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A & S Newsletter 2018

A special weekend at Arise and Shine
By Jane Wyndham

I had wanted my last weekend at Arise and Shine to be special and had been planning lots of fun things for the children. Little had I known that they had been planning a special day for me too...

It was Saturday the 3rd of March and i would be travelling home on the Monday. Matt had asked if I would cook the Children and Staff an English meal while I was there and we had decided that this would be a good evening to do this.

Just before lunch that day I had started to prepare the meal, I did most of the preparation in my room so the Staff could rest and leave me to it. I was going to be cooking Spaghetti Bolognaise, ironic I know as it was meant to be an English meal, but it had to be something I could easily cook by the methods they use. Some of the dry ingredients I had brought from home and the fresh ingredients I had bought from a big Supermarket in Nakuru the day before.
For the dessert I had brought from home Jelly and Angel Delight. There isn't a fridge but there was a freezer so I could set the Jelly in there.

I had some balloons with me and wanted to decorate the dining room for the children. It was a very wet afternoon and the children were all watching a DVD in the lounge. The only problem was my room was one side of the lounge and the dining room on the other and you had to walk through. I had blown all the balloons up in the morning and had to get them past the children without them noticing..This became quite comical as I smuggled them through in carrier bags as the children kept looking at me wondering what I was up to!

I cooked the sauce for the Spaghetti on their wood burning stove, Anne, Winnie and Ruth all wanted to watch what I did and asked lots of questions about the spices I was using as Kenyan food tends to be quite plain, flavoured only with salt or fresh garlic and onion.

The food was always dished up for everyone before the children were called in to the dining room. We had the Spaghetti Bolognaise, Bread and the Jelly with Angel delight on top served in Party cups.
When all the food was laid out and the children came in there was lots of excitement as they loved to balloons. Not being used to having dessert some of the children ate this first, some during and some after. But they all seemed to enjoy it. Everyone was smiling and the atmosphere was lovely.

After the meal we all had soda's and there was a big CHEERS! as we clinked bottles. We finished the evening by having sweets whilst watching a DVD. I went to sleep that night with a smile on my face.

The next morning was to be my last full day with them and they had planned the day ahead for us all to enjoy. Everyone was up early and you could hear the excitement as they all buzzed around doing any of the chores they needed to do for the day before we went out.

We set off around 9am and it was a very long walk, I found it much more tiring than I expected due I think to the altitude and the heat.
The scenery was spectacular and it was lovely to chat to the older children and find out more about them as we walked.

Our first stop was going to be a cave, this involved a fair amount of climbing up and clambering down...
The cave was really worth the walk, and the children were so excited about having there photo's taken in there. On from the cave was a waterfall that I had heard so much about, it is somewhere that the children love to visit. It was by no means easy to get there and I need a hand up from Dismas(he works on the farm) and a push up from behind which was very amusing from Winnie(she works at the home and is very strong!).

The waterfall was beautiful and as it had been the dry season they were able to climb up on the rocks and walk right underneath it. Later in the year those rocks would be covered with water and they wouldn't be able to get up there. The children loved getting wet and were literally soaked. The weather was warm so everything dried off very quickly.

We continued our walk and ended up at David's house(assistant director). David's wife Janet had prepared some Mandazi for us, these are sweet deep fried pastries, which I grew to love whilst there.
We had bottles of Soda and the Mandazi and some biscuits, and a well needed rest.
As we had not been to Church that morning some of the children did Bible readings for us and they also thanked me for visiting them. I had the opportunity also to thank them for making me feel so welcome, I really wasn't looking forward to saying goodbye to them all.
They played some African music and there was dancing and also some singing, all the children were joining in. It was lovely to see them so relaxed and enjoying themselves.
David had collected the small children as they hadn't joined us on the walk and so they were able to enjoy all this with us. This was lovely for them as they hadn't been taken on a day out before.
Janet, David's Wife had taken me to watch her milk their Cow and also shown me round their house and she showed me her kitchen and how she does her cooking and where their washing is done too.

David gave us all a lift home in his 4x4 and trailer, this was definitely  the African way to travel... All pile in and find a space, on someone else's lap! 13 people in the car and 16 in the trailer, needless to say we didn't travel very quickly.

This was a weekend that I won't forget for a long time.

I thank God for the opportunity to spend time at Arise and Shine, and for the things I have learnt and experienced whilst I stayed with them. And I thank our Church family for the support they give to Arise and Shine.