April 30, 2007
Sunday, April 30th, 1978
This morning I went to church at Kibubuti. Mama Joyce went with me. There were a church full of kids for S.S. For church only 2 young girls, 1 young man, and an old man along with some of the children remained. M.G. went to Ngarariga. Vance and some others went with him. At about 2:30 we called Alan and found out that he had played in the Orange and White game yesterday. He made 3 field goals, 45, 39, and 29 yarders. He said that they said on T.V. he was the hero of the day. We were so proud for him. Ken and the other M.K.’s made it back from the Ark. They had a good time. We heard that Ken did a good job in the Nyeri high school with his magic. They left to go back to R.V.A. in the rain.
Mom and Dad often went different ways on Sundays to cover more land area. I am sure today she went back and reread the verses from Isaiah 40:30-31. Sometimes all God calls us to do is caste our bread upon the water. He (God) is responsible for the increase and thankfully gets the credit.
Alan is the hero of the day! I am sure it is difficult to kick a field goal in any situation. However, I don’t know if we can grant hero status to my elder brother for hitting three in the spring offensive/defensive practice game. On the other hand, my showing in the Volympics a few years back did nothing to impress the UT coaching staff. So, “hero of the day” I guess so!
Haywood Harris and Gus Manning talk about the “hero”.
“One wheeled magician the” rides again!(See earlier post) Looks like I was playing before a packed Nyeri high school audience today. It always amazes me that God can use just about any talent in his service. In a land of witch doctors and charlatans He uses a missionary kid who likes magic to share the “Good News”!
April 28, 2007
Thursday, April 29th, 1976
This morning I continued to sew on my pants suit. I cooked liver and onions for lunch for M.G. and I. Robert made the preachers stew and ugali. M.G. and I ate a bit of the ugali. M.G. worked most of the day in his garden. He planted a whole bunch of things. This afternoon Jim and Linda Rice opened the crates for some missionaries who are not returning to the field. They had asked Jim and Linda to sell some of their things. I bought a piece of Tupperware, an ice bucket, and some odds and ends of tooth paste, lotion, aspirin, etc… Robert made doughnuts at the assembly. Also he taught Carol Brown while he was conversing with her. Tonight as I was sewing on the top of my pants suit I discovered that I forgot to increase the hips when I was cutting it, so it is going to be too small. My sewing is terrible!
Mom fixed liver and onions for lunch. Give me the stew and ugali! I know by now you are getting the idea that I am a somewhat picky eater. That is not necessarily the case, although Julia Duncan my new Mom would swear otherwise.
I don’t know if Dad wanted to instill strong feelings within me about the garden. But his efforts were met with rousing success. I can still remember “getting” to work in the garden as a kid. Needless to say my gardening skills have gone fallow as of late.
I am sure that these missionaries had plans to return but they were put into service elsewhere. They knew that the items they packed for themselves would be used by their fellow missionaries to further God’s work. They also knew that other missionaries would use and enjoy those simple items that reminded us of home!
I can only assume that Robert was speaking Swahili with Carol while he was making doughnuts for the assembly. Mom taught Robert many of her cooking recipes and when he left our employ later on he became a chef at several of the local hotels. That Robert was a real entrepreneur!
Mom and the sewing machine had several interesting bouts. However as her youngest son and recipient of several sewing projects I can assure you that her sewing was not terrible nor were her hips to large.
April 28, 2007
Wednesday, April 28th, 1965
This morning we went to the Peugeot dealer and took a ride in a couple of their cars to see how we liked them. We liked the 403 and asked them to hold one for us. We came home for lunch, and I fixed us some fried okra, creamed potatoes, slaw, and warmed up the impala. After lunch we took the boys to the beach. We had our first business meeting at the church tonight. They nominated a committee to find M.G. an office and equip it.
The Peugeot 403, the last of the Peugeots. Friends, many are the memories that surround this car. This was our first car in Kenya. It made countless trips throughout eastern Africa. It was the car that carried Alan and I to school on uncounted occasions. Both Alan and I put just as many miles in reverse as we did in forward while we were learning to drive in this car. This car even played a supporting role in my first date. We still had this car and I drove it while I was in Kenya in 1981 during my last visit from college. I can safely say they don’t build them like they used to!
The great thing about living on the coast was the frequent beach trips. Alan and I would sometimes go in the afternoon when we got home from school. Our permanent home in Mombasa was just a short walk to Nyali beach which boasts sand that is literally as “white as snow”.
The committee, one of the great consistencies of Baptists, well as least we know we are not going to rush headlong into any decision no matter what it may be!
April 27, 2007
Monday, April 27th, 1981
This morning we got up real early and got M.G. off to Nairobi by 7:00am. He was meeting some people who had repaired the Ram Chargers in the East African Safari. They are going to help him repair the one that we have. Later in the morning he came home with one of the mechanics, but they just returned to Nairobi after looking over the car here. Enos came by and I served him coffee and a piece of the coffee cake that I had just taken from the oven. The later Teresa and Hannah (two Kenyan women) came by and I served them tea and some of the cake. The two workers changed the ceiling board in our living room today. The Courseys delivered the fridge that we had bought from Helen. The Hortons and Disons were by today on their way to R.V.A. The Bosticks also came by. We got a letter from Andrea today. It was written on April 18th.
Ram Chargers? I can see Dad now explaining the intricacies of intake manifolds to Mom. She doubtless listened to the explanation and then replied, “Yes, dear and what time should I have supper ready?” Evidently the car was a lost cause because the mechanic just looked over the car and left.
Enos was a Kenyan that worked with Dad. He obviously timed his visit with care to arrive at the moment the cake came out of the oven. Not only did he make a timely visit but no doubt shared that fresh cake was to be had at the Duncan’s! Teresa and Hannah also profited from a quick trip to the missionaries house.
