Naari Hospitality

Kenya 2017 Blog 6

by Julia

The time continues to pass swiftly here in the quiet town of Naari, Kenya.  We have completed yet another week of farm visits and have begun working on the second half of our project which entails implementing the recommendations that we have made at each individual farm.  Throughout the past month and a half, we have made several visits to each farm involved in the project and, consequently, have had the privilege of becoming good friends with many of the farmers.  There is one lady in particular, Deborah, who has been exceedingly kind to us.  She always greets us with a bright and beautiful smile and a laugh.  When we have finished our work, she stops whatever she has been doing and sits with us on the grass in the warm sunshine after ensuring that each of us has a steaming hot cup of Cadbury drinking chocolate.  We usually spend fifteen or twenty minutes chatting with her until our chocolate is gone.  Last time we visited Deborah, she invited us to come to dinner one night whenever we were free.  The night that we were free was this past Tuesday.

We arrived for dinner around 6:30 in the evening.  There was quite a large group of us that had decided to go.  There was the vet team which included Emily, Joan, Ren and I, along with the Naari Dairy vet technician, Bernard as well as Sarah, our nutrition masters student and Kithenji, our driver here in Naari.  We were greeted with a warm welcome and shown into the living room.  It was a spacious room with pale pink walls and two beige couches that were heavily adorned with lace covers.  The coffee tables had glass tops and displayed a varied assortment of vividly colored fake flowers.  The light from the chandelier burned brightly but with a dark yellow hue which lent a cozy and homelike atmosphere to the room.  We all took our seats on the couches and Deborah began to bring in one steaming pot after another filled to the brim with the delicious feast that was to be our dinner.

How should I describe the dinner we ate that night?  Incredibly delicious? Unbelievably scrumptious?  I think the simplest of terms might describe the meal better.  Let me say that the feast that Deborah served us was good in the fullest and most profound sense of the word.  The dinner included chicken stew, mukimo (a local dish of mashed potatoes mixed with corn, beans and stinging nettles), chicken legs and wings, flavored rice, and chapattis, followed by watermelon with chai, coffee and hot chocolate for dessert.  We were so full afterwards that we were unable to get off of the couch for a while.  However, that did not stop us from having a good time.  We exchanged stories and jokes for the next hour or two.  Sometimes we were laughing so much that breathing became a significant challenge.  This was only the beginning of the fun.  Ren and I gave a live performance of the “Cup Song” and the others joined us in singing to other songs that we all knew.  We finished off the evening by dancing to some African themed songs that were playing on the radio.

It was then approaching 10:00pm and we sadly realized that it was time to go home.  We helped our hostess clear the table and clean the dishes before thanking her for a lovely evening and delicious dinner and taking our leave.  As we were driving home down the bumpy, dusty roads of Naari, I could not help but reflect once again on the kindness of the people here and the wonderful memories I now possess which I owe to them.  I continue to look forward to the weeks to come and anticipate many more good times and new adventures.


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