Wednesday, March 26, 2014

“There has to be a Texas Longhorn in this gene pool.” ― Me

The cattle in the picture at the right are grown all around the Mwanza area.  We frequently see trucks with multiple trailers hauling them northward to Kenya.  No one here seems to know the history of this breed, but there is no way there is not some Texas Longhorns in that mix somewhere.  We see lots of strange and exotic animals around here but most have become mundane because we see them so often.  Baboons, wildebeests, zebras, ostrich, and vervet monkeys are very common.  I have even seen warthogs in Bunda near the teachers college.  Things that we used to stare at and then talk about have become just ho-hum, and I think that’s a little sad, but it is what is called acclimatization to one’s surroundings.  Seeing women walking with heavy loads on their heads, bicycles with hundreds of pounds of rice or cassava bulging over the back rack, motorbikes with three to five people aboard, oxen pulling plows with wooden yokes holding them together are just some of the sights we see every day.  Many of the things we see, like people making and firing mud bricks outside their houses, are things that haven’t changed since Jesus’ day.  Because of this, we have settled into a society that is an amalgamation of old and new in some strange and some comforting ways.  It is not uncommon to see a Masaai warrior in full regalia walking out in the bush and then reaching into his robe and pulling a cellphone out.  We are not in Kansas anymore, Dorothy (or in our case, Arkansas).  Still, unfamiliar culture, language, strange horned cattle and exotic animals all around us, we are very happy here.  Tomorrow, Shaban, John, and Karen are all going to Mwanza.  John and Karen both have dental appointments and Shaban is just seeing that they get there and back safely.  Shaban has saved enough, and with help from his wife’s family, his own aunt, and some from us, he has bought a plot of land and will begin building a foundation for his own house here in Bunda in a week or two.  It is a big thing for him and we are very proud.
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