Thursday March 16 & Friday March 17
We left Shirati on Thursday morning and made a quick run to the border so that our family could extend our visas for another 90 days…. the 30 minutes in Kenya was a short and sweet visit!
The drive from Shirati to Mugumu took us about 3-3.5 hours. Our first stop was to visit the Bishop Emmanuel Mwita, his wife Agnes, and son Arnold. It was wonderful to see them again! In 2011, 2014, and 2017 Emmanuel was the service coordinator for the SST program and we have known his family for many years. Arnold, their son, returned from Dodoma where he is in his second year in university.
In the evening we made the short trip to the other side of town to Pastor Wilson Machota’s house where Adrian is staying. Pastor Machota, his wife, and adult daughter Neema have been supporters of Goshen College for decades. They hosted Dr. Jan Bender Shetler for her dissertation work and have been SST host parents ever since. We were warmly welcomed and it was a wonderful place to stay for our 2 days in Mugumu. We ate delicious food and most meals were filled with laughter and great fun!
Friday morning we drove to the DDH Hospital where Rachel has been assisting in the maternity ward. We met the acting medical director, Dr. Ediga Saulo, then Rachel took us on a tour of the hospital (in her scrubs of course!). We met her co-workers and learned about her daily activities which have included watching surgeries, assisting in the maternity ward, and assisting in the delivery room. She is implementing a mini-research project to better understand how the hospital can serve pregnant mothers and the challenges that they experience in delivery. We also had a meal at Rachel’s house hosted by her host mother Mama Misinzo. It was good to see her again as she has also hosted students for many years!
After the hospital we visited World Changer Vision where Adrian is volunteering. This organization, funded through a German organization, seeks to elevate the opportunities for local women through providing training in sewing and computer technology. Additionally, they do some educational outreach regarding the use of medicinal plants. We were also given a tour of their safe house, where young women who are unable to stay at home can live on the compound.
Adrian’s work, given his interest and expertise in photography, has been to help them promote their programs via creating brochures, posters, and banners. In addition, he has been photographically documenting the construction of a variety of new buildings that will be the new World Changer Vision campus. The new campus is laid out on a rolling hill and a number of buildings are completed or in progress, including the chapel, administrative building, and classrooms. The aim is to eventually build dormitories, labs, and supporting infrastructure to house up to 200 students. We were given a tour of the premises by the World Changer Vision engineer – an impressive site!
For lunch we treated the students to a meal at Adrian’s host brother’s new hotel, a spectacular array of rooms and restaurants. We also enjoyed some juice at a local duka (shop) while we caught up with Adrian and Rachel.
Mugumu has been a community connected to the Goshen College SST program since 2008 and it was good to connect with old friends and make new ones. Adrian and Rachel are thriving, applying their gifts to their work, and learning so much from their colleagues and families; we are grateful to the entire community for caring for them so well.