they are too hot for me.  Right now, I will continue with this combo. 

Wednesday, July 24

Today is a bit cooler and it remain overcast.  The coolness seems to be penetrating more deeply each day.  I am wearing 2 layers on the top today. 

I made it to prayer and Mass this morning.  I set my watch 5 minutes fast.  This helps.

This morning, we moved the computers from the small (temporary lab) back into the original lab.  We should be up and running by late morning or immediately after our midday meal.  In general, we have class from 8:30 am - 1:30 pm.  Then, we meet again from 2:30 pm - 5:30 pm followed by prayer and our evening meal. 

There are several students staying here at the center.  They are from Barundi and are studying English.  They are on break from school. 

My class has 27 sisters who are primarily from Kenya.  However, the class also includes sisters from Sudan and Uganda.  Some sisters traveled several days by bus to get here.  The roads in Kenya are quite good.  However, this is not true in Sudan. 

Sr. Agnes gave me a tour of the center this morning.  She is the secretary of AOSK (the Association of Sisters of Kenya).  I call her "#1."  She works here but lives with here sisters at a convent just outside of the city.

There is a group of 5 who work for Peace and Justice and for a cleaner environment.  Their offices are in the compound but in a separate building. 

There are many manicured hedges and shrubs.  The fence surrounding the compound is hidden by thick vines.  There are several small gardens.  Other than the small gardens, the grounds are covered with cobble stones.  No dirt.  I definitely miss the earth under my feet. 

In the afternoon,we had class in the newly arranged lab.  The arrangement works well.  Now I can easily see all of the monitors and work with each sister individually. 

We counted off this afternoon and ended up with 8 groups of 3 and 2 groups of 4.  Starting tomorrow, the groups will prepare a program, one group each evening  Their program will focus on:  what they learned that day, why is it important, and how will they use it in their ministry.  We will meet in the room where we take tea in the mornings and afternoons at 8 pm.

During evening prayer, I got chilled.  Some windows were open and there was a slight breeze & the breeze was a bit cool for me.  By the end of prayer, I was cold.  So, before supper, I returned to my bedroom and dawned leggins, knee socks, and my fleece jacket.  The dining room was warmer, but I was grateful for my extra clothing. 

The sisters from Sudan have given me a new name.  They call me Bakhita.  St. Bakhita is the patron of the Sudan and the name means, 'the lucky one.'  My nickname pleases me.

I am grateful to be connecting with the sisters in my class.  I also wrote down their names and their religious congregations. 

Our menu included mukimo.  It is a green paste very much like ugali It is made from irish potatoes, crushed pumpkin leaves, maize, and probably other things.  It was very good.  At noon we had sweet potatoes.  I really like them too. 

I ate with 2 of the sisters from Sudan at supper.  What beautiful women!  We had a delightful conversation.   

I went down to the dining room last evening to get some treated water.  The hallway was dark.  Just enough light to make your way.  There is a bench along the hall near the dining room door. When I got to the door, I saw something move on the floor near the door.  It was dark, about 3/4 of an an inch across and about a foot long.  Needless to say, my heart jumped into my throat.  An instant later, I realized that it was the tail of one of the two cats that roam around the center. 

I made better order in my room today and mopped my floor.  I went to bed early.

Thursday,  July 25

The temp has dropped to 66 in my bedroom.  Today, I have a long sleeve t-shirt under my turtle neck and I wore leggins and knee socks along with my fleece jacket.  Every day seems to get cooler. 

Today, I put nametags at each computer and created a seating chart.  After lunch, I showed them the virtual tours of our Yankton monastery grounds on our web site.  At the end of our class this afternoon, I demonstrated a Skype session with them.

 One of the hedges on the center's grounds is the plant we call 'the crown of thorns.'

Today, we had water melon at breakfast and pinapple at noon.  Yesterday, for tea, we had some delicious sweet bread rolls. Delicious! And, they were still warm.  This morning at tea, we had sopapillas.  Of course they do not call them that, but that is what they were. They tasted just like Consuelo's.

By mid-morning, the sun was out and the temp had risen.  I must admit I was a bit warm standing out in the sun at tea.  It felt good to be warm again.

Today, we had adoration along with evening prayer at 5:30 pm.  It was very meaningful.  They have many beautiful traditions.  The sister students have also been divided into 8-9 person groups for house duties.  Each day, a different group prepares LOH, Mass, and does the meal and tea dishes. 

Tonight, we had our first skit.  They did a super job! 

Friday, July 26

TGIF  Today, I shared my blog with my class.  Each day, I try to show them a miracle of the Internet.  The sisters continue to work very hard at their typing.  It is very demanding work, but thery are troopers. 

This morning, I suggested that they cover their hands while typing to help them not to look at the keyboard when they are typing.  I told them it was optional, but several tried it.  One had a very novel way of hiding her keyboard.  I have included a photo.

Sr. Marie Helene gave me lots of medals, rosaries, scapulars, etc. to bring with me.  So, today, I gave each of the sisters a Benedictine medal, a miraculous medal, and then they lined up by rank and selected one item for the remaining items.  After each had taken an item, I let them choose another item.  This time, they went in reverse order.  After that, they could select other items as long as they lasted.  It was a treat to watch them with their gifts.  They were most grateful. 

During this giveaway, one of the sisters left the lab and return soon afterward with a gift for me, a massai bracelet.  I will treasure it!

During afternoon tea, the sisters were excited about the weekend.  They all had plans.  Some would visit relative in Nairobi, others would return to their convents in Nairobi, and others were going to their motherhouse just outside of Narobi to celebrate their congregation's Founder's Day. They asked me what I would be doing and I told them that I would be staying at the Center, that I had no plans.  The ASEC people are involved with meetings, so my hosts are otherwise occupied.  So, the 8 who were going to celebrate their Founder'Day invited me to come with them.  I told them that I would love to come, but that I had no Kenya money.  There has been no time for me to get to a bank to convert some US currency to Kenya currency. They are taking the bus and I did not have buse fare.  They said, we are family, we will take up a collection so that you can come with us.  Truly humbling and edifying for me.  I thanked them and assured them that I would pay them back when I was able to get Kenya money. 

