Monday, August 23, 2010


This week has been considerably more busy than last week. We've been overwhelmed by seeing many more Ik than we usually see. Ik from all over the Timu mountains have been footing (walking) to Kamion (another Ik center) in order to get a bag of maize flour from a free distribution. Unfortunately, they walk past our house and beg for things on the way. I've helped some and hid from others.

Besides seeing a lot of people this week, we also have a fundi (swahili word for builder) staying with us. He is working on several building projects. Firstly, he is going to finish making a brick grinding mill house for the grinding mill we had brought up to Timu several months ago. Secondly, he is going to make us a proper shed (as opposed to the temporary one we currently have). If we have the time, we also want him to construct a visitor's banda (outdoor sitting area) for us to receive people in.

Saturday was a big day for us. We needed to hire a lorry (big truck usually with multiple problems) to bring sand, bricks & cement up to Timu. We had originally planned to do this last Thursday but the lorry we hired never showed up and the driver & owner turned their phones off. So we started off early from Timu; the drive would be 1.5 hours each way. A neighbor of ours, Nachem, sent a man over with a bag of maize to be ground into flour in Kaabong. She also sent her daughter to tell us that she would be accompanying us to grind the maize. Terrill told the girl (Siti) 'no' because neither the mother or father had asked ahead of time. Siti proceeded to walk home and change into her best clothes in preparation for the trip. She was back within five minutes and ready to go. As it turned out, nobody else wanted a ride down to Kaabong so we ended up taking Siti and her maize. What I found funny about Siti the whole day is that she wanted to sit in the front with us, practically in my lap. Even when the back seat was empty; especially when the back seat was empty. She said it was too lonely back there for her. This highlights a cultural value in being with people all the time. Many don't like to be alone.

This is Siti with her youngest sister, Kunume.
Thank the Lord, we found a truck. We loaded 1000 bricks, 12 bags of cement, and a small pile of sand. The sand required that we go to the river with several men and shovels. They hand-filled the sand into and out of the truck. Then we were on our way back to Timu.

Now is the time when I should mention that it hadn't rained for two weeks. We didn't think the rain would magically appear on the day we hired a lorry to drive to Timu. We were wrong. We'd even called our friends in Timu just an hour before driving up there and were told that there was no rain. We bounced along as rain clouds grew in front of us. Rain is a problem when hiring a truck because the road to Timu isn't that good in dry season. In rainy season, it can be impassable. The truck made it to the last hill before our driveway. By that time the rain was pouring down and the road too slippery for the truck to make it. Our six loaders (young men looking to make money for school fees) jumped off the back of the truck and headed to our house. For the next hour we waited inside, sipping chai. I even had a chance to paint Siti's nails pink. As soon as the rain dissipated, the driver went back to work. The progress up the hill was slow. Ten men with shovels and hoes worked on the road until it was passable. An hour later, we were unloading bricks & sand near our house. The only harm done was to the environment in the form of a cloud of black smoke coming from the exhaust of the truck (and that was nothing new).

I have to admit that this was one of the most stressful days of our year. What I didn't mention in this narrative was how drunk people assailed us for rides in Kaabong. I didn't mention all the greetings and begging along the way, which delayed us going to the next appointments. I didn't mention that we lost Siti in Kaabong because a mischievous relative told her that we left her and she walked around town looking for us. And what about the rain that started while the loaders were shoveling sand into the truck. It gave them an excuse to leave early and only load us a small pile of sand. I won't expand on these because we don't want to remember these irritants ourselves. I'll just say that we're thankful for getting the truck up to Timu and we're thankful that Saturday has passed. Don't hear that very often, do we?


The Reeds said...

I'm so sorry!! There are no words to make it go better. but I know you're doing a GREAT job and handling everything well. Wish we were still there so we could at least be frustrated together.

Anonymous said...

Oh my....Such a clear picture of your life. I know God is taking all of it and creating ways that He will be glorified either now or later. Praying for rest for the weary and the "peopled out." I love you, Mary

Tammy On the Go said...

wow, I love taking this journey with you. tahnk you for sharing all the details,e ven the hard ones! much love

Notinthewild said...

Definition of lorry: "big truck usually with multiple problems"