Wow! We have arrived in Meru and what a first day we had! We have included some pictures of the day to try and display just a touch of how it was. The morning started out with a walk around our new surroundings, and as I passed I was definitiley a sight to be seen. The landscape is beautiful, with a hint of ruggedness and the footprints of survival are aplenty. After returning from my walk to Karambu's house I was happy to join Purity, Nanis, and Dennis in the garden where we prepared the soil and then planted many potatoes.
After lunch we went to one of the local churches to witness a competition between the men of 4 different churches and the comp included hymns, a play, tribal song and dance, and tug-of-war. Man, they love their tug-of-war. We were a bit late for the comp and walked into the front of a building in which 250 people had joined to watch the events. JP, My Mom and I had the only white faces in the whole place, and bam, we walked right into the center of attention, it's not everyday that you are part of a vast minority. The people are so kind and love to say hello and shake our hands. JP and I were interested in the events but it was the kids that grabbed our attention. We approached an outcrop of rocks were they all sat and the moment we sat down they scattered. It didn't take long for a few to show their friends how brave they are as they slowly approached and sat with us. Once there were a few, curiosity took control and all came to join in the fun. Quick to smile and laugh, they brought us tremendous joy, and we knew that this is why we came to Africa.
We did not witness the trophy ceremony of the competition, as we had prior engagements. We had a dinner at the new Peace Center of Meru, which supports music, art and culture of the community. We were joined by local Merus and 35 Korean visitors. I am not going to lie, it was a bit odd coming to Kenya and eating Korean food. The night was great as it ended with a small concert and a play, where the local teenagers were able to show off the benefits and success of the Peace Center.
Besides the gnarly case of jet lag, our experience in Africa has been amazing, the first impressions have been powerful and has made all of our efforts thus far more than worth it. Tomorrow we will take one more day to get situated in our new town, and monday, hi-ho, hi-ho, its off to work we go!
Don't be fooled, JP was asleep the whole time and arrived just in time for the picture.
Mosquito nets make it a bit harder to get up to pee at night...
The house Karambu grew up in.
Michele handing out the trophy
Most of these musicians had only beenplaying for a month!