Hello Friends: Below is Laurra McGregor’s Report from yesterday. It’s good to have a woman’s perspective on what’s going on.
Blessings to you all
Currently it’s Monday at noon. Our day has already been full but before I tell you about today, I’d like to finish my story from yesterday…
After receiving my necklace from Lois, we took group pictures outside of the church. The ladies excitedly held up their bags and/or three fingers representing the three years the kits would last.
Val then asked if we could see a manyata, a traditional Masai home, and a young couple with three children agreed to take us to theirs.
I really had no idea where we were going, so I just followed along, walking through a field of red, fertile earth under a vast sky of billowing clouds. It was quiet & calm. A sweet, peaceful breeze was blowing. In my heart, I knew it was the place I had dreamed about a few months before & I felt very close to Heaven.
After a while I asked where the home was, and although Val pointed to it, I really couldn’t see it. I looked back at the church where we had come from & thought we had already walked a heck of a ways, but no one seemed bothered & I was really enjoying the peace, so I just kept walking.
Suddenly we were at the manyata. No wonder my eyes hadn’t picked it out of the brush–it was a 10×12 foot mud hut straight out of National Geographic. It blended right in with the bush for those who didn’t know what they were looking for.
We were invited to come in….and for a just a moment it was awkward–there is no door & you have to duck your head, turn sharply to the right, and walk into pitch blackness. I could not see a thing, not a thing when I entered. I had to steady myself with my hand against the mud wall, feeling my way inside. Deb’s so much taller than I am that she was practically bent in half. We fumbled into the kitchen area where light was coming through a vent/window 4×4 inches square right below the ceiling. Deb & I used our phone flashlights to see where we were & take in our surroundings.
The kitchen area was about the size of a small toilet stall. Directly in front of us was a teeny fire pit with a metal grate on top. It looked like it held one pot at a time. Immediately to the right was an opening in the wall where there was a very small sleeping area for one person–like you’d find in a small boat. The woman’s husband proudly told us in Masai, “That is where she sits while she cooks!” I learned it was also her bed, for in the Masai culture the man & woman sleep separately. I believe he was proud his wife had an actual place to sit/rest while she worked. Carved directly into the wall behind the stove were two “cabinets” which held their few plastic dishes.
Everything, although it was mud based, was very clean & tidy. I mentioned this many times, hoping to extend my gratitude at them allowing us into their home.
There were two more small sleeping areas, one across from the other. This is where the father & the older children slept. The last room was the pen where the baby goats were kept. Wild animals are a constant battle & the babies are too small to protect themselves.
All of this inside of a space no bigger than the area of one of my children’s bedrooms.
And I just have to emphasize the darkness. It was so dark with no other windows besides the kitchen vent, & the doorway opening provided minimal light because it was around a corner. Masai women spend most of their days in these huts preparing food & taking care of the children. They have no electricity. No water. Almost none of them have an education.
The daily life of a typical Masai woman is: rise at 4:30am. Take the 5 gallon water container & walk four to seven miles one way for water (depending on where your hut is in comparison to the water source (river).) Arrive home and begin preparing the meals for your family. Watch the children. Feed your family. Clean up. Go to bed. Get up & do it again. Forever.
This is how Lucy was raised. This is why she wants to give girls a chance to be free & educated. This is why she helped plant the church in the middle of Masai country. It’s a place of community, a place where the women can come together & see themselves as a special & important child of God.
As Deb & I walked back to the church she brought up the idea of building a well on the church property. A well would change the lives of the women & truth be told, the entire Masai community. Not having to walk 8-12 miles a day for 5 gallons of water is life changing.
The more Deb talked, the more excited we became. We asked a few Kenyan men how much it would cost to build a well on that property. They told us that the cost of a well depends on how deep it must be dug, and whether or not it would have an electric pump and/or holding station. Land nearby had recently been tested for what depth it would need to hit water & it was 150 feet (which is deep). We asked how much that would cost, and we were told it would be $5,000 for a “bore hole” including a hand pump (non-electric). It’s the least expensive type of well, but works perfectly with elbow grease and the Masai have plenty of that.
That is our prayer for them. I will get back to that subject later, but at the moment, we’re leaving this prayer in God’s hands.
After we got back to the hotel & cleaned up, we were off to Lucy’s house for a traditional Kenyan dinner. It was a mix of delicious chicken, lentils, beef stew, spinach, and chapatis. We had a great time talking about her life & the rescue center she will soon be building through WorldCOMP for the girls.
It was a day of sensory overload for my mind, spirit, and heart. Reflecting through this two part email re-excites yet exhausts me. I am so very blessed to be here having these experiences. It’s almost unbelievable when I think about it, and I think that’s why I’m taking such care to share it with you.
Briefly about today: we visited the site where Lucy will build the rescue center for the Masai girls, and then we said goodbye & left on a five hour drive across the country. We have spent the rest of the day traveling to Kisumu where we will spend the night & see the Solid Rock Widows Center tomorrow. I know I’ll have a lot more to report in the next email (whew!)
We did happen to make a stop in the middle of the tea fields at an old English style tea room in Kericho. It was lovely, and the smell as we walked around the grounds was Heavenly. I really thought of & missed my mom & Mahrin as I imagined us having a sort of African high tea while the monkeys ran through the tree tops, which they did. It was a perfect Jane Austen thing to experience in the middle of this otherwise very African trip.
Thank you again for your prayers! I feel uplifted & protected & I so appreciate you keeping me & my family in your thoughts & prayers.
God Bless You!