We hauled the kids out of bed at 6:45am this morning! Our friend, Margaret, who works at the hospital, invited us to go to mass with her at her church. Both Mike and I were raised Catholic and have missed the rituals of the mass – the familiarity of the call and response prayers, the predictable cadence that brings comfort, and the blessing of the bread and wine. We left the house at 7:30am and drove up steep and winding dirt roads, past small dwellings, plots of land with crops and animals, and finally arrived at Margaret’s home.
We had the Higgin’s family with us. Thomas is an orthopedic surgeon who works at the University of Utah. By strange coincidence, he and Mike crossed paths back in 2000 when Mike did his hand fellowship in Utah, but barely knew each other back then. Roll on 14 years, and Mike got an email from Thomas asking if there was a need for a short-term trauma surgeon at Kijabe Hospital. Mike realized who he was and invited him to come as soon as was possible! He worked here for a couple of weeks last year and returned with his family this past May for almost 4 months! His wife, Meghan, is phenomenal and we are like two peas in a pod (which I suppose makes me phenomenal by default!). They have two kids, Corrine, who is in Jane’s class, and Owen, who is in Kindergarten. Our two families could not get on any better!
We reached the church right on time for 8:30am mass, but the priest was nowhere to be seen. He had been delayed at a precious service and would not reach the Magina Church until 10am! No problem – the kids rolled with the delay. Michael started wrestling with the other boys his age (as you do as a 10 year old boy!) and Jane plonked herself down on the grass while the littler kids played with her long, straight hair. The children’s choir practiced their tunes and their moves!
Then the priest arrived just as the sky started to turn dark and mass began! The singing and dancing were incredible! The priest was energetic and preached in Gikuyu, Kiswahili and a bit of English (the latter for our benefit, of course!). There was so much joy and celebration packed into those pews!
After the mass ended, there was a fundraiser and a very exciting raffle! Meghan won a jug of orange juice and Mike won…
And so ended the day…almost 7 hours later, with hungry tummies and very happy hearts, we piled into the car…all 15 of us and our new hen, Lucy…who now lives with the bunnies and was spotted snuggling with baby Runt shortly before bedtime!!! We arrived home to monkey paw prints all over our kitchen counters (somebody left the window open!) and a very depleted fruit bowl.