We have had many chances over the past two years to visit out Kenyan friends in their homes. Some live in apartments not that different than our own. Some live in cinderblock homes, and some live in traditional Kipsigis mud and thatched roof homes. One of our interns, Kibet, invited us to his home for chai to say goodbye. We had previously visited his church and eaten at an uncle's home, but Eric had been on call that weekend, so we were invited for another visit so Eric could come along.
I'll tell you this: Kenyans do many things well. One is hospitality, and another is goodbyes. We got to experience both at Kibet's. We (Alyssa, McLaughlins, Jason/Anna, and Heather's dad) first gathered together under a little gazebo to visit and eat green loquats (perhaps more on this interesting fruit in future posts). Then Kibet gave us a tour of his family's land, including a foot bridge crossing the idyllic Chepkulo River, livestock, and a variety of crops and buildings. After the tour, we returned to Kibet's home for chai. We had specifically said that we would be unable to stay for lunch, so despite the fact that it was 11am, Kibet's family laid out quite a spread for chai: pumpkin, chicken, potatos, rice, and bread.
After eating and introductions came the gift exchange. Kibet and his family gave each of our families the gift of a calabash. It's a special gourd, dried and hollowed out and scraped with charcoal that is used for "brewing" the charcoal-yogurt flavored murzik drink favored by the Kipsigis. It is a special gift of friendship, and we are honored to have it. They also gifted us with bananas and a pumpkin. In return, we thanked them by giving them a few US treats. Kibet's grandma liked the bag they came in the best, I think!
The morning was complete when we got stuck in the mud on the way home (a la the Cropseys' last village trip). We climbed out of the van and pushed it on its way. Very Kenyan. We might miss these moments. :)