Does time fly on that side of the world like it does here? I can hardly believe another month has passed!

The weather can’t decide what it wants to do! When it was supposed to be raining, it was only showering. 

Around here there are three classifications of rain;

1. Rain – what most people would call a downpour. 

2. Shower – what most people would call rain. 

3. Drizzle – think Seattle.

Many farmers anticipated this and planted their maize early in hopes of harvesting before the predicted El Nino conditions hit. We have been here for 20 years, and I don’t recall ever seeing maize being harvested in September, a full two months earlier than usual! But if the El Nino prediction comes to pass, it would be nearly impossible for farmers to dry their maize in November and December, as they normally do.

Of course, less rain means more strain on the boreholes and less water in the rain barrels. One borehole has been out of commission for the past few months, as it needed to be flushed. Jeff was so frustrated, calling them every other day, trying to get them to come with the big rig. After about two months, they finally showed up! They were here for less than an hour and charged us almost $500 for the flush, but we are hopeful that it will operate normally now.

Please pray our borehole works, as we have been forced to spend a lot of money bringing in water from the river to be used in the farm and dairy. Water is so vital and it is amazing how much of it is required to sustain 250 people, a farm and dairy, a school and a construction project! We use rainwater, water recycled through our water treatment plant and river water wherever possible so that the clean borehole water can sustain our needs at home. But it is a constant battle, making sure there is water throughout the campus!

I don’t really have much to update you on this month. For the most part, it has been a “business as usual” month. Nothing very exciting going on. Our school year ends in a few weeks, so everyone is focused on finishing strong! The kids are putting in extra study time, both here at home and at boarding high school, in anticipation of year-end exams.  

I have been cooking loads of beef stew, which the social workers take to our high school kids as an encouragement from home. It means a lot to them that I cook it, especially for them, with my own two hands. I love doing it and enjoy seeing pictures of them sharing a nice picnic lunch! 

Around home, it has become a bit of a game because no two batches of stew taste exactly alike. A Food Critic Panel, which includes Jeff, Nurse Abigail and Kamari, has been formed to taste each batch and give their comments. It absolutely cracks me up to listen to them discuss the broth, trying to guess the herbs and spices it contains! LOL! 

The stew is accompanied by fruit salad and chapati, which makes it extra special, as those are foods that are normally reserved for Christmas Day! And of course, Fanta orange soda makes every meal better!

Please pray for our four kids who are only weeks away from taking their senior final exams! They are feeling the pressure and excitement that comes with twelve years of studying, all leading up to THIS set of exams! It is a pre-set testing schedule, where every Form Four student in the country takes the same exam at the same time for a long three weeks! If a student is sick, has a death in the family, or any other unfortunate circumstance that prevents them from participating in the pre-set test schedule… here is no such thing as rescheduling! You either take the tests at the scheduled times, or you repeat your senior year and take the exams next year! The testing is presided over by armed policemen to ensure that there are no disruptions, intruders, or cheating taking place, and the actual exam papers are kept in a secure location so that the contents of the tests don’t get out ahead of time.  

There have been instances in the past where the exam papers were stolen and sold before the test took place. This, of course, created huge scandals involving students, parents, teachers, and anyone else who stood to benefit from the whole thing! Schools are very competitive, as they are also ranked according to the academic performance of their students. It can get ugly! I am so glad that we only have four more years of this old system! It is a ridiculous amount of pressure that the kids endure for years before their ONE chance at getting the grade they are hoping for and receiving their Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education! It’s a big deal!

I would like to thank you all for your prayers and other support! As I’ve said many times before: God has put together a magnificent team on behalf of his children; a team of people who honor what God says in Psalm 82:3, “Defend the weak and the fatherless; uphold the cause of the poor and the oppressed.”

God Is Good All The Time (GIGATT),

Mama Carla

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