October 31, 2007
Saturday October 31st, 1970
This morning just as we were finishing breakfast two of M.G.’s preachers came by to talk to him. Ken went to a birthday party in Nairobi for Matthew Yeager. Nancy took him and Tom in, and M.G. and I picked them up after “play-day” at the Cunninghams. I took raspberry ice cream and deviled eggs. Robert asked for 250 shillings today and M.G. asked him what he needed it for but he never would tell him. He gave him 60 shillings on his next month’s salary. The M.K.’s on the hill went around trick or treat tonight. I made chocolate chip cookies to give them. M.G. took Emmit Ray out to preach in the village this afternoon and they didn’t have anyone to translate.
Happy Halloween to one and all, this American tradition was not understood very well in Kenya. The sight of a lit jack-o-lantern on our front porch always led to some entertainment. We finally quit putting one out because the locals knew that those crazy “wazungu’s” were in cahoots with spirits.
Even on Saturday Dad was still doing his mission work. At least he got to carry on the conversation on a full stomach.
Tom Jones and I went into town to Matthew’s party and must have missed fun day. I am sure the Yeager’s had some good food but even now I miss the taste of that ice cream.
Sometimes you have to protect people from themselves. I am sure that this is what Dad was trying to do with Robert.
I guess it is a bygone day when you would let your kids eat a homemade chocolate chip cookie on Halloween. Sometimes progress is not all it is cracked up to be.
Dad took Mr. Ray out to one of our preaching points today but they missed a blessing because no one could be found that could speak Kikuyu and Dad could not handle the Swahili at this time. I am sure this spurred Dad on in his quest to learn the language so the people we had traveled so far to reach could understand.
October 30, 2007
Thursday October 30th, 1975
This morning Robert made bread and buns. I just did the usual household chores. This afternoon we took our Peugeot 403 into town to have the scratch repaired that I put on it on Tuesday when I tried to come through the Rhea’s fence. It will cost 700 shillings. M.G. also left a part of a car to be worked on. Then we went to the movie “Super Cops”. We stopped by the Bethea’s house and he gave M.G. some tips.
Robert was hard at work today making bread and buns for some upcoming social no doubt. Once he got the hang of the recipes Mom would just let him run with them. Before he left our employ if you could show him a recipe he could cook it, he would have been a food network star for sure if they would have had such a thing then.
Mom was not specific about the usual chores. Since we lived in Kenya those could range from washing and ironing to catching and cutting up dinner for tonight.
I guess everyone has a story like this one. I was just driving the car and it got out of control and tried to go through the fence. To Dad’s credit I did not hear him say a thing to Mom he just forked out the money and then took her to dinner and a movie. Looks like I can still learn things from my Dad also.
Mom did not elaborate on the movie. After looking it up on the internet I think she most likely thought this kind of lifestyle could not possibly be true. One of the great gifts that Mom gave to me was her attitude of always trying to think the best of people.
I don’t know what kind of tips Dad got from Dr. Bethea but I would say they had something to do with his or his pastor’s health and well being.
October 29, 2007
Monday October 29th, 1973
This morning M.G. tried working at putting a transformer in the attic to take care of our electric tooth brushes in the bathroom. Too he worked on putting up his ham radio antenna. Today was a Kenya holiday so Robert was not here. I washed Alan’s clothes that he sent home. Too, I made a golden bubble ring for him.
Dad has always been a handy guy to have around. In all the years that I have known him, which come to think of it is all my life he has always had the ability to fix things. Dad was putting a transformer in our attic so we would not have to carry transformers from room to room to make our American appliances work.
He went from this job to rigging his ham antenna off the back of our garage/work shop. This was his first antenna which was an inverted “V” or G5RV style. Soon however we bumped it up a notch to the quad version that really put out the signal. 5Z4OL, Dad’s call sign in Kenya was soon broadcasting and gathering information all across our great earth. For a short while Dad even was part of the “halo” net that keep contact with missionaries on a regular schedule for the mission board.
Mom did her usual great job of keeping our family fed and clothed, most of the time without a word of thanks from either son. Mom I know it’s kind of late but, “Thanks!”
October 27, 2007
Thursday October 28th, 1971
This afternoon I went to Mahinga to the women’s meeting. Again they asked me why I had only two children so I told them that two was enough for me. Every time I go there they ask me this question. We went to R.V.A. to watch Alan play soccer. He did real well but R.V.A. beat them.
The African culture says that the more children you have the better off you will be. It is a tossup whether you want more boys or girls though. If your family leans towards the male sector you will have more workers for your “shamba” and your lineage will continue. If on the other hand your quiver is full of females you will always come out on the plus side come wedding time because of the bride price. These ladies could not understand why Mom only had us two boys. However, what we lacked in quantity Alan and I made up in quality!
