Friday, March 7, 2008

A Word from Marge

Dear Family and Friends,
Hello from Pavilion Village Orphanage at the beautiful foothills of Mt. Kenya!First, I want to say that I love and miss you all. But I am so satisfied in my soul to finally be in Kenya. Though, please know that there is always a place in my heart that longs to see you and be with you. I would like to bring you up-to-date on my trip to Kenya. It was long, but full of grace and favor. On the twolongest legs of the trip (Detroit to Amsterdam, and Amsterdam to Kenya), I was given a seat by thewindow, which I love, and NO ONE sat beside me either time. I was able to stretch out on the seats andsleep a while. Also, all my luggage arrived with me unharmed, a miracle in itself!
There was no violencewhen I arrived, so after spending the night in Nairobi we traveled to the orphanage in Karatina safely thenext day. God is so good....all the time!Since I have lived in Kenya before, I honestly am not experiencing culture shock. I love the people hereand have actually been able to communicate in Swahili a little (they also speak English). They aresurprised and pleased, and I am surprised and pleased that I have remembered as much of it as I have!
OK....not much culture shock. Some of the challenges that caught me off guard are: Since there is noelectricity at the orphanage, just solar power (which I knew), we do not have hot water. Bath water isheated on a fire outside where the cooking is done. I get a bucket full to bathe in, which is about twoinches of water at the deep end of the tub. You ought to see me wash my hair! The solar power workswell unless it is a cloudy day (and the rainy season starts in a couple of weeks). We are able to use lightsat night as long as the sun shines during the day. But one night the lights went out at 8:30 p.m., and I hadto bathe by flashlight. Interesting! (There were not enough kerosene lamps to go around, but you can betI went to town the next day and bought another one!!!) Another adjustment is the lack of privacy. Theorphanage is a 1,500 square foot house with 24 children and four adults (which includes a Kenyan familyof five with a baby)....28 people in one house (about 40 people total at the orphanage). I share a bedroomwith Debbie Gray (co-director), who has been here from the beginning. She is the sister of Kathy Watsonof Christ Chapel, and is a delight. We get along great and have much in common...we laugh a lot! OtherKenyan staff live on the grounds with their children in what we would describe in America as shacks. Butthey don't seem to notice. They have a job, food, and a place to live. From what I have observed, theyare uncomplaining and appreciative.
The children at the orphanage are precious, of course. Most of their ages run between 5-15 years, butjust before I arrived, a couple of younger children were brought to us because their mother had been killedin the recent post-election violence. The two-year-old is very shy and cries a lot because she doesn'tunderstand where her mother is. It's heartbreaking. The other children are well adjusted to the orphanageand are like children and loud! There's always one to hang onto you if you stand stilllong enough. Most of them are in school during the day, with the exception of the little ones..Here is a brief rundown of some personal info:- I'm having difficulty getting email set up; hopefully it will be resolved soon. But I do have a cell phone thatworks great here.
Letters take about three weeks; packages, about 6 weeks (I have plenty of hair color!). You can write tome at: Marge Clark, P.O. Box 804, Karatina, Kenya, East Africa.I will write more about the ministry soon, but just wanted to let you know that I am well and happy. PavilionVillage is a wonderful ministry and I feel privileged to be serving here. Thank you so much for youremotional and financial support....but most of all for your prayers. I can truly feel them.
Much love and blessings to you all.
Mungu yu mwema! (God is good!)

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