Yesterday, Audrey, Sean, and I went on an adventure to Kilgoris, a town a few hours north of the Mara, where Philomen lives with his family (that is, when he’s not being a fantastic cook, an impeccable housekeeper, and an all-around great guy here at Serena). Two weeks ago, Philomen’s wife Judith gave birth to a gorgeous baby girl named Silandoi, so we went to visit the family and meet its newest member.
Philomen’s house is simple, well-constructed, and amazingly cool in the midst of the equatorial heat. Here in Kenya, there’s a huge emphasis on family life, so brothers, sisters, parents, and other relatives often live in very close proximity. It was hard to tell who lived on the property, who was visiting, and who just showed up to hang around. Not that it really mattered, since everyone seemed quite at home!
In the spirit of generous Kenyan hospitality, Philomen prepared and served (on a silver platter, no less!) a huge meal for us. Afterwards, he poured endless cups of steaming chai until I finally learned how to say “I’m full” in Kiswahili (for future reference, it’s "Nimeshiba"). It’s a handy phrase to use when you’re the guest in a Kenyan home…otherwise, food and drink will continue to appear in front of you until you end up in a massive food coma.
Finally, we were introduced to dozens of family members, friends, and local kids. Since “wazungu,” or foreigners, are a bit of a curiosity here, it seemed like everyone in town had showed up to meet us and wish us well. Everyone was fantastically friendly, and we finally said our gracious goodbyes after several hours of hand-shaking, chai-drinking, and picture-taking.
Oh, and, with a gift from MSU, Audrey created possibly the cutest little Spartans fan ever. In a few years, Philomen's daughter Nola may be the newest FisiCamp recruit!