This loss to R.V.A. was pretty much the norm when Rosslyn played soccer. I am sure Alan did well but he was no match for a team that could practice till dark afterschool because they lived there.
October 27, 2007
Monday October 27th, 1980
This morning we went walking with Boyd and Syd and their dog. After breakfast we had our devotional reading and discussed a few words in Swahili. Later in the morning we went out to the Assembly for tea time. We got a newspaper from Neva and the Baptist Student with a write ups about Alan. We also, got the same newspaper from Oak Ridge without a name. We received a letter from Mom and one from a man in Knoxville who wants to send M.G. some fruit trees. He had heard Ken speak. This afternoon I went to Kibubuti for the women’s meeting. Tonight M.G. and I went to the drive in. We took our supper.
Since Mom and Dad had kicked us kids out it seems they had a little more time to exercise. Boyd and Syd were also in the same boat so I bet the dog was living large and loving it.
I have said that these diaries are full of wisdom from Mom. Here we are approximately 15 years from the day we set foot in Kenya and Mom is still working on her language skills. She, like Paul, had a thorn in her flesh but she refused to let it slow her down.
I would say those newspaper articles made the rounds at tea time. Anytime one of your own gets some good press you can’t help but do a little bragging.
I would like to know what I said at this man’s meeting to inspire him to send Dad some fruit trees. Whatever it was he now made it him mission to work on importing those saplings into the country post haste.
Tonight was date night for Mom and Dad. Mom did not mention the name of the movie which can only mean one thing. She must have fallen to sleep pretty fast to not even see the opening credits. They did get to enjoy a meal together before the sand man struck with a vengeance.
October 26, 2007
Thursday October 26th, 1967
I went to the school this morning and worked on the books. Then I went downtown to grocery shop and to the post office. This afternoon M.G. took Truman Smith to the airport. Tim Law came up to play with Ken, and then after Alan came home from school there was a yard full of Africans here playing soccer with Alan. Tonight I stayed home with Alan and Ken and Alan said,” Mom it’s good to have a night with you.” (I had been gone for 3 nights.) M.G. went to the movie, “Three Days in Peking”. Simeon told M.G. today that Jane was pregnant.
Mom was a great bookkeeper. When we came back from the US on our second term she even taught bookkeeping in Nairobi high school. Why this wizardry with numbers was not passed to her younger son is a mystery that will only be solved at Judgment.
Dad provided the taxi service for the mission big wig. I guess he was able to enjoy a little face time with Truman on the trip.
This afternoon Alan organized the locals into teams and we had at it in our backyard. Who could have imagined that a little over 9 years later skills learned that day would propel Alan to University of Tennessee’s football team. Even today some of his records still rank among the top “10” lists all because he started young and stayed with it. I hate to say it but Alan teaches some pretty good lessons also.
There are times when son’s can melt their Mom’s hearts and Alan’s comment tonight was one such event. Knowing Alan and myself I would say that 24 hours did not pass till we brought her close to tears with some bonehead move we pulled.
Evidently when Dad came home from the movie and was explaining the plot to Mom 52 days were lost in the translation. Knowing Mom and here “love” for movies I don’t find this hard to believe.
October 25, 2007
Monday October 25th, 1965
Jo Ann Travis came by this morning for me and she and I then picked up Ellen Dossett. We went to the airport to meet Dr. Goerner and Dr. Jess Fletcher. We went on to chapel at the high school where Dr. Fletcher spoke. He gave a very nice talk on “Fear” which I thought was very timely for the boys. Dr. Fletcher and Ellen ate lunch with us, and Dr. Goerner ate with the Travis family. Tonight we had supper all together at the Tipton’s house. I made 3 chocolate pies for the occasion, and everyone seemed to really enjoy them. Dr. Goerner told us of late developments in the Baptist world. The tours to East Africa now are for 3 years.
I am not sure why the three amigos were sent to pick up the big wigs. I can’t speak for Jo Ann or Ellen but Mom wasn’t going to lug any suitcases anywhere. I guess the Mombasa station just wanted the first sight these dignitaries had of our station was a pretty one.
Dr. Fletcher must have been some kind of guy to get off the plane and immediately give a speech. I did notice that he spoke on “fear” and he had just landed on terra firma from flying a DC-9 prop plane to the coast. Coincidence, I think not, I would be willing to bet that he finalized a lot of his illustrations on the trip down.
Lunch and supper seemed to go without a hitch and everyone enjoyed Mom’s contribution. As I have stated before whenever a person arrived from the states he or she was debriefed extensively by the mission folk present. Mom seemed excited that we only had to be in country for 3 years at a time.