I must admit, I was feeling a bit down that I would be here at the Center alone.  Yes, I h ave books and the Internet.  But, I knew that I would feel a bit lonely and left out.  These women are truly beautiful women. 

So, I pressed my one Sunday outfit.  We all decided we would sleep in tomorrow and would leave right after breakfast.  We will meet at the front door and set out. 

It had been a very full week but a very good week.  God is good and has been working miracles for us at every turn.  I am so very grateful.  I am also a bit weary.  I hope to get to bed early tonight. 

Saturday, July 27

The day began a bit later this morning.  A little extra sleep is always a treat.  Breakfast at 7:30 am and then we departed for the Founder's Day Celebration at 8:30 am.  I wore an African outfit (skirt & top). So, when I entered the dining room for breakfast, they all clapped and cheered. I wore the same clothes all week so I suspect that they thought I had nothing else to wear.  They all said that I looked "smart." Half of us rode the Precious Blood staff bus part of the way and then we took a matatu (a van/taxi/bus) for the remainder of the journey.  One of the sisters in our group is a Precious Blood Sister, so when we got on the bus, they all cheered and clapped.  She works with all of the people on the bus. 

When we got off of the Precious Blood bus, we walked for @ a block.  A drunken beggar latched onto us and even got into the matatu with us.  He kept asking for money.  One of the sisters gave me several shillings but he wanted more.  Finally, with lots of coaxing, they got him out of the matatu.  I really admired the driver and his partner and a 3rd man that tried to help.  Everyone remained calm.  They did not strong-arm him at all. 

The matatus are staffed by 2 people, one drives and the other takes the fares and tells the driver when to start and stop.  It works quite well.

It felt so very good to leave the Center and to see a bit of Nairobi.  I arrived at midnight and have not left the Center (except for one short trip to the super market in the evening with Lina) since. 

The Founder's Day Celebration celebrated to priests who founded several (4 or 5) religious congretations (mens communities and women's communities) in Africa.  We went to a seminary and a pre-seminary school in Kain.  There is a lovely small church there where the founders tombs are located.  Mass was celebrated in a beautiful round church.  It was filled with sisters, priests, seminarians, pre-seminarians, the contemplative monks, and some lay people.  There were 2 groups of dancers (girls).  There was a chior.  And, everything was in English (except for some of the songs & hymns).  They truly celebrate Mass here. 

After Mass, we went to the small Founder's Chapel for a short service.  Th the walked back to the seminary school for lunch.  They served potatoes, cooked bananas, rice, pieces of meat (beef, I think) in a sauce, cooked greens, fried chicken, cole slaw, bananas, and soda and/or bottled water.  I asked for small servings of everything and I always avoid the raw cabbage dishes. 

We ate in a hall.  After the meal there were lots of speeches (the leaders of each of the congretions founded by these two priests) and a program:  lots of dancing and some singing. 

When the affair was over, several of us walked over the the St. Thomas Acquinas Seminary and we went in the chapel.  Lovely.  The, a priest friend of the Sacred Heart Sisters drove all 8 of us back to Tumaini Center using one of the seminary vans.

There is lots of crime in Nairobi, so it is important to be careful.  I take every precaution and the sisters watch over me.  Anyway, the sisters shared a couple of stories of sisters having their purses snatched.  Apparently several of the Sudanese sisters were riding in a matatu and they saw one of their sisters getting her purse snatched.  All of them jumped out of the matatu .and ran to the sister to protect her from any further distress and several of them, along with some seminarians who also saw what was happening joined in the race.  They got the sister's purse back and the robber was taken to jail.  Sr. Antonietta said, "They better not fool around with us."  

Another sister told a story that one of their sisters had her purse snatched.  She took out running after the purse snatcher and caught up with him and took her purse back. When she told what had happened, they asked her what was in her purse.  She said, "Nothing, but it was my purse."

I am sure they could regale me with story after story.  They all have great senses of humor.

So, I got to experience some of the city of Nairobi and its suburbs.  It looks very like Kampala (the capital of Uganda)  or Dar es Salaam (the capital of Tanzania).  I took lots of pictures. 

We returned to the Center @ an hour before supper.  I started a load of wash (there is a washing machine in one of the laundry rooms) before supper.  There is a drying rack in that room also.  The sisters wash their clothes by hand in large sinks and hang their clothes outside to dry.

Also, before supper, I pressed my African outfit for Mass tomorrow. 

Shortly after our return to the Center, it began to rain and the rain continues. 

I have been having trouble hearing my alarm in the mornings so I have been sleeping with it.  So, today, I downloaded an alarm clock app on my ipad.  I think that will help.  The app also gives the outside temp and the high and low temps each day.  Isn't technology grand?

I wore my fleece bottoms and a long-sleeve t-shirt to supper tonight.  It feels good not to be in a skirt. 

 We lost power several times one day last week and again today.  But, this place has a backup generator so the lights only flicker.  So far, have no needed my flashlight.

Sunday, July 28

This morning at breakfast, I asked the Sudanese sisters about their war experiences.  The wars have been going on for @ 50 years now.  One of the sisters was born afterr the wars, but all of the others experienced its many attrocities.  They lost all of their land, their animals, and their buildings.  When they took refuge in a home, others would join them there for safety.  None of their sisters was killed or shot during the war.  Some were taken, but were returned without being harmed.  Too hide, they would dig under the great piles of bodies of the slain.  Sometimes snakes would join them in these holes.  The snakes swallowed some of the children if they were left there alone when the mothers went to find food.  They said that there many people in there country who have had their ears, their lips, and their noses cut off.  This was done just for sport by the soldiers.  There country and their congregation remains poor and without needed resources, but she indicated that their congregation continues to grow.  They believe this is because of their great love for God, each other, and for the people they serve. 

Several of us went to Mass just down the road at Our Lady of Guadaloupe Catholic Church.  It was packed.  The liturgy was nice, but I like the Swahili Masses better.  Will go to a Swahili Mass next Sunday. 

After Mass, several of us went to the market and one of the sisters bought a pair of shoes.  There were 4  of us.  The original asking price was 1100.  We got the shoes for 700.  We walked thru the aisles.  I saw a large rat scurry under the dividers between the dividers separating the shops.  Some shops were set up and some were not.  I am sure by this afternoon, the place was hopping with people.  Because of the rain yesterday and last night, there were many water puddles and some mud.  When we got back to the center, I washed off th souls to my shoes. 

