This past weekend Maria invited all the mama's, Esther and myself over to her banana farm for a celebratory lunch. I expected to be over at her farm for maybe 2 hours, I guess I still haven't learned after 4 months in Kenya, that lunch, it's a whole day affair.
Before heading over to Maria's for lunch, Esther and I visited one of the mama's at her home. She lives close to Maria's, in a typical Kenyan housing project: one long building with 5 doors, each door accessing a one room home. Inside the home, a curtain divides the sleeping area from the living area. Scholastica, the mother we were visiting, lives in one of these homes with her husband and their two children. Scholastica is one of the most dedicated mama's of the project and was excited to find out that her husband was very supportive! He is a picki-picki driver in Busia, and he thinks it is very important that his two daughters, and his wife, get more opportunities in education than he did.
Scholastica, Esther and I headed over to Maria's farm after a little photo shoot at her home and some chai. Of course we were the first ones to arrive, and Maria informed us we would all be going to her church that Saturday, after which we would have a grand lunch. The mothers slowing started trickling in and around 12:30 PM we headed over the Maria's community church. The priest blessed our program and my journey home, and we listened to his sermon which was mostly in Swahili with the occasional English word.
On our way back to the farm the mama asked me lots of questions about my life at home, my work and when I was planning on coming back. I think they finally felt at ease to ask me more personal questions and it was nice to share and have good conversation with the women I have been working with for 3 months.
The lunch was amazing, Maria and her family prepared all the traditional Kenyan dishes I had had over the couple of months: brown and white ugali, pumpkin, chapati, beans, lentils, fish and beef stew, rice, cabbage, sukumawiki, matoke and lots of sodas and beers. It was delicious! Mze, Maria's husband, met all the mama's and spoke to them on the importance of moving forward with their education, to help themselves and their children. I handed out the certificates, now signed by the district commissioner, and a picture of the mama's graduation on Wednesday. Maria brought out the stereo set and we danced to Ugandan and Kenyan music for the rest of the late, hot afternoon.