I will be back on my normal blogging schedule next week. Thanks for understanding!
Sunday February 25th, 1968
This morning we went to Sunday school and Church. We went by the Oceanic Hotel to leave a letter to the American guest who was arriving today. After we had finished lunch, she called so we went to pick her up. We took her around to see our different Baptist work. When she called on the phone she said, “You will know me for I will have loud pink on.” We took her to see the village where Robert lives. He showed us a very deep well where the Africans draw their water. Tonight after Church I had all the missionaries over for cake and coffee to be with the American tourist. She seemed very interested in our work. The papers say today that the doors will be closed on Thursday in Britain for Asians coming from Kenya. The Chavda’s, who come to our church, are quite concerned.
Being a missionary kid I am used to traveling abroad. One of the things I strived to do while en-route was to blend in with the locals. Our American guest today was under no such restraint. I don’t remember the vision of this pink “hostess snowball” traveling through Robert’s village but I guarantee every African who saw her that day does!
Mom headed up the after church meet and greet party for all the missionaries. Whenever an American was in town you always wanted to be around them (even if they were dressed in pink!) so you could find out the latest news from the US. It was nice to know that she was just as interested in us as we were in her.
Our friends the Chavda’s were under a bit of a strain because of a policy adopted by Kenya regarding Asian nationals. I am just glad that we had any Asian friends after the “curry fiasco” caused by me earlier in our term in Mombasa. (See post on April 19th for story.)
Tuesday February 24th, 1976
Last night on the way to Kijabe we went by the post office and had a letter from the First Baptist Church in Norris offering to let us live in their pastorium while we are on furlough. This morning Charles Bedenbaugh from Arusha had breakfast with us. He had not been gone long until Vestal Blakely come by and visited for awhile. This morning M.G. and I were taking some seed potatoes to Peter, one of M.G.’s preachers and just as we turned off the main highway onto a bumpy dirt road the back door of the land-rover flew open so we had potatoes all up and down the road. One car passed and mashed some of them. The Africans began to help us pick them up. Tonight we had Bible study at our house. It rained a little just as the people were coming in so we built a fire. I served fresh limeade to drink.
The house in Norris was one of the first “missionary” houses I can recall living in. I can remember feeling the relief in my parents’ demeanor when they were offered this gracious gift. I don’t know if the church you attend has a house that is set aside for missionaries on furlough but you can take it from one of the M.K.’s that has benefited from this arrangement. It is truly a gift from God to your missionaries in the field. (Alan is staying in a house provided by Manley Baptist Church while he is here on assignment. Just ask him if a load has been lifted off his shoulders with this blessing.)
Mom and Dad helped out some fellow missionaries this morning by providing food and fellowship. I would say that even though Vestal got to the table late it was well worth the trip.
Dad had a very interesting way of helping his pastors help themselves. He latched onto some high yield potatoes somehow and would make this deal with his preachers. I will give you a bag of these seed potatoes on the premise that you will follow this pattern. Eat only one third of your harvest, plant one third of your harvest, and give one third of your harvest to someone in your congregation. This idea met with varied success among his men but I think Peter was one of the ones that worked the system so the system worked for him. I sure Dad made up the potatoes that became road-kill on the way to his house that day.
Fresh limeade and a warm fire surrounded by Bible believing friends rounded out the day for the Duncan’s.
Tuesday February 23rd, 1965
We worked at the packing most of the day. Maurice Smith came over after 12 o’clock and helped M.G. build crates. I spoke at the WMU at Third Creek Baptist church. They presented me with a New Testament with my name engraved on it and one lady gave me $10.00. Afterwards we went by Dr. Cole’s office and had some more shots. Alan made the statement that if he had any more shots; his arm was going to rot off. Alan woke up crying during the night.
I do not remember much about packing and getting ready to go to the mission field for the first time. I don’t know if the trauma of the ordeal has created a blank spot in my memory or if I just was too young to care where I went as long as Mom, Dad, and maybe Alan were there.
Many of you can attest to moving day jitters but until you have moved your entire family overseas away from everything you hold dear you can’t understand the angst Mom felt. Yet she still functioned well within the calling she felt from the Lord. During her speech to the WMU I sure Mom gave more than a passing thought to what Dad was missing in his quest to send our belongings to Africa. Dad was the idea man of the house, but Mom being the one who implemented all such plans.
