Visiting the Mtoto

We have posted before about some pregnancy taboos in Kenyan culture. Well, once the baby (mtoto in Swahili) has been born, there are no more reservations for talking about and celebrating the new member of the family! In fact, most Kenyans will have all their friends over for chai to meet the new baby. So, a roundabout (and typical) way of asking when a woman is going to deliver her baby is to ask, "When are you having me over for chai?"
Ben gets a visit from some Kenyan friends

Ben is now over two months old, and this post is quite delayed in the coming, but we had over a dozen Kenyan visitors come to see us in the first few weeks after his birth, which was a lot of fun. In typical Kenyan fashion, the host provides the chai and perhaps a snack (cookies or something), and the visitors all bring a gift. We received gifts of pineapple, mangos, baby booties, a dress for Maggie, a cloth for wrapping Ben on my back (like the Kenyans do), and more. We were so blessed to have all these people come and share in our happiness.
Maggie's new Kenya dress!

One of the more memorable visits came from our cytopathologist, Benard, and his family. It was memorable because they brought with them traditional Kipsigis food of ugali (the corn meal porridge like staple here) and murzik. Somehow, Eric and I had managed to spend 15 months in Kenya without ever sampling this infamous beverage which Anna Fader bravely described as "a little bit good." It's basically charcoal flavored drinkable yogurt, made by pouring fresh milk into a gourd along with some charred wood and letting it sit for several days. Yummy. Well, we tried it and I have to agree with Anna. Maggie downed hers, though, and half of mine as well! All in all, we wish we had more of these special Kenyan moments, even as our time here begins to wind down. We are truly blessed by the hospitality of those we work with and serve.
Mmm! Murzik mustache!

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