Winter in Kenya is cold.
Just to tell you how we are faring here in this old beloved Kenya.
- Riny van Broekhoven
At the moment George Smith is around and enjoys every minute of it. We have gone for golf at the race course here at Ngong road. I am going to enjoy it. I am sure. He was yesterday with friends at the Railway golf course. He was tired. Not in excellent condition! What is his handicap? I have bought myself some gloves; I had some blisters.
HET IS WINTER IN KENYA
It is summer in Europe and the States but here Nairobi is bitter cold. I have now my windows closed, at night 3 blankets and during the day I have a long sleeved shirt, a sweater and a sport jacket. Colours, I do not mind as long as it is warm.
How are you? Been or going on holidays still? Hopefully some good weather, you meet.
Last Sunday I have been in one of our 123 parishes of the archdiocese and then I was in one of the outstations, St. Margaret’s; slums on one side and on the other side housing estates. People live and pray together, the well to do and the less fortunate ones. This is seen all over Nairobi. The singing was again very well and the dancing girls in procession steal the show. It was an ordinary Sunday and the Church was full to capacity.
This coming Sunday I will be at our Parish Church, Our Lady of Guadalupe. O.L. of Guadalupe has nothing to do with Africa in fact but accepted as the Mexican priests are there for the poor as well for the well to do. This coming Sunday I will be there for the Eucharist in Kishwahili at 7 and continue from there for a boarding school of children all H.I.V. positive, Karen, Nyumbani. The 100 kids are full of pep and receive many, many visitors from English speaking countries especially. They are sponsored by I do not know how many organisations.
This is so for them but the longer I am here, the more I am surprised how many loving people there are to help these and other kids, the single women, the orphans, the small schools, the clinics; just you call it and of so many different denominations and N.G.O.’s. are there. Many people take to heart the less fortunate ones. Politics too!? This problem is huge.
NIEUW DAK OP ONS HUIS
At the moment we are busy with putting on a brand new corrugated iron roof on a formally flat roof which had been serving us for the last 20 years without fault but it needed now a good overhaul. You think that this was the end? We realised that the amount of water would be enormous and all this water would come gushing down. I needed to see the provincial bursar and happily he could approve of it. I think that it was not foreseen in the budget but leakages compelled us!
ONZE W.P. STUDENTEN WEER THUIS VOOR PRIESTERWIJDING
Yes, what else? I have seen the last weeks several young students of our Missionaries of Africa Society, coming through the house, and going home for the Priestly ordinations. They have successfully finished their 9 years of formation in different countries and are now ready to go and take off to one of the countries on the African continent.
It is nice to see others following them: some for 3 years philosophy in Zambia or Uganda, Tanzania, Nigeria with Ghana, Burkina with Mali; others for the noviciate in Burkina or in Zambia; then 2 years stage in one of the communities on the African continent where these youngsters are in full swing; then another 3 years for theology especially and some more practical work in the parishes of Nairobi, Abidjan of Cote d’Ivoire, Jerusalem and Kinshasa. Enormous effort is given to a good formation and every so often we have with these youngsters of ours a get together of how well one fares.
So during these weeks some have gone to their respective places passing by here at our house and more will follow the coming weeks; it is nice that we can meet like this. It means that one of us will take them to the airport or the bus station and before finding a ticket for them, they might need first and foremost inoculations and a visa. So many come and go. I am glad that I can be around and see these young people fully in shape for their next mission. May God bless them and we one another. There is plenty of new life coming up as I can see it.
PAROCHIES IN DE KROTTENWIJKEN
In these days I will be back in the slums for the weekend services as I am helping out in the children’s home now; Nyumbani untill their priest, our confrere is back from holidays. In the slum here next door (on the other side of our main road of Ngong road), there must be 2-3 small fires a month that puts the dwellings in ashes and then they have nothing to cook with or on; no bedding or clothes. People again pull through and hope for the better. How they manage, I do not know.
Today I have seen a man who is making our gutters; he comes with 4 sons; one of them is the one who will continue his father’s business and the three younger ones are still studying. He has put them to this work of gutters and makes sure that the school fees can be paid by working for it and that they still learn a possible trade.
Now he had to be operated upon, an umbelical hernia; He can laugh again but walks not upright yet. Pain. I hope that he can pay the bill though. There is a health insurance but he has had his pension at the railways and that might stop this social fund. He is one of the choirmasters of one of the Jesuit churches here in town, again a slum, Kangemi. Do not forget but 70% surely of the 4 million people in Nairobi are slum dwellers.
This is it for this time.
I hope that you all are well and that you have a chance of giving some news from the other side.
God bless. United in prayer and karibu, karibuni sana.
United in prayer.
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