Yesterday, I went out with the water/sanitation team. I partnered with Fancy, a woman who studied community development and social work in Nairobi. Together we went out to another rural village (I can't remember the name) to facilitate a women's group on hygiene and sanitation. Per "Africa time," a cultural norm of lack of punctuality, Fancy and I waited 2 hours before the women arrived for the group, which was supposed to begin "at 1:00 pm at the latest." We talked about politics, Barack Obama, and pregnancy/childbirth. We discovered that, despite living across continents, we both use the same contraceptive method and we married only 3 months apart! Fancy is a wonderful person with an exuberant smile, who playfully hit me every time she laughed!
I had the honor of doing a drama, in which I pretended to have scabies, followed by teaching the women how to prevent and treat scabies through proper hygiene. Although the national languages in Kenya are English and Swahili, Fancy helped translate into the local Kipsigis dialect. The best part of facilitating the group was being able to integrate Christian concepts. I talked about how hygiene is important because our bodies are holy temples of God;our outward appearances and care for our bodies through good hygiene reflected how we strove to love ourselves as God loves us!
After the group, I distributed toothbrushes and toothpaste. None of the women owned a toothbrush, but instead used sticks from a certain kind of tree! So as you can imagine, they were very appreciative! A big thank you to Mrs. Rommen's 5th grade class who donated these items! See, you are blessing the Kipsigis people in a tremendous way! The Kipsigis are also very faithful, spiritual people who trust in Jesus. They closed the group in a word of prayer. How awesome it is that the Word and God's love transcends all cultures and languages!