Here at St. Laurence House we can stay busy without ever leaving the house.
We were delighted to have Marianna and Jaria come visit us today. Together we all sat down and watched the video of Pa Barrie. This was the first time they had seen the video and it made us all cry. Marianna continues to miss her late husband, Pa Barrie and seeing Father Seraphim she said she could only think of Pa Barrie. When she saw Fr. Seraphim praying his beads as he talked with her she could only remember. We go into see Marianna's landlord on Monday and make sure her rent is paid in full. Yesterday, in the city, we briefly saw Marianna at the Central Mosque she works at.
We saw our landlord last night, but our inquiries about lengthening the lease or purschasing this current St Laurence House facility met with a negative response. The kind gentleman has memories of this place, he grew up here, raised his kids here. Then he rebuilt the place for his mother but she passed on. He's been renting it to us until his children are grown and ready to move in. That time is now and he will rent it no more after we complete this lease in March 2010. He suggested some institutions that would be fair with us on a house purchase and we will investigate on Monday.
James tells me the electricity has been very good but as usual, upon our arrival it has been on and off. Not so bad but sometimes inconvenient. James brother, Paul and his son, Samuel stopped by last night and right in the middle of our visit it was dark. Lyat don go. Fr Seraphim and Paul had a lengthy discussion on the spiritual life while Samuel and Roo enjoyed some good play time. Samuel needs some prayers, he is 5 years old. He has a swollen on his neck, under his ear - I think its mumps but we are not sure. He's been running off and on fevers now for over a year.
I have gained over ten pounds since my last visit here and the trim Africans have noticed it well. I have been met with "Mama, you are fat" by everyone I have seen. They don't mean this in a derrogative way as it is taken in America but it does tend to set you a bit off guard when you are greeted this way. To them a "rounded" belly simply means you are in good health and have ate well. Last night, I had to laugh at Paul who greeted me with open arms "Mama you are fat, when you fill your plate you should just fill it half way if you want to remain your same old size" .
Johnny, who Fr. Seraphim baptized a few years ago, came by, traveling all the way from to North of Makeni to greet us at St. Laurence House. And yes, he commented that I have "gotten big".
Simithe came to visit today. It was a great to see her as she and I have been keeping up on Facebook quite often.
We are still looking to see Besty, who is about 8.6 months pregnant! Maybe we see her tomorrow.
This afternoon, we handed out the small amount of shoes we had on hand that had been sent to St. Laurence House during the "We GOT FEET" drive that we partnered with One Love Foundation. We only had maybe 8 pairs of shoes, but we found 8 pairs of feet today and covered them in shoes. To be honest, in this neighborhood alone, we could have easily fitted 1000 children in shoes if they would have arrived by now.
A great joy for us yesterday, was when Salu, Kadiatu, lil Salma and one month old baby, Marietu visited us. I broke out in tears seeing this baby and the family so healthy and happy. If you remember, it was last year that Kadiatu lost a baby after being in hard labor for days, the hospital (wanting more and more money) neglected to do a c-section and the baby died. Before that, their oldest daughter, Isha, died from infections of severe burn after falling into a cauldron of boiling water. (These stories are on past blog posts). I was anxiously waiting to hear of this baby's safe birth. I could not stand to see Salu, once again taking a baby in a box (no funds for casket) to the grave, and Praise be to God, I didn't have to this time. Marietu is healthy. Just a few months before Marietu was born this past September, Kadiatu lost her mother. This is why Salu named the baby girl, Marietu, in memory of Kadiatu's mom. I have never seen a baby look so much like her father. Salu proudly announced "she has my face!" But he need not tell us, we already could see. An affectionate nickname for Salu is "By-Day" because he lives in the moment, taking every moment to its fullest, not worrying about tomorrow or the past, he lives "day by day", hence the name By-Day. I couldn't resist calling lil Marietu "By-Day II". When we fix this java update thing, I promise you'll see the pictures.
I am having a harder time adapting to the cold showers this time, maybe its because (as they say) I am "fatter". Ha Ha... This morning I found myself standing in the shower for almost two minutes before getting the guts up to turn it on. Once you stand in the cold water a few mintues its okay, but that first initial hit... wow... PLUS this morning earthworms seeped up from the drain while I stood in the shower. T. I. A. This Is Africa
St. Simeon Skete, Taylorsville Kentucky USA
With St. Simeon, the God receiver, as our patron, the skete seeks to practice the ideals found in our Rule, The Thousand Day Nazareth. In simplicity and poverty, the skete embraces the struggle of inner life through the practice of the Prayer Rope.
See our website at www.nazarethhouseap.org
Donations should be addressed to: Nazareth House Apostolate, 185 Captains Cove Drive, Taylorsville, Kentucky 40071.
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