What is conspicuous by its absence is the mention of Ken and his reaction to the series of shots absorbed by the Duncan’s arms. Was it the stoic way he faced life, bravely accepting all obstacles in his path? Heroically accepting pain and comforting his older brother in his time of need. No, most likely the pain in his arm was responsible for the aforementioned trauma that obscured the details on his first trip overseas.
Sunday February 22nd, 1970
This morning I taught my Sunday school class. We had several new ones. We took Alan and Ken to the steak house. We had promised them a steak for good grades. Ken won the largest, and Alan got the medium steak. Afterwards we went to U.S.I.S. to see the football film from America. While we were downtown this afternoon, we met an American tourist from Oklahoma. He said that at one time he was a preacher. Tonight we went to the Asian center for church.
Today we enjoyed the quarterly trip to the steak house for the “good grades” meal. Not only was my steak “rare” but the fact that I got the largest piece of meat was also out of the ordinary.
As I have said before in these posts “edumacation” was never very high on my priority list. Since I recognized my life’s calling at an early age (cowboy) I knew that I just needed to master a few more rudimentary skills and my “schoolin” would be complete. In the early 70’s none of my classes taught me even the most basic abilities that I would need on a cattle drive. In my infinite wisdom I knew that I was to succeed in this chosen life I would have to devote more time to the study of its essential tenets. The fact that I did not own a horse, lived in Kenya, East Africa, and the only cowboy I “knew” was John Wayne were not serious impediments to my quest for the open trail. Knowing me I took it as a sign from above that we met a man who hailed from Oklahoma today. Even though I did not realize the dream of being a cowpoke I have mastered the cowboy slouch in my office chair and am working on my lariat expertise if a stray “doogie” should happen my way.
Tuesday February 21st, 1978
This morning Patsy Dison left for Mombasa. She left her car here for M.G. to take in and have a new windscreen put in. She drove the Hendkerson’s car. Then they will drive hers down the week-end of March 4th. M.G. went to town in our car to pick up some trousers that we were having zippers put in. Too, he met Chuck Evans to look at a used car to buy for the mission. This afternoon we went to R.V.A. to take some paint that M.G. had picked up for the kids. On the way back, a bus was across the road so we had to wait for nearly an hour to get by it. We started a tape to George and Betty tonight.
Dad was Mr. Fix-it again today. After taking care of the details on Patsy’s car he left for town to run a few errands. However, since he was one of the mechanics on mission cars he and Chuck had to go and kick the tires on a vehicle to check its road worthiness.
Mom and Dad took a quick trip out to the Rift today to bring me and my class some paint for the big banquet we juniors threw for the seniors. I know food was brought on this trip to our school however since this was so commonplace Mom did not even mention it in her daily record.
The bus company could have used Dad’s expertise today and maybe that bus would not have taken so long to move on. Since Mom and Dad were held captive in the car they started a voice cassette tape to my Uncle and Aunt in Oak Ridge. This method of communication was much preferred to letter writing because you could hear the sounds of life in the background when you listened to the tape. It was also very convenient for those of us “African Cowboys” (see post on February 20th) who neglected to learn spelling at an early age.
Monday February 20, 1967
Today’s paper says that others may be arrested in connection with Kennedy’s death. This morning I counted and prepared the church money for deposit. This afternoon Alan went to a parade for Kenyatta at 4 o’clock. Ken played with Tim Law all afternoon. Alan still is having problems with his writing at school. He changes from day to day. He seems to rebel against writing the “British Way”.
First came the “Zapruder film” and the findings on the “the grassy knoll and the 3 tramps”. Soon after the “the single bullet theory” tried to shed some light on the tragedy. Perhaps the most telling evidence of an “apparent” conspiracy is the fact that Mom was curious some 4 years later. I wonder if she…naw!
While Alan prepared to greet the president of Kenya I played with another missionary kid most of the afternoon. Alan’s class must have been doing tribal dancing or something for Kenyatta’s visit that afternoon.
It is nice