I also swept and mopped my bedroom floor, scrubbed my sink and pressed one of my skirts and a blouse. 

I have been enjoying listing to podcasts from NPR when I am in my room.  I can't hear it live, but I can here it after the fact.  

After lunch, Sr. Agnes (the secretary of AOSK) took me to visit her convent in the hills just outside of the city.  They have 5 acres in a very wealthy section.  They have been there since 1989.  Now, they are putting a security fence around their property and are doing some building.  It will be very nice when the construction is completed. 

Then, she took me to the Missionary Benedictine Sisters place.  Sr. Michael Marie was not there, but we received a nice tour of their place.  It is very beautiful and quite extensive. 

Then, she took me to Resurrection Gardens, a place of prayer in that same region.  It is several acres of manicured gardens, large mosaics, large bronzes, paved pathways, and many chapels.  It is truly a sacred place of prayer, silence, reflection, and contemplation.  And, the weather was very nice.  Not hot and not cold.  She introduced me to several of the sisters who manage the place and we had 'tea' with the sister in charge.  

After visiting Resurrection Gardens, Sr. Agnes took 3 of us back to the Center.  The mutatu was late in arriving and was in very poor condition.  On our way back here, we saw the mutatu broken down on the road.  They had run out of gas.  That is why it was late in picking up the sisters to return them to the Center. 

When I got back, I drank a Coke and ate some cashew nuts.  I also ate some peanut butter.  I get hungry for American food and just could not help myself.  So, naturally, I was not hungry at meal time.  But I joined them anyway and ate a small piece of chicken with a glass of water. 

Sr. Agness gave me a nicely quilted bag today.  She bought it at the reception desk at Resurrection Gardens.  I am continually humbled by the generousity and hospitality of these sisters.  She works very hard for AOSK.  She said if she had not spent the afternoon with me, she would have worked in her office, and she said she need a break and some relaxation, so she spent her afternoon with me. 

Several of the sisters are working in the lab tonight.  I helped one of the sisters with her computer.  No one else needed help, so I came back to my room.  Once again, I hope to get to bed by 10 pm.  So far, I have not been successful. 

Monday, July 29

Today, we had no Mass here at the Center so we walked over to Our Lady of Guadalupe Church for Mass there at 7 am.  It felt good to walk in the fresh morning air.  While walking back to the center, we were joined by Alice, Lina's secretary.  She always eats breakfast at the Center and then goes to the ASEC office. 

Today, I was finally able to convert some American $$ to Kenyan Shillings.  Alice went to the bank for me.

Today, we worked on MS Office Word in the morning and typing in the afternoon.  About half of the class have passed the proficiency evaluation.  I am really proud of all of them.

Also today, the  Hilton people (2) along with the president & secretary (Agnes) of AOSK visited our class for a few minutes in the afternoon.  The visit was unannounce and quite uneventful.  Ss. Jane and Lina did not come. 

I had the tech guy come and work on two of the new computers.  We have 10 very old computers & 18 new ones.  2 of the new ones have problems and need to be replaced.

Tonight, we danced.  It took a bit to get them going, but once they got started, there was no stopping them.  We used YouTube music videos for our music.  They are quite the group.

I am doing pretty well with the names of my students.  I still struggle a bit, but usually, I can get their names. 

The weather was nice today.  Our low was 55 and our high was 73.  We had sun again today. 

Last night, I finally made it to bed before 10 pm.  Thank you, Lord. 

Tuesday, July 30

Just a few notes from some previous conversations.  When I was talking with the Sudanese sisters last Sunday re: the war and the poverty.  They said, "When you have no food, you don't feel hungary."  The people would eat seeds and whatever they could find.  They are very matter-of-fact about their lives.  They truly live one day at a time.  They love each other and live their faith.  They trust in God as they live the mystery of poverty and destitution that surrounds them. 

Also on Sunday, when Sr. Agnes was driving me around in the afternoon, as we were driving along the main road to Karen, I saw many open shops, lots of furniture and other open-air shops along the road.  I asked her if everything that is outside is taken in at night.  She said, no.  I asked her how the owners keep their inventory from being stolen.  She said that she has seen bodies burning along the road early in the morning on several occasions.  If someone is caught steeling something, they are beaten and burned.

This morning, we went to the parish for Mass again.  It was @ 50 degrees this morning.

As you know, I am always taking pictures.  So, each day, I take a few minutes from class to show them the pictures of the previous day.  They love it!  Lots of laughter.

The students continue to work on their typing along with Word.  The sister that arrived yesterday will not be a student in the class.  This was just a rumor.  However, we do have a student who has missed about 3 days of class.  She is far behind the others.  Of the 27, there are only 3 who probably are not cut out for this course.  One of these 3 is signed up for the Web Design Course that I will be teaching following this course.  She is a delightful person, but she is not picking up on the the technology stuff.

Today, we did a MS Word exercise, we also learned more about MS Word.

Sr. Michael Marie (she has been in Norfork, NE), the Mother Superior of the Missionary Benedictines here in Nairobi stopped into to say hello today.  I thought that was very nice of her.  We had stopped to see her on Sunday and she was not there.  So, she gave me a courtesy call today.

The breakfast menu is typically weiners, sausage, or spam and bread.  Everyday, we have rice and greens.  Today, for lunch, we had oogali, rice, and greens.  Apparently, we also had fried fish.  I could not tell if it was goat, beef, or chicken.  The meat/fish dish is usually creamated, so it is difficult to recognize it in the pan. But, just could not take a little of everything.  I had some oatmeal cookies, coke, cashews, and peaneut butter in my bedroom.  So, that was my lunch.  The food here is a challenge for me.  The food at the Center in Uganda was fantastic!!! 

Apparently the people who came (unannounced) to visit our classroom on Monday were not from Hilton.  They were not introduced to us.  They just walked in and stood there.  We did exchange names, but not who they were representiThey were from some group from the US who is working to begin an educational program in Africa.  The Hilton & ASEC people will be here tomorrow.  

One of the challenges I am having in the lab is that the default options for MS Word are not all of the same on each computer.  Also, Spell & Grammar Checking does not work on some computers or does not work as it should. 