Knowing my Mom the African workers, the Courseys, the Hortons, the Disons, and the Bosticks also enjoyed coffee cake fresh from our kitchen that day. The workers were most likely repairing the rent in the roof caused earlier. (See post comment from “In the beginning” from Hortons)
April 26, 2007
Friday, April 26th, 1968
This morning we took the boys to town and got their last Kenya haircut for awhile at least. We picked up our health cards at the doctor’s office. We bought presents for two birthdays that Alan and Ken are invited to. It rained all day today. Today from 5 to 8 Alan and Ken went to Christopher’s birthday party. This afternoon I made a banana pudding and some chocolate fudge cookies. I reckon I’m going to cook until the last minute. We painted the washing machine today where it had rusted. Mr. Pandya called today to tell us that they would not buy the wringer washer.
Kenyan barbers have come a long way since ’68. I am just glad I did not come out of the shop looking like some of their normal customers. This may have been when the inspiration for Margie’s Beauty Salon. During the rest of our stay in Kenya Mom cut our families hair “in house” so to speak. Having a crisis over my present hairstyle was not a real problem with me, but Alan was another story. However he will be the one to relay those many chronicles another day.
The Duncan men enjoy nothing better than a good meal around the family table. That must be part of the reason Mom was cooking all the time. Looks like from the comment in her diary this day we should have gone out to eat tonight.
Thank goodness we are still on speaking terms with the Pandyas! (See post for April 19th) You don’t think that the washer machine sale fell though because of my inappropriate manners!
April 25, 2007
Sunday, April 25th, 1965
Today was M.G.’s first sermon as pastor. We joined the church today. The Africans and the other missionaries expressed joy at our coming. We had impala roast, carrots, potatoes, onions, and rice. The boys enjoyed the rice with catsup. While Alan was taking his rest, he got his N.T. (New Testament) and read some in it. He said that he thought God would be pleased. Later this afternoon Jean and Maxine came over, and Alan and I served them coke and cookies. Tonight in our church service, we gave testimonies. It was interesting to hear the Africans and Asians give theirs. Imogene brought us some home baked cookies.
That is first sermon as pastor in Kenya. As the youngest son of Marshall Duncan I am sure this was not the first sermon my Dad preached. I am equally sure that it will not be the last one I hear. Especially after Dad and Mom saw the faces Alan and I were making in this picture! Dad was originally appointed to do English speaking work because the Mission Board considered him to old to learn a new language. However, Dad must have discovered the fountain of youth in Kenya because when we came back from our first furlough 3 years later he was young enough to take Swahili.
God calls his children in a still small voice. Sometimes, like Samuel we need to be told how to proceed. Only Alan can tell us for sure, but I am sure God used all these little pieces to bring my brother to Christ during the next year. I think it is interesting that even at his young age Alan was trying to please God.
My Mom was always trying to make people feel at home. This is not the most glamorous position but the rewards far outstrip the labor. The comments from her fellow missionaries in this blog will attested to the mark she left on this world. The total impact of her servant’s heart will not be truly known this side of heaven.
Monday, April 25, 1977
Excerpt from Diary reads:
We found Ken’s mouse today. It was in the kitchen. (See April 21st post)
I know many of you were worried about poor Herman. How he escaped discovery for four days will remain a mystery. I just know we returned him to his cage safe and sound and none the worse from his experience. The same could not be said for my Mom who suffered from a bad case of the “heebie jeebies” at the thoughts of where Herman might have visited during his “incredible journey” though our home.
April 24, 2007
Tuesday, April 24th, 1979
Limuru and Salt Lick Lodge
This morning I got up at 4:45am to get ready to leave. We got away about 6:30am. Just as we got near the Tigoni store we remembered that we did not have our vouchers so we went back to get them. We arrived at Taita Hills Lodge about 12 o’clock. We ate lunch there. They had ox tail stew and cold cuts. There were several American tourists at the lodge. We arrived at the Salt Lick Lodge about 2:30. We were so tired that we just went to bed and read and rested. On the way we began a tape to George and one to Alan. It rained most of the afternoon, at tea time, M.G. asked for two “sweeties” and the server told him that it would be 5/k sh extra if he got two. M.G. told him that he would go to Keekorok the next time. He didn’t know what to say after that. The grasshoppers were everywhere in the rooms – dining rooms as well!
Proverbs 31:10-31 lists the attributes of virtuous women. One of those is to rise early while here family is still sleeping to get about the business of the day. I would say that 4:45am qualifies as early. I do not see forgetfulness in that list so the fact that we forgot the vouchers, well let’s just chalk that one up to having to take care of me and Dad at that time in the morning.
We have a whole cow to choose from and we choose the tail to make stew? I am sure the American tourists were just as thrilled as I was when they put that in the soup bowl to eat.
When we traveled back and forth to major towns we would make cassette tapes to the folks back home. I speak from experience when I say it is good to hear a voice you love even if you know it is 10,000 miles away.
Tea time is one of the greatest inventions of the British. In most countries that were British colonies things just come to a halt around 4 or 4:15pm and you get a cup of tea with cream and sugar and a light snack. Dad’s definition of a light snack and the server’s were at odds to say the least. Knowing the African waiters as I do, when Dad threatened to go to Keekarock the waiter probably thought “ok” and then wondered how he could ask for a ride.
I seem to remember that this infestation of grasshoppers was of Biblical proportions. Mom seemed genuinely horrified to know that these green insects were in the dining room. The cooks most likely looked on them as a free source of protein and threw them in the pot with the rest of the Ox tail stew!