Thursday, September 27, 2007

Welcoming / Farewell Party

Gettin' down with the SJC staff

For the past couple of months, Angela, one of the occupational therapists at the St. Julie Centre, has been on maternity leave. Early in August she gave birth to a healthy baby boy. During that time the Sisters hired a temporary replacement therapist from Nairobi, named Situma. In the play therapy department, during the school break, we also took on a student volunteer, studying social work and community development, named Neto. In addition to that, Joy, a volunteer who had worked with us earlier this year as a postulant, just made her final vows in Nairobi as a Sister of Notre Dame and has now returned to the Centre.

Neto, Situma, and David discussing important matters

With Angela returning to work soon and the school semester starting up again, we decided to throw a party at my house. It would be a welcoming party for Sister Joy, but also a farewell party for Situma and Neto, in appreciation for their hard work, before they would leave. It would be Sister Joy, David, Situma, Neto, Nancy, Postulant Caroline, and myself that would come to celebrate.

Sister Joy cuts watermelon, Postulant Caroline cuts pineapple

While Sister Joy was cutting the watermelon I was eating it

Delicious fruit salad

Maurice, the parish cook, makes roasted chicken

Maurice, the cook at the parish, agreed to help us with the food. He slaughtered and roasted two hens, and also prepared pilau (rice with spices), chapattis (flat bread), soup, black ugali (porridge set hard, made of sorghum) , and greens in the parish kitchen. In my kitchen, I popped popcorn for the appetizer, while Sister Joy and Postulant Caroline helped cut pineapple, watermelon, papaya, and bananas to make a fruit salad for the dessert. Nancy carried a full case of soda from the shops in the market the day before, that chilled quite nicely in my fancy refrigerator.

Refreshing "soda baridi" (cold soda)

Nancy helps carry food from the parish kitchen to my house

Tasty Kenyan cuisine

Shortly after the food was all prepared, David, Situma, and Neto would arrived. The food was brought across the grounds from the parish kitchen to my house and then the party would begin.

David about to eat his chapati

Situma is enjoying some fruit salad

At first, it started off slow, the usual introductions, small talk of work and what those who would be leaving would do afterwards. But then I made a run to Father Paul’s house for some gospel music videos, that are so popular in Kenya. I brought out my laptop, pushed play, and things began to get lively.

Kenyan gospel music videos on the laptop

Caroline feels like dancing

Sister Joy and Situma show us their moves

Many Kenyans love gospel music and gospel music videos. Even the most introverted Kenyans can’t resist. When they hear the music or see the videos they have to get up and dance. And so they did. For myself, I thought, “When in Kenya…” and got up to cut a rug.

All had an enjoyable evening


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