The day turned pretty well (weather wise).  We have had sun most of the day.  I think we may have reached the hight 60s.

For break this afternoon, we had maize on the cob. 

Tonight, the students practiced the program that they prepared for the Hilton People.  It is really good.  And, the skit tonight was very good also.

 Wednesday, July 31

Today was a bit warmer than yesterday, but it felt colder to me.  I sprinkled a bit last evening, so maybe I feel the dampness.  Anyway, I wore leggins today.  They really help.

Finally, today, the Hilton people arrived.  They were supposed to arrive at 12:30 pm.  They finally made it at 1:30 pm.  We were ready for them.  The students sang a welcome song, there were several short talks, the students gave them gifts, and the students gave a short program.  It was impressive. 

Today, I did some rearranging of people in the lab.  I put some of the stronger students next to the weaker students.  I visited with the stronger students about this before I did it.  They were willing to help me out (unofficially).  They are a great group.  I also replaced the chairs along the back of the lab with chairs with wheels.  They are old chairs, but I tightened up the back rests.  One of the people here at the Center found me a wrench.  I used my universal pocket tool for most of the chairs, but the bolts on one of them was just to tight for my small tool. 

I teared up a little during my short talk for the Hilton group.  I feel so honored to be able to help these women to learn technology.  What they learn will make such a difference in their lives, the lives of their congregations, the lives of the people they serve, their apostolates (their ministries), and their nations.  ASEC is truly changing the world, one African sister at a time, and I am humbled to be a part of this great work. 

Today we had cereal for breakfast, but I skipped it because the milk was room temp and not boiled.  The next time we have cereal, I will use the boiled milk and water mixture that we use for tea in the mornings.  That should be safe.  At noon, we had fresh tomatoes and avocados.  We have had that several times.  I have to pass up the tomatoes because they arer not cooked and have been washed with unboiled water and have not been peeled.  Because they are mixed with the avocados, I have to skip them too even though the avocados have been peeled.  Yes, one has to be vigilent all of the time. 

I killed a mosquito in my room tonight.  I saw it last evening but could not get it.  I always sleep under the mosquito netting.   

The skit tonight was another good one. 

Today and tomorrow, Nairobi is without water.  The Center has a backup supply, but we need to conserve.  I am hoping that we can continue to use the indoor lavatories.  It is challenging enough to have to walk all of the way to the other end of the hall to use the lav.  Having to go outside would be aweful. 

We had Mass here at the Center today.  Our priest today was an Italian who has served in Kenya for 40 years. 

I am so very grateful that I am reasonably comfortable around computers.  Everyday, I need to trouble-shoot something. 

Thursday, August 31

I did not writing anything for Thursday until Friday.  And, now, I don't remember what happened yesterday.  One highlight was a Skype session with Peggy.  Sharon Ann stopped in and said hello.  Technology certainly makes SD seem not so far away. 

The days remain packed from morning until night.  But, everyday is productive and everyday, we encounter new challenges and need to find our way around them.  My students are very patient.

We continue to learn about Word.  Will finish that on Friday.  Today, one of the housekeepers cleaned my room and changed my bed.  That was nice.  I have very little time for such things.  She will also do my laundry, but I did it last weekend and because it is so very cool much of the time, and because we don't get outside, the clothes remain pretty clean. 

We finally have a printer in the lab.  This will be most convenient when it gets set up.

Also, Lina gave me a cell phone to use and entered several phone numbers that are important for my work.  I have only used the phone once, but it is nice to have one for emergencies.

My heart is heavy because I am not home to participate in our Chapter Meeting.  I pray that the days will go well.  I am also sad that I will not be in our Community photo.  For everything, there is a price.  Know that you will be in my thoughts and prayers. 

We had another great skit this evening.  Lina was there for the first time. 

I got to bed late, but I slept very well. 

Friday, August 1

Today is the first Friday of August, dedicated to the Sacred Heart.  A lovely little Italian priest has been saying Mass for us since Wednesday.

Dan got the printer set up today and I was able to visit with him about some other computer issues. 

This morning, we finished with WORD and started setting up GMAIL email acounts for those who do not have email accounts already.  They really kept me hopping.  But, by mid-afternoon, everyone had a GMAIL account and had sent at least one email.  Will show them how to do attachments on Monday.  They all have come so far these past 2 weeks.  And, we have truly become a very close community. 

Today, I worked with S. Agnes of AOSK on a file she was having problems with.  I was glad to help.  She has really reached out to me.  She even provided me with several bottles of Coke and Fanta Orange.

Also today, I gave each of the sisters a Mount Marty t-shirt. 

At 4 pm, Delphine took me to a tailor shop to get me measures for an African outfit.  We walked to the market area and then turned on a side street where the tailor shop was located.  She bought the material last week and today we took care of step 2 in the process. It will be lined and will be ready next week.  The shop is just large enough for two people to work in.  In the photo, you will see that the two taylors are sitting back-to-back as they work using their old fashioned sewing machines. 

Several of the sisters will be going to the profession activities of the congretaion of the one of the sisters in our class.  They invited me, but I think Lina has some plans for me. 

Although the day started out quite cool, right now it is lovely.  It felt great to walk a bit.

Tonight, we had pizza for supper.  They fixed it especially for me.  It was delicious!!!

Saturday, August 3

Last evening as I was getting ready to go to bed, I heard a commotion outside.  A man was yelling.  I went to my bedroom window and looked out and just outside the gate (and wall of the center) on the other side of the street, two men were attacking a man.  The man being attacked was able to fend off his attackers and they ran off and he ran after them.  Later, I saw him walking back down the street.  Apparently, the robbers were not able to take anything from him.  Thank God.

I was up at the normal time today and began the day with a nice warm shower.  Then morning prayer followed by Mass, then breakfast.  Then, Lina and I were off.  We visited the Chimi Chimi Center, a place very like this one, but on the edge of the city in a nice area.  It is also an AOSK Center and is the Formation of the religious sisters of Kenya. 

