"And if you SPEND YOURSELVES on behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness and your night will become like the noonday."

"The Lord will continually guide you. He will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail."- Isaiah 58:10-11

Friday, April 4, 2008

The Celebration Ceremony - Tuesday, April 1

WOW! The entire Trans Mara region came out to celebrate the fact that we are here! School was called off and people traveled from all over (some from over 100 miles) to be here to meet us today. We were not expecting such a greeting! We gave the orphans their red T-shirts and slowly marched up the hill to the orphanage singing all the way! The children from the primary, secondary, and High school had prepared dramas, poetry readings, songs, and traditionally Maasai dances for us. The town government officials came, two Maasai chiefs, and 9 pastors! Every one of them spoke! It was over 3 hours long but it was really cool! Both Rick and Scott had opportunities to speak and they were the ones to officially cut the ribbons in the dedication of the orphanage. It was quite an honor!

Once it was over we had a chance to play with the orphans a little which was very fun! They are a lively and joyful bunch. I can tell already that it will be difficult to leave them. Tomorrow we will spend the entire day with them and begin the interviews with each of them! The younger children are fascinated with our kids. They keep rubbing their arms to try to get the white paint off to see the black skin beneath!

It is amazing to be in a land where everything is so opposite what it is in America. No one has a car here – everyone walks…far. The houses are made of mud with grass roofs or are made of crude bricks with aluminum roofs. They are grouped in threes or fours with miles between them. The roads are all dirt and there are mostly foot paths that people travel down. There are small herds of cattle scattered around. No one is in a hurry – everyone stops to greet each other as they pass. Children wear tattered, filthy clothing. The babies are all wrapped in blankets because there are no diapers. There is no running water and people cook over a wooden fire with pots. There is no electricity save for the generator at Joseph’s house and one at the orphanage. No one has a bathroom – they make due in the wild. There is one here where we are staying but it is only a hole in the ground. Everything seems so primitive except that many people have a cell phone! It is very humorous to see someone dressed in traditional Maasai clothing walking along with their cows and then hear their cell phone ring and watch them pull it out of their beaded belt and start talking!

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