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The African Grapevine

Sunday School class in the sun at Maranatha Baptist Church.  Children are acting out young Samuel being awakened by God.
Sunday School class in the sun at Maranatha Baptist Church. Children are acting out young Samuel being awakened by God.

Today is Monday*  11Feb 2013

* “Juma Tatu”    Day 3 of the week  (Swahili week begins with Sunday)   Juma:  Week/  Tatu: 3

Tea fields at sunset
Tea fields at sunset

I Heard it through the Grapevine

I was in a store last week and heard it over the stereo system.  That unmistakable bass line of the beginning of “I heard it through the grapevine.”  It was the Marvin Gaye version  (the Creedence version weighing in at ten minutes is my favorite.)   I fully expected the California raisins to come prancing in.

In Kenya, you hear about the “African Grapevine.”  It’s the unique ability that news travels fast.

I’ll share several items from my African Grapevine.

What makes me homesick:

I’m convinced Kenya is exactly where I need to be a this point in my life.  But that doesn’t mean I don’t often feel homesick.  Here are several things and thoughts that prick my heart:

  • When the British Airways flight from London (the same one that brought us here) comes over between 9 and 10 each night on its approach to Nairobi Airport.
  • Listening to any roots/bluegrass music.  It makes me miss Vance, David, Dwayne, and all of my music friends.   “Heading down South to the Land of the Pines.”  (From “Wagon Wheel” by Bob Dylan)
  • Wishing I could smell some pine sap.
  • Thinking about Dry Creek fried catfish.  I’ve had 3 fried meals since arriving in Kenya.
Our language class at the tea fields.  Our teacher Peter Kebo is at extreme right.  DeDe is whipping my behind in speaking Swahili.
Our language class at the tea fields. Our teacher Peter Kebo is at extreme right. DeDe is whipping my behind in speaking Swahili.

My favorite moments of the past week in Africa:

a.  the whip poor will cousin (Nightjar) that sings each morning in greeting.

b.  African hospitality     The greetings and smiles.

c.   Tea fields.  Walking for kilometers in the waist high green tea fields is wonderful.

The Solid Rock.  Hand cut stone at the edge of the tea fields.
The Solid Rock. Hand cut stone at the edge of the tea fields.

Why we are here:

DeDe and I are part of

My word for today is passion.

My current favorite Swahili word:  kidogo kidogo  “little by little.”

Read Curt’s Current Six Words to live by http://www.creekbank.net/2012/10/curts-current-six-words/

How you can pray for us this week:

  • Our continuing journey on learning/using Swahil.  It is full time job learning and putting into practice our new language.  Pray (Ombea) hard!
  • Our ministry in the tea fields and dukas (small stores) in Tigoni, Kenya
  • Peace as our country, Kenya, prepares for a national election. The prior election (2008) resulted in tribal violence and many deaths and displacement.  Pray for the national leaders and major tribes, Kikuyu, Kilanjen, and Luo, to model peace and reconciliation.

 African counting: they begin with the thumb, move across the hand, then come back across. 1-10 on one hand.  I'm making a video clip on it.

African counting: they begin with the thumb, move across the hand, then come back across. 1-10 on one hand. I’m making a video clip on it.

 

  • _thumbBack of PrayerCard

Where we are now:

Google Earth image of our current home near Tigoni, Kenya
Google Earth image of our current home near Tigoni, Kenya

Brackenhurst is a former British golf course now owned by Southern Baptists.

It’s coordinates are 1 degree south of the Equator. Due to that, this is considered summer, although the day length seldom changes.

Our current elevation is 7800 feet above sea level.

  • MyLife Statement: “To be a man God can use and be respected by my wife DeDe, our sons, and their precious families.”

 

DeDeCurtPrayerCard

What I’m currently reading:

The Insanity of God  by Nik Ripkin

Kenya: Between Hope and Despair   by Daniel Branch

What is my “Heartsong?”   My current heartsong is “How Firm a Foundation.”  It’s a song that gives me great strength in the trials, struggles, and joys of life.

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About Curt Iles

I write to have influence and impact through well-told stories of my Louisiana and African sojourn.

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