We also toured the Karen Blixen (the lady who wrote Out of Africa) Museum.  The home has been restored to the way it was when Karen lived there.  It is a lovely estate.  After the tour, we walked through some of the natural woods and jungle that is part of the estate. There was a large Indian wedding in progress while we were there.  Lina and I plan to re-watch the movie, Out of Africa, together sometime this week.  Then we visited a national park, 500 sq miles of wild habitat partially contained within the city of Nairobi.  We saw many animals:  Jackals, ostriches, a lion, hyppos, 4 rhinos, water buffalo, wort hogs, zebras, gazells, impalas and many other types of antelope, vulchars, giraffs, a serval (a small spotted wild cat) that resembles a cheetah or a leopard.  I little black boy (who was sitting in front of me on the park bus) and I became friends during the ride through the national park. 

About halfway through the park, the bus stopped at a rest area so that people could use the toilets.  Lina and I and a few other stayed on the bus.  As the bus stopped the the people got out, we saw several baboons coming out of the bush.  Several jumped onto the side of the bus and bounded through the open windows and began walking/running from the top of one bench seat to the next looking for food.  This all happened very quickly.  I must admit it was both freightening and entertaining at the same time.  They picked up all of the food & snacks that was on the seats in the bus. When one of the tourists returned to the bus, he said, "We got off the bus to use the toilets.  The baboons came onto the bus to do the same."  One of the baboons left a deposite near the front of the bus. 

We at lunch at a resteraunt near the entrance to the National Park.  We both had chicken, fries, and cokes.

I enjoyed two Skype sessions this evening, Kate Crowley called and so did Jackie.  Skype has been such a gift to me on this trip. 

We got back in time for supper. 

It was cloudy and cool all day. 

Sunday, August 4

This morning, Lina and I slept in.  We went to the 10 am Mass at Our Lady of Guadaloupe Parish.  It was the Swahili Mass.  Lots of festive dancing and singing (with lots of harmony).  We ate an early lunch and then 5 of us headed of to the convent of the Sisters of the Sacred Heart (out Sudanese sisters).  Their superior was visiting and they invited me to come to their convent to meet her.  They were eating lunch when we got their. They offered us food, but we had just eaten.  So we each had a drink. 

Some of the sisters left the room.  I did not give it a thought.  Well, soon 5 of them came in dancing and singing.  They had prepared a program for us.  It was delightful.

Then, we went to Bomas to visit the village displays of the various tribes of Kenya.  The villages are exact replicas of the originals.  It was most interesting.  After the villages, we went inside for the tribal dances.  It was a great program. 

We returned to the AOSK Center in time for supper.  After eating, I came back to my room to work on the blog and a PowerPoint that I will share on Friday. 

I am really tired. Plan to go to bed early.

Monday, August 5

Each day seems to get colder than the previous one.  My bedroom is 65 degrees.  The computer lab is the warmest place in the compound because of the equipment in the room and the people.  I will use an extra blanket tonight.  I sleep wearing fleece bottoms, socks, a long-sleeved tshirt, and my fleece hoodie.  Getting out of bed in the morning is he brutal.

I think the weatger us getting to everyone.  Every day, someone else comes down with a cold.  I pray that I will be spared.

Today, I introduced my students to ACCESS.  Tomorrow, we will talke about EXCEL a bit.  Then, we will spend the remainder of the week on Powerpoint.  It is amazing to think that just 2 weeks ago, most of them had never touched a computer before. 

Over the weekend, all of the mice that still used the roller ball were replaced with infrared mice.  And, today, 2 of the new mice were not working.  And, one of the new computers did not have ACCESS.  The fellow who is supposed to be maintaining this computer lab is certainly not doing his job. 

Today, one of the cats here at the Center had kittens. 

Tuesday, August 6

The temp in my bedroom continues to hover @ 65 degrees.  For whatever reason, I think my bedroom is a bit warmer than most of the other places in the house.  It will get down to around 50 again tonight.  Everyday, another sister comes down with a cold.  So far, I remain in good health. 

Today, I did a disk scan and a defrag on each of the old computers.  This seems to have helped with response time.  I wish I had had the time to do this earlier.  Today, we finished up ACCESS, worked with email attachments, moved files to our flash drives, and learned a few basics in EXCEL.  The last 2 days of our course, we will learn Powerpoint.  I like to save the best for last.  Powerpoint is fun and easy and they are all eager to learn to use it. 

Lina brought me some fruit and some Coke Light today.  She is a sweetheart!

My laundry is now being done for me.  Yes, this is a luxury and I am truly grateful for it.  They will clean my bedroom on Friday. 

The meals remain adequate, but sometimes, the food for tea is really good.  Today, we had something very similar to sopapillas (and they were still warm).  I now drink warm water during the noon and evening meals and I drink a hot water and milk mixture with a tea bag at breakfast and morning tea.  Ideally, I like to drink a Coke Light in the afternoon.

Today, @ 4:30 pm Nairobi time, I established a Skype connection with Jackie.  She just happened to be in her room.  I was in our computer lab, so I projeced the monitor onto the screen so everyone in my course could see and hear the session.  I like for the sisters to experience technology at its best.  We all gathered around the laptop.  Then, we danced and sang "Jambo."

Tonight, the program was very good...  Very creative and entertaining.

Today, I wore tights (a heavy verson of panty hose), leggins, and a denim skirt. .   On the top, I wore a long-sleeved undershirt, a wool turtle neck, and my fleece jacket.  I will use a heavy blanket again tonight. 

Wednesday, August 7

It is warmer today.  A nice break from the cool days we have had since Saturday.  It is only a few degrees warmer, but every little bit helps. 

We worked on PowerPoint today.  After the lunch break, the sisters each showed their work using the projector.  They did a super job. 

After tea in the afternoon, Lina and I walked to a mini-mall.  She needed a few things at the grocery store and needed to add minutes to her phone.  Then, we went to the market.  We bargained for some black sandals.  These will go nicely with my African wear. 

Speaking of African wear, my new outfit arrived today.  Sr. Delphine picked it up for me this afternoon.  I tried it on and it ionfits nicely.  I will wear it for our graduation party Friday afternoon. 

We arrived back from our outing too late for supper, so we had a picnic in my bedroom.  I washed and peeled two apples and we at them with peanut butter.  I always bring peanut butter along with me when I come to Africa.  Lina had never had apples with peanut butter.  She loved it.  Each of us also had a delicious orange.  And Lina had some scones that she had just purchased at the store.  She had tea and I had Fanta Orange. 

