Marian Baker

From board member Marian Baker: Greetings from Tanzania

After a day of rest at Elizabeth’s and visiting Ebwambwa Friends Church, I met Roselyne Amugune and Agneta in Kakamega and travelled to Tarime, Tanzania. On the way, we discovered there is a premium shuttle that goes direct from Kakamega to Kisumu and another that goes direct to Migori- that does not have any loud music, is rarely stopped by police check points, and is a pleasant ride plus it gives us receipts and bottled water. Enjoyed seeing white egrets seen among purple flowering water hyacinths along edges of rice fields along the journey southward. On the way back from Tanzania, we were able to book in Migori the shuttle to collect us the next morming at Emusunzu Friends (home of Fanuel and Dorcas Simiti) and we didn’t have to backtrack to Migori town.

When we reached Tarime we were warmly welcomed by Esinas and family as well as the new pastor of Tarime. The next morning, I helped Esinas gather some of the foods needed for the Sunday School Teachers Training. In the afternoon, we went to the church. What a joy to find that Tarime Friends had continued building on their own. They had completed the masonry on all sides up to the roof, had built two permanent, easy to clean latrines, and had even plastered some inside the church and made a blackboard for our training as well as for future use. They were just finishing putting on the doors of the latrines. We sang and danced with joy. Two students came from Secondari Meeting and gradually most of the others arrived later in the day or early the next day, though a few didn’t come until almost the last day! Judith arrived in the morning after putting Beth Collea on the plane in Nairobi. I was grateful that most students brought chickens, milk, or beans to help out on cost of food.

As Agneta, Judith, and Roselyn taught the three levels of Sunday school teacher training, I sat in back with three elderly women from Tarime, who brainstormed what they could do with the rest of the extensive land near the church such as planting trees while making plans for further buildings.

Three teenage boys from Tarime who had been helping on the building along with their new pastor all asked to be taught, so Judith came to teach them. The other two from Tarime in the 3rd year class were the most active in that class- compared to those who came from other areas in Serengeti who were jealous of Tarime, and not motivated to take notes and ask questions. I gave two lessons on Margaret Fell and on Priscilla Makhino using the Faith and Play method while sitting on one of the mats we had bought to help Tarime host the visitors.

The final day we handed out certificates. Dorcas and Nicholas Otieno stopped by to encourage us all, and Daniel who had done much of the masonry presented me with a chicken- another moment of great joy and thanksgiving with Tarime Friends.

Then Judith went to Mugumu, Kisangura, and Kebesonga to follow up on table banking with the women while Agneta and Roselyn and I visited Dorcas Lugalia and husband, Fanuel Simiti in Emusunza near Migori. Dorcas had been active recording clerk for USFW Kenya for many years, and Fanuel had raised funds in previous years for Tarime roofing. Fanuel brightened up as I shared pictures of Tarime now, while Dorcas had fun giving a tour of her gardens- including her large rosemary bushes. They both were very excited to have us visit and share news, since they are housebound due to Fanuel’s illness.

We arrived back in Kakamega by 2PM today and after a day of rest and repacking, we will head to Mbale, Uganda to complete this year’s trainings of Sunday School teachers before I fly back to USA, where cooler weather will be a good change. (I thought I would melt today, while waiting in matatus in Kisumu, a city known for its heat year-round).

Thanks to you all for your support.