Today we actually got to sleep in; 7am! We left our lovely *cough* Central Hotel after a decent breakfast that was included with the room. We arrived at
Finally the children were rewarded when first Anthony was introduced to speak and then Catherine.
They did not speak in English so I had to rely on the reactions of the children and later learned what they were told. Anthony warned them about staying away from the gangs that had been causing some trouble in the area lately and Catherine spoke to them about working hard in school and nurturing any talents they have that they should not be afraid to start small and not give up. She urged parents to let their children follow their dreams and to support them and she was very humbled that so many people came out to see her on a Saturday when they could be doing other things. She also announced that she was donating 100,000ksh to the school to use for things that they need most! There was a question and answer session after and the children seemed curious to know more. Once again, we were there longer than I had anticipated; I just underestimate the amount of time people want to spend with Catherine especially when it comes to kids!
Before leaving we were invited to have some drinks and a snack so of course we accepted (remember it is impolite not to anyway and we were very hungry by that time!) When I say drinks, it is not the kind of drinks you may be thinking but it also was not tea! It was soda which is very big in
It was once again getting late and we needed to visit Catherine’s birth home so off we went. Catherine rode with us in the van so she could commentate and Anthony drove their 4 wheel vehicle. We made a stop at the little shopping strip so Catherine could buy some groceries to bring to her brother’s home as she never shows up empty handed. It is customary to bring basic needs to those who do not earn as much as you do. She got what she needed, I got drinks for everyone and then we continued on our way.
As we neared our destination the ground was soggy and muddy and lo and behold we got stuck! Anthony was driving ahead of us and didn’t notice so he kept going until he was out of site. We all got out of the van and Jon and Willy pushed while Michael (driver) tried to steer the way out. Catherine and I stood out of the way and watched the mud flying! She was on the phone so Anthony called me to ask where we were and I told him our predicament! He drove back but the guys were finally able to free the van and we continued to the birth home.
It was different from last year in the fact that the project her brother was working on that prevented us from driving up the hill was complete but we decided not to even try taking the van up the hill! Anthony drove up but we walked! It is a beautiful piece of land that sits up high and overlooks the countryside; just breathtaking. Catherine walked us around the property and showed us where she and her siblings lived, how they gathered water and where she grew food. The original structure she lived in as a child is still there but her brother, Anthony uses it for storage now and built another house on the land where he lives with his wife, Grace (also known as Mama Lillian) and two children, Hilda and Lillian. Word quickly spread that Catherine was visiting and soon a former neighbor showed up as well as Catherine’s uncle, one of her father’s brothers! Catherine gave her uncle some groceries and she gave the former neighbor some cash (again, custom to help those less fortunate). Then Mama Lillian prepared tea for all as well as sweet potatoes that she had roasted on the fireplace that is their stove. The house is in the same style as the one Catherine grew up in with the kitchen in a separate building. We enjoyed the healthy snack and then had to say our goodbyes so we could make our last stop of the day.
She asked me to come to her house (just up the road) for a visit and some tea and I felt horrible having to decline. I know it is not polite but we were on a very tight schedule and it would be getting dark soon and we still had to visit Anthony’s parents who had been waiting for us. I promised that the next time I come I will take her up on the generous offer.
We drove back through Karatina and on to Anthony’s parents who still live in the home where Anthony grew up. I still don’t know how people find their way around these places as there are no street signs and people just know which coffee field to turn at! I had not seen Anthony’s parents’ home in daylight and when we arrived it was very pretty! They have a little orchard/garden where they grow some vegetables and also have some passion fruit trees! They showed us down into the garden and I watched Anthony climb a passion fruit tree like a little kid (even though he was wearing dress clothes and shoes!)
He and Catherine knocked down a lot of fruit and I tasted my first passion fruit which was surprisingly good! We then interviewed Anthony’s parents, Jane and