The student program was excellent again this evening.  They are most creative. 

The word, "terrific" has become a very special word for all of us.  The sisters were not familiar with this word.  When using their typing program, the program would use the word, "terrific" when they finished an exercise.  Because the word begins with "terr"  they thought it meant terrible.  So now, whenever anyone uses the word, we all laugh. 

Thursday, August 8

Today was even warmer than yesterday.  Tonight, the temp in my bedroom is 69.  What a treat!

Sr. Sophie arrived today from Uganda.  I met Sophie in when I taught a course there in 2010.  Actually, that is also when I met Lina.  The 3 of us clicked from the beginning.  I never thought I would see either of them again, but here we are back together. 

The program/skit tonight was another great one.  They began their skit with a song that had the phrase, "come in and sit down."  They frequently prounounce words differently than we do, so what they were actually saying was, "come in and shit down."  It was all that I could do to keep my composure.  Because they speak so very quickly and because they have both an English (U.K.) accent as well as an African accent, I frequently had difficulty understanding what is being said. 

Sr. Jane, the CEO of ASEC, (Jackie's previous job), has been attempting to fly to Nairobi for several days now.  But, because of the fire at the airport, she has been delayed.  She finally arrived this evening. Lina and I are supposed to meet with her sometime tomorrow.  She will be very surprised to find Sophie here. 

I don't remember if I mentioned that we lost power during supper one evening this week.  I pulled out my torch (flashlight) and the Africans all pulled out their cell phones to provide light.  Yes, they all have cell phones.  Usually, they are purchased for them by their families along with their minutes. 

Sunday, August 11

 Today was another day filled with adventures.  This morning, Lina, Sophie, and I (along with 6 other members of Sr. Lina's congregation) went to their mother house in Katanga about an hour from Tumaini Center.  Their congregation had a special day together.  They brought in an outside speaker who spoke to them about living as Eucharistic women.  When we arrived, we had tea along with a light snack.  Then their sister who had made vows gathered for their conference and 2 of their postulants along with a driver showed us the region. 

We were transported to their motherhouse in a matatu.  This one was like a Land Rover truck with bench seats facing each other in the back.  This type of matatu was the old style.  They call these "you look familiar matatus' because by the time you have ridden in one of these for several hours, the people who are sitting opposite you start to look familiar and your forget that the reason for this is that you have been looking at them for the past several hours.  

This part of Kenya is very hilly and is dominated by coffee, tea, pineapple, and flower farms/plantations.  Everywhere you look, it is green and lush with vegetation.  Throughout the area, there are acres and acres of tent-like greenhouses in which they grow roses.  We stopped at one place along the way and were welcomed with exception hospitality.  At the peak of the season, they process 200,000 roses/day.  Right now, they are processing 80,000 roses/day.  Roses are a very large export of Kenya.  This rose farm is very environmentally conscious.  Their grounds are well cared for.  They grow their roses in a the ground up shells/husks of the coconut.  They call it coconut moss (it is like peat moss).  They have a hydroponic set up.  At the end of the tour, he gave us 3 bundles of roses (20/bundle).  He took us into their cool rooms and let us pick the colors that we wanted.  I really enjoyed the tours and the hospitality and generosity of the senior person who showed us around was amazing.  He said that employ 1000 people and their employees have the option to live (along with their families) in the compound.  They even have their own school. 

We joined the congregation for Mass at 2 pm.  Then, we had tea and a light snack and were on our way.  The snack was a yam that is purplish.  We have had this at the Center, but this tasted much better.  It was from the region and very fresh.  Then, we drove back to Nairobi. 

As we entered the city, I got to see the old downtown area for the first time.  It was teaming with people, lots of traffic, and lots of little shops along the roads. 

We stopped at the convent where Lina and 5 of her sisters live.  They share a building with the Mercy Sisters there.  The place is very comfortable.  Of course, we were invited in for tea, along with japatti and fresh pineapple. 

By the time we made it back to Tumaini Center, it was getting dark,  We had hoped to take Sophie to the market to get her a fleece jacket (she has been using the one I brought with me).  But, it was too late.  So, we will go back to the market tomorrow. 

We at supper, Sophie packed, and then Lina and I took her to her friend's place very near where she will begin a spirituality program tomorrow. 

---

On Saturday (August 10), Line, Sophie, and Jane (the CEO of ASEC) spent the day together.  First, we picked up Sr. Jane at her sister's place and met her sister, her sister's son, and her mother.  Jane's sister works for the U.N. and works in Rwanda.  She is going to try to help me arrange to go on a gorilla trek. 

Our next stop was an elephant orphanage.  Apparently, this particular orphanage is nationally known.  They rescue baby elephants whose parents have been killed by pochers.  They are only open during feeding time from 11 am to noon.  Each elephant has its own handler and each has a name.  I was able to touch a couple of the elephants. 

Then, we went to a giraff park where you are allowed to feed the giraffs.  I was able to feed and pet a couple of the giraffs.  Sophie also fed the giraff.  She indicated that the giraff is one of her favorite animals.

Then, we went to a crockadile farm located in a beautiful park with a lake, rides for the children, extensive manicures grounds, and a nice resturaunt.  We ate lunch there.  There were several dozen crocks of various ages and sizes.  They were also some very young crocks.  I was able to hold one of the small ones.  And, I was able to get Lina to hold one also. 

We returned to Tumaini Center for tea, then we went to a fundraiser for Sr. Jane's home parish.  They want to replace the floor of the church.  The affair was held in one of the outside rooms of a resturaunt.  We got there at 5 pm and did not leave there until around 9 pm.  It was an interesting cultural experience.  The people in attendance were from Jane's home village.  They don't live there anymore but remain involved in the needs of their village.  These people are (in general) very successful professional people of the region.  Jane's sister was one of the main driving forces behind this fundraiser.  She gave Jane money for all of us so that we could participate in the fundraising activities. 

After leaving the fundraiser, we went the the mall that contains the large supermarket.  Lina picked up a pocket modem, I bought hairspray and moose (for white people) along with some body powder.  And, then we ate supper.  I don't like to eat so late, but they would not take no for an an answer.

