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Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Christmas with Catherine Ndereba 2009

Christmastime is a very important time for Catherine as she looks forward to spending time with her family. With such a large family and each member having many different responsibilities, it is very difficult to arrange for all 9 siblings along with their families to find time to be in one place as I learned while in Kenya trying to film them all together. And that is just referring to Catherine’s side of the family. Add to that Anthony’s side as well as the families of husbands and wives and you can see how difficult it is. Now factor in the roads and the travel time and it becomes even more of a challenge. Even so, it is a time when Catherine tries as hard as she can to bring as much of the family together as possible.

This year, however, will be entirely different. Catherine will not be spending Christmas with her parents or her siblings. She will not even be able to spend it with her daughter, Jane who will spend the holiday with Anthony’s parents. Catherine will spend Christmas day fulfilling a responsibility that comes with her appointment to NOC-K; National Olympic Committee of Kenya. The timing could not be worse but Catherine is a woman of integrity and she will honor her duty to the committee because that is the way she is. Even on the most holy of days, she will do what is required of her. You’re probably wondering what could be so important as to make her miss spending Christmas with her family. Well, as it turns out, it is quite important. Whether or not it is important enough to take anyone away from their family on Christmas is not my call.

On Christmas day, Catherine, along with other members of NOC-K, will be at the airport in Nairobi to receive the Queen’s Baton to continue the Queen’s Baton Relay 2010 leading up to the 2010 Commonwealth Games. Upon researching this journey, I’ve learned that it is very similar to the relay of the Olympic Torch. The Queen’s Baton Relay starts at BuckinghamPalace in London and is presented by the Queen to the carriers of the first leg of the relay. The baton carries a message from the Queen to the host country of the Commonwealth Games.  This year The Relay began on October 29, 2009 and The Baton will pass through all 71 countries that participate in the Games before arriving at the site of the 2010 Games on June 25 in Delhi, India. The members of NOC-K receive the baton on Christmas day, and on Boxing Day take it to Mombassa where they will present it to the President of Kenya. The baton will arrive from Camaroon and from Kenya will head to Tanzania. The route The Baton takes is pretty amazing and you can actually follow it at this website: Queen's Baton Relay  In addition to being able to view the route it takes, there is a small camera mounted in the end of The Baton and you can view actual video of the journey!

So it seems like this is a mixed blessing; it is very unfortunate that The Baton arrives in Kenya on a day that is so important to Catherine and many others, but it is also an honor to have been selected as a member of the Kenyan Olympic Committee and is also an honor to be part of the team that will carry this baton to its next destination. Catherine hopes to be able to spend some time with her family and parents before the New Year and before her daughter, Jane has to go back to school and Anthony resumes his evening school. I, too, hope she is able to get that time; she deserves it.

A rare occasion 5/29/2009 when 5 of the Ndereba siblings were together
pictured here (L-R):
Cyrus Ndereba, Anastasia Ndereba, Carolyn Ndereba, Esther Ndereba

4 of the 5 Ndereba sisters at the Prison's Championships 5/29/2009 Nairobi
pictured L-R: friend and athlete Jane Murage joins
Esther Ndereba, Caroline Ndereba, Catherine Ndereba, Anastasia Ndereba holding daughter Ruth


1 comment:

  1. Wow, that's a profound sacrifice Catherine is making for her sport, given the devout nature of her and her family's faith. It must really have been a difficult decision for her, made easier only by the strength of her family and her relationship with God. But from all you've shared with us about her, she believes God is guiding her and that she needs to do this and honor her commitment. Thank you for sharing this with us. It further defines her legacy and truly makes her even more "Great"!


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