Simonsen Family News


Chuma's Birthday


Sue's News 12 August 2017

What Chuma really wanted to do with his hat!

The power has been on and off all day, so I’m hoping for on until I finish this. :)
Last Sunday we were at Lighthouse so the church could vote on the guy’s membership there.  Aaron wasn’t able to make it – he was still sick.  Both he and Daniel are coughing, but Aaron insists he’s getting better.  He has been joking around, so that’s a good indicator of returning health. :)
Sunday night we all tried to solve the Chicken Soup Mystery.  Someone had left the container of soup on the counter.  When I went to the kitchen to feed the puppies in the evening I found it on the floor and nothing but peas left.  Some of us thought that Chafu had done it, because she had access to the kitchen longer and doesn’t usually like peas.  Some of us thought that Chuma had done it – just because he’s Chuma. :)  Chuma usually eats the peas, so that was in his favor, but the fact that he didn’t eat his supper and Chafu did outweighed the other evidence.  The moral of the story is don’t leave chicken soup on the counter – Chuma loves it!
Monday evening we had a special prayer meeting for the elections.  The neighbor came too. :)  When we came home I had just started riding the exercise bike when – kurplunk, kurplewy (I think that is a quote from some Christmas special we used to watch).  The bike still works, but the tension doesn’t.  Rick and I ride the bike most days, and it is really useful for Rick’s rehab, so we are hoping to get it fixed as soon as possible.
The election was Tuesday.  Isaac told the guys they should go early, so Daniel went around 7 or 7:30.  He made it home just in time for lunch.  He said everyone was friendly and they kept the lines very neat and organized.  That is not normal for Kenyan lines! :)  Kenyan lines often resemble Kenyan traffic jams. :)  Daniel told us about the whole well organized process (yes, I did say well organized). :)  They had lists pasted (yes, literally pasted) on the school gate to find out which line you were supposed to wait in, but you could also send a text to find out.  The polling station by us had the most lists of all the ones I’ve seen.  Since Aaron wasn’t feeling well he decided to go to vote (the polling station was the school that boarders this farm) at about 4.  The lines were shorter, so he was home a little after 5.
The rest of the week was spent waiting.  We were so proud of Kenya and Kenyans when all the international observers praised how well they did!  John Kerry came with the Carter Foundation group – and he didn’t even let us know he was coming. :)  The counting all happens at the polling station with observers from every party plus local and international observers.  Reports were that everyone was friendly and helpful!  There was a delay getting the results from some more remote areas, but they finally got them all in yesterday.  We spent the day waiting for the official announcement.  We spent most of the evening waiting for the official announcement.
Before the announcement came the opposition leader declared that they aren’t accepting the results.  He’s given a variety of reasons, all of which have been proven untrue so far.  Sadly, in the end his people declared that they wouldn’t take their case to the courts – which of course, they would do if they had one – but instead called on their supporters to go to the streets to “defend the constitution.”  There were some attacks and rioting in some Nairobi slums and Kisumu (biggest city in their political strong hold) last night.  It seems the police are working hard to restore peace.  In our college Bible reading today we read Isaiah 59 – there was a pretty good description of rioters there – but also the need for intercessors. :)  Our president and his deputy were indicted (cases dropped) for crimes against humanity during the 2007 elections – maybe that gives them better insight into how to stop them now!
While we were waiting for the electoral commission to make their final announcement we had fun watching who was going where.  We watched President Kenyatta going down Thika Road during rush hour with no traffic in sight!  It was amazing how quickly he got where he was going! :)  At first we didn’t know if he was going downtown Nairobi to the Kenyatta Conference Centre, or to the other side of town to Bomas of Kenya where they electoral commission was doing their thing all week.  As they drove down Thika Road President Kenyatta decided to pop the top on his car and stand up and wave to the people watching along the sides of the road (the police cleared the road and everyone was waiting for him to pass).  You should have seen the security guys in the cars behind – I doubt they were happy!  They jumped out of their moving cars to run up to the president’s car and ride on it.  The president seemed happy enough and so did the people who got an unexpected wave. :)
We were all happy when they finally got around to the announcement sometime around 9 – I think.  Oops, the power just went off.  I’ll depend on the battery backup for a minute or two and hope it comes back quickly. :)  Back to the announcement – the election commissioner gave a nice speech and was just set to start making the official announcement when they stopped him.  There were some papers a bunch of people had to sign.  So we watched them do that – hoping that no one messed it up so they would have to go print more and start all over again! (Yeah! Power is back.)  After they finished that they started giving the official announcement.  By law the commissioner had to read the results for every county (we have 47) for every presidential candidate (I think there were 8).  He read the number of votes and the percentage.  When he started I went to take my shower.  I could have taken another one before he finished. :)  The president and his group didn’t leave the conference center until after I finished my shower and they got to Bomas of Kenya before they finished reading the results. :)  After they read all the counties they read the totals for each candidate as well as the number of counties they got at least 25% in.  To win they have to have 50% plus one and at least 25% in a certain number of counties.  When President Kenyatta was declared the winner they gave him and his deputy (like vice president) the forms everyone had signed and invited the president to speak.  He did an excellent job and really tried to promote unity and dissuade violence.  When he finished the celebrating started.  We heard the celebrations in Thika.  We think they made their way to Ng’oing’wa (the housing between us and the super highway) because it got loud for a while, but then quieted down.  I think Chafu could hear some celebrations throughout the night – she kept coming to alert me.
I think people in Gatukuyu were celebrating late into the night – the market was a little slow getting started today. :)  People seemed to be in a good mood and there were a lot of red shirts and hats representing the president’s party.  Rick hired a man to start painting the outside of the church room.  The landlady is dragging her feet.  I think Rick would rather do it himself anyway – he gets to pick the colors and watch the quality (such as it is) control.  We had almost all new kids come for my mini-lesson, so I just did a repeat.  That’s ok – we want to make as many contacts as possible.
While I was making lunch Isaac’s kids came over all excited.  The power had just come on a few minutes before they came.  They were telling us about something in the house, but in Swahili the verb they used could have meant that a light was on or there was a fire.  We sent Daniel to explore.  We usually keep an extra set of keys here for them – they lock each other out quite a bit. :)  But they forgot to bring them back last time.  The fire was in the corner closest to a small high window.  We could just see it’s reflection against the wall and couldn’t really tell what was going on.  We tried calling Isaac and Grace, but they had both left their phones home – Grace thought Isaac had his.  We called Gideon who knew they were at their garden and rode his bike to go get them.  In the meantime we stretched a hose and Daniel sprayed the fire the best he could through the window.  There wasn’t too much damage and it was caused by a small heating element used to heat pitchers of water.  The power was off when they left, but it was still plugged in.
I finished making the pickles on Wednesday – one quart has been consumed already.  Chuma doesn’t like them – he runs away if you hold one out for him. :)  Aaron said he is going to dangle some on strings from the door frame of their bedroom. :)
I did find out this week that President Kenyatta is 55 – so we’re age mates.  I’m thinking about writing him and letting him know that and mentioning that we want to become Kenyan citizens. :)  Isaac said it was a good idea – but that I should find out when his birthday is and send a present first. :)  I may google that after I send this. :)
Have a great week!
Love, Susan


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