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Friday (August 9) was open.  We did not have class although I and several of the sisters were in the lab all morning.  In the afternoon, we had our graduation program.  It began at 2:30 pm and went until 6 pm.  There were speeches, skits, songs, dances, and refreshments.  We had Black Forrest Cake and two flavors of ice cream, pop, chips, candy, and more.

In the evening, I was too stimulated to go to bed, so I dusted, swept, and mopped my bedroom. 

Our weather has been a bit warmer these past two days.  Saturday, it made it into the 80s.

Tuesday, August 13 

I spent Monday in my bedroom looking over my notes for the Web Design course.  I worked on this course for an entire month just after the spring semester ended.  I did lots of praying.  Getting a new course off to a good start can be tricky. 

Around 4 pm, I met with the lead technition and we reviewed a few things in the lab. 

Then, Lina and I went to the 5:30 pm Mass at the parish just down the road. 

After Mass, we went to the market (it is just across the street from the church) to find a heavy fleece jacket for Sophie.  We found her a nice heavy navy blue one.  I loaned her mine in the meantime.  I let her use it over the weekend also.  She would have been very cold without it.  And, she came down with a cold on Saturday, so she was miserable. 

Today, we began the Web Design Course.  So far, 24 of the sisters have arrived.  Yes, this is Africa.  Many of the sisters brought laptops, so the lab is furnished with good computers.  And, laptops don't take as much room as desktops.  All of the old computers (pre 2005 vintage have been removed from the lab.  Alleluia

By the way, when an African combs out their hair so that it stands out in every direction, they call this the 'alleluia' look. 

I have 3 white sisters in my course, 2 are Italian missionaries and 1 is a Canada missionary.  And, again, I have sisters from: Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Congo, and Sudan. 

It was cool Monday morning but was sunny in the afternoon.  Today was a bit warmer.  I continue to use a blanket on my bed.

The IPAD that I brought along with me from the college has been a lifesaver.  I have used it to take pictures, I use it for Skype, I listen to audio books in the evening, I use it for my alarm clock, I can use it to read books (with its NOOK app), right now, I am listening to All Things Cosidered, and earlier, I listened to the BBC. 

Thursday, August 15

Happy Feastday!  Because of the Holy Day, we did not have class today.  So, 4 of us went to Thika, a small village about an hour west of Nairobi to celebrate with the Annunciation Sisters of Nairobi.  3 of their sisters made final profession today and 2 celebrated their Golden Jubilee. 

Yesterday, they buried one of their sisters who died quite suddenly. 

When we arrived, we were invited in for tea. We had Kenya tea (tea leaves, water, milk, and sugar are all boiled together).  We also had some bread.  Then, we found the toilets.  The sign on the door read, 'toilets' for religious only.  As we were entering the room, a priest and some altar boys were coming out.  The room had 4 stalls, 2 were labelled, 'Gents' and 2 were labelled, 'Ladies.'  I must admit that the arrangement took me by surprise.  Lina had a good laugh watching my reaction.

The Mass was held outside.  Tents and chairs were set up on their lawn for easily 600 people.  There were many priests, the bishop, brothers, sisters, family members, and friends.  This congregation is known for their music and choir.  And, they had two groups of dancers.  One group was elementary school children, and the second group was middle school girls.  It was a beautiful liturgy.  When it was time for the sisters to make their final profession, they were escorted in by their parents.  Mass began around 10 am and was over a little after 2 pm.  Lina and Agnes were surprised that it was over so quickly.  Although I found the liturgy to be very meaningful, I found it to be a bit long. 

After Mass, everyone was fed.  The families and friends of the sisters making final profession ate outside.  There was a special place set up for each sister and her guests.  We ate in the congregation dining room.  After eating, we greeted one of the sisters who made final profession and left.

On the way back to Nairobi, we stopped at Ruaraka.  Sr. Jacquelyn spent a semester here during her sabbatical after being prioress.  She helped set up the library in the elementary school run by the Missionary Benedictines.  Sr. Emily, the principal of the elementary school was just returning as we arrived.  She welcomed us in and gave us juice and Black Forrest cake.  This was the feastday cake of their Sr. Maria, a midwife at their clinic/dispensary.  Sr. Emily gave us an extensive tour of the elementary school, their new building under construction, and their clinic/dispensary.  Their hospitality to us was truly Benedictine.  As we were leaving, they invited me to return and stay with them for a few days. 

We got back to Tumaini Center after 7 pm.  They served ice cream and cake with supper to celebrate the feastday. 

Skyped with Sr. Virginia Kopp, Peggy, and Sharon Ann tonight...  What a gift!

Saturday, August 17

I was able to sleep in this morning.  A true luxury and greatly appreciated and savoured! 

Yesterday, we completed our first week of our web design course.  The concept of link creation is more difficult to teach and to understand that I would have expected.  I worked with several sisters in the lab last evening and again this morning.  Also, the sisters who are catching on are helping me to get the other sisters caught up.  They are another great group!

After class on Friday, Lina and I walked to the tailor's shop.  Lina needs to have some work done on her blue suites.  Lina was impressed that I could find the place after going there only once.  I am having some minor alterations done on my new outfit. 

 

In the evening, Sr. Jane picked up Lina and me to take us to the 40th birthday party of her sister, Judy.  Although the party was well within walking distance, it is not safe to walk there at night.  The traffic last night was quite impressive.

We stayed until after 11 pm and then excused ourselves. 

They did my laundry and cleaned my bedroom on Friday.  Thank God for that!

The weather is becoming warmer.  Right now, it is 74 in my bedroom.  I slept in a tshirt and shorts last night.

This afternoon, Lina and I are going to downtown Nairobi.

Monday, August 19

Today was another mild day. 

We got up to no hot water this morning and no cold water last evening.  Toilets and showers were non-functioning.  Thankfully, we have water again. 

On Saturday, just as Lina and I were getting ready to head to town, it began to rain.  Thankfully, we were not stranded in the downpour. 

Since our plans were cancelled, several of us watched "Out of Africa."  We watched in our tea room.  I used our teacher laptop, our projector, and our sound system. Things really worked well.  Having just visited the Karen Blixen Museum, her home and estate, It was enjoyable to see how well the movie replicated the actual setting. 

On Sunday, Lina and I went to 8:30 Mass at the parish.  After Mass, we joined up with a couple of the Brothers of Charity.  They are a congregation founded by Mother Teresa.  They have a home for the mentally and physically disabled and they have a school for the children of the Kibera slum region of Nairobi. 

One of the brothers walked back to tumaini center with us so that we could change clothes.  We stayed for tea.  Then, the brother took us to their home.  We walked through the market.  The path thru the market was very slippery because of the rain on Saturday.  The market is very extensive.  I can appreciate why Lina needed one of the brothers to take us to their plae.  I am sure I would not be able to find my way thru the maize of the market. 

There are 20+ brothers living at their home for the mentally & physically infirmed.  They have 3 wards, 8-16 beds in each ward.  The brothers live in a separate building.  The facility is adequate but quite minimal.  What a sacred ministry!  Some of the people have been there for more than 20 years.  These are people who have no one to care for them, except the brothers.  Several are epileptic and all have mental issues and many also have physical issues.  One of their residents had no legs.  He lost his legs because of a dispute between his family and another family.  The other family took him, put him on the railroad tracks.  A train came by and cut off his legs just below his hips.  The boy went crazy after that.  Some of the men are their because of war crimes, torture, etc.  The boy is now an adult.  Age is difficult to guess.  

A handsome young adult, a strong young man carries the man without legs to meals and to bed.  He always helps those who need help to get to the dining room.  He also helps to keep the place clean.  He does all of this on his own. 

One of the men must be put in a cage at night.  There is a cage around his bed.  If he is not caged at night, he spends the night taking the blankets of others and eating them.  Apparently he does not sleep at night.  While we were there, he seemed to be sleeping on the cement. 

One man eats leaves and flowers.  He also eats at meals.  Apparently, he never gets sick.

Lina and I helped to feed some of the residents.  All of the residents eat a lot.  They fill the plates with food and the residents clean their plates.  The fellow that we helped to feed ate as fast as we could shovel it in.  We used a table spoon and we filled it each time.  He could open his mouth very wide.  I don't think he chewed his food, I think he just swallowed it. 

It was difficult for me to be there.  Many of the residents drool and many are incontinent.  After the residents ate, then the brothers ate.  They take turns cooking. 

After our meal, two of the brothers took us to their school.  Along the way, we walked through the Kibera slum.  Along the way, I took pictures of children and then showed them the pictures.  Immediately, they became my friends and follwed me as I tried to keep up with the brothers.  Again, the paths were very slippery and were not only for walking but for drainage.  It would not have been pleasant to fall.  All sorts of things were floating by. 

At the school, they also feed the children.  This may be the only food they receive all day. Most probably have little to eat on the weekends.

On the weekends at their home, they allow people from slums to come in to eat and to bath.  What a beautful ministry.  The brothers are very gentle men.  What large and generous hearts they have.  They themselves have very little.  Their living conditions are very minimal.

As we were leaving the school, it began to rain.  Thankfully, although the walking was difficult, I did not fall.  The monks drove us back to Tumaini Center.  Along the way, they showed us the polo fields and the horse racing tracks of Nairobi.

When we got back to the Center, we grabbed a snack and then headed for the Maaasai Market. 

Then, we went to the hospital to visit a sister friend of Lina's.  Sr. Mary Joseph was recovering from a burst appendix.  She is lucky to be alive.  She was living at Ruaraka when Jackie was there.  She is a lovely woman.  Line and I prayed with her before we left her.  We returned to the Center in time for supper.

Today, we began our 2nd week of web design.  Even though I have help, it has been extremely difficult to assist the students in a timely manner.  I had no idea how difficult it would be for the students to grasps the basic concepts of building a web site.  Some are catching on, but some are not.  Other than a short lunch break, and a short supper break, I was in the lab helping the sisters from 8:30 am until 9 pm.

 

 

Sudanese sister dancing. To view, click on the small rectangle at the bottom right of the video box.
The small temporary lab
Half of the re-arranged lab
Right half of the re-arranged lab
The chapel at the center
The carved ebony tabernacle
Unique way to block the view of the keyboard
The GiveAway, Round 3
Receiving the Maaasai bracelet
ASEC building at the Center
Founder's Day Group
Dancers and a brother of one of the dancers
Part of the line for lunch
Walking to St. Thomas Acquinas Seminary & University
Isn't she cute?
Our Lady of Guadalupe Church
Sr. Agnes and her Mother Superior at their convent
A bronze rendition-Jesus falling - Resurrection Gardens
Resurrection Gardens
3 of the Sudanese Sisters
Some of us dancing Monday evening
Along any street, there are variety of vehicles
Purchase minutes for your phone here.
S. Florence looking for shoes
Moving a table into the lab for the printer
The lady who will make my African outfit
Market, on the way to the taylor's shop
Sisters take turns doing our supper dishes.
Dates on the palm tree just outside my bedroom window
on the way thru the bush on the Karen Blixen estate
Maaasai in the National Park
Lina and I at a resteraunt at the National Park
One of the baboons on our bus
My little friend on the bus
Sophie is in the middle, Lina is on the right
Our picnic after supper
Sophie & Lina--what we wear outside we wear inside
trying to keep warm
Center dining room
Graduation Day with the Sudanese Sisters & Sophie
Sophie & I dressed with honor as Sudanese women
Yours truly holding a baby crocodile
Lina with a baby crocodile
Srs. Jane, Lina, at the giraffe park café.
The 2 postulants & I with the roses
The dam that supplies the water for Nairobi
A field of tea
A field of pineapples
The coffee bean flower
coffee plant
Loading up to return to Nairobi on Sunday
And now it is my turn to get in
Our "you look familiar' matatu
Yes, there was a camel on the road to the dam.
Look familiar?
He tosses what is picked over his shoulders into basket
Two children walking home from church
The village near the dam
A common sight along the road
Another form of public transportation
Downtown Nairobi
Final Profession procession at the beginning of Mass
Liturgical Dancers
Another beautiful face of Africa
Ruaraka residence of the sisters
Srs. Emily and Maria, Missionary Benedictines
Missionary Benedictine School in Ruarka
Jacquelyn helped set up this library while she was ther
new hostel for the school under construction