Thursday, 15 November 2012

A Humbling Experience in Kisumu Town

This past weekend I traveled with Caferine my best friend here to her village for her grandma's funeral. I had the privilege of staying with her family for the weekend who taught me so much. I learned Luo greetings and now have four new Luo names (Akinyi meaning in the morning, Achien'g meaning during the day, Truphosa the name of Caferine's grandma, and Atieno). Her family despite it being a sad time for them was so grateful and kept saying how happy there were to have me there. The whole family wanted to build me a semi-permanent house out of cow dung and mud on their land to live.  I was honored to be asked back for a longer stay next time and requested by her sisters to bring chocolate.

The Funeral:
Here like church services are all day processes which start at around 10 with actual burial ending around 3. There is an introduction of family members where many close relatives talk about their lost loved one followed by the actual service lead by the preachers. During parts of the funeral around mid day I noticed people getting up and leaving and later found out they were going for lunch but would soon return. This service takes place on the grounds near the house of the love one  where they will soon be laid to rest. I had trouble understanding the service because it was in Luo so I spent much of the time helping in the kitchen prepare food for family members and guests. The most memorable part was at the actual grave site feet away from grandma's house. The singing was beautiful as family said goodbye.

Village Life:
It was definitely hot where at my new home with few trees for shade. I got to enjoy and learn more cooking of traditional Kenyan dishes over charcoal and firewood. I learned how they fry their fish, make ugali, smashed potatoes, and mandazi. One evening after visiting family we got to ride the boda boda (motorcycles) at night and I swear I have never seen so many stars in my life the sky was gorgeous. What I will take back from this experience is the simplicity in the lifestyle of the people in the village. They do not have much but what they do have they are so grateful for and make the most of it. They live wonderful lives and are true examples to follow.They took such good care of me and made sure I was always alright.

I wish I had pictures to show you of my experience and eating fish from Lake Victoria with my hands but my memory card was not working. It has since been fixed so expect more pictures soon!

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