Mosqitoes, a 16 Cow Wedding, The Shower, and Laundry

Nov 5th, 2011
Some mosquitoes found their way inside my netting last night and identified the areas of my body that didn’t have repellent. I woke up with bites on the bottom of my feet, my thumb, and my lip. Tonight I will make sure that I am covered completely and get the mosquito net tighter.
The men's dorm - Wall to wall bunk beds covered with mosquito netting

Mark, Tom and I worked on the goat pen for a couple of hours. It was really hot today so my clothes were soaked with sweat. After an hour we broke to go get sun screen on. The sun really beats down on you here and the rain yesterday contributed to make it humid as well.

Me, Eddison, Tom, Patrick and some school boys with the goat pen
The coconut wood that we are using for the pen is an interesting wood to work with. When it is wet it is kind of soft but when it dries it is like a rock. Trying to saw through it is a joke whether it is green or dry. The wood seems to swell around the saw blade either way making it almost impossible to saw. Mark blew a fuse when he was cutting it with the skill saw.
The Happy Couple on Their Wedding Day
At noon we broke from work and drove to Gona where Chikia’s sister was getting married. Bret is her adopted father so he negotiated with the family for her dowry. She is a 16 cow plus wife. The wedding was under a bowery made up of poles with flour sacks stretch across them. When Bret stood up to talk his head bumped on the poles. Several family members gave them advice and then people came forward and gave them gifts. The majority of the gifts were people handing them money. They broke out the food and passed around large trays of rice cooked with meat. The people eat by making a rice ball and placing it in their mouth. They didn’t bring us any food. They have been around Americans enough to know that we would not see that as appetizing. Chikia did come around with sodas for all of us.

The Wedding dance. The newly wed couple starts then others join in.
They had loud music playing much of the time and one of the ladies really danced around. Bret and Kevin went and videoed her dancing then danced a little with her. I will have to get a link to the video when it gets posted on the Koins for Kenya website. It should go viral;)

We were starving when we got back to the KCC so we pulled out some left over spaghetti noodles and each did our own thing with them. We all ate them cold with ketchup and other stuff put on to give it flavor. Being here in Kenya and working hard this morning made me really appreciate cold spaghetti noodles.

I worked on the hay storage facility on the north side of the goat pen after lunch. Edwin and Antone, a couple of twelve year old boys, came over to watch me work. Soon they joined in and were doing the work. They picked up on the tools quickly and were a good help. Edwin asked me if the book that I had in my pocket was my bible.  I told him that it wasn’t and pulled out my iphone and said this is my bible. I asked him his favorite book of scripture and he told me Psalms. I then showed him Psalms and asked him his favorite passage. He said the Lord is my Shepherd so I flipped to the 23rd psalm and read it with him. It was a neat experience.

One of the shower stalls: the ledge in the upper right corner is for  toiletries and soap, the bench  keeps your things from getting too wet, the drain in the back takes the water to the garden for irrigation.
This evening I went to the kitchen to get my hot water for my shower. Ester gave me a pitcher full and I went outside to the faucet to fill the bucket with cool water. It is an interesting experience to shower using a bucket and a measuring cup but after sweating all day it felt awesome. I got another bucket of water and did my laundry. It is always a good conversation starter when we do our laundry. Here laundry is definitely women’s work. Emily and Ester will do it for us but they have been very busy with everyone here so I just did it myself. The plunger thing worked well for agitating the clothes then I wrung them out and hung them on the line.
Bret’s wife, Ingrid, is in Vegas at going to the Eagles concert tonight so Riley pulled up some Eagles songs and we sat on the veranda singing songs. It was almost as good as a concert. Everyone played songs from their ipods and ipads. It was a lot of fun.