Posted by: hilarycole | December 2, 2007

More dancing, more singing and mud-church opera

My camera and I were invited to attend Reverend Chris’ graduation from Bungoma Bible School on Friday; it was supposed to be impossible due to my teaching schedule, but he must have had a word or two with a higher power, as my class was cancelled the day before. So Chris got his photos.

I arrived at 10 a.m., an hour after it “started” and joined in the warm-up singing, dancing and general joyousness. The actual ceremony got going a half hour later. After five years of study, he now has his Bachelor of Theology degree.

He preaches at the little church on the farm where I live, so a few of us attended this morning. He made sure to translate most of his sermon for us, which was a messge about December being a month of so many expectations, and suggested we instead see it as a month of preparation for the life we want to live.  Okay.

I likened the Swahili church-service experience to going to the opera – you know the general storyline and can surmise what they’re singing about, but it doesn’t matter that you don’t understand the language because the music is beautiful. Only about 30 people attended (all of them great singers and/or drummers), but interestingly, the children play outside except for various intervals when they come in to dance up the aisle to lead off the processions (gospel, offering, etc.). They were adorable, but what really stands out is how totally uninhibited these kids are when they dance; it’s their role, rather than a self-conscious exercise their parents make them do.

With my other day off last week I went to the Kakamega Rainforest an hour away with a couple of girls; it is stunningly beautiful both inside and from afar as it’s flanked by tea plantations.  Tea is the richest, greenest crop I’ve ever seen; far from the black stuff at the other end of production. I’m hoping to go back there for a night so I can get up and watch the sunrise over it. Our guide told us he knows the perfect spot.

Day one of a five-day EMPOWER class gets going tomorrow, then I start thinking about leaving Kabula, likely for Rusinga Island before I go back to check on all those wonderful people in and around Nairobi.



  1. Please oh please keep writing! Your articles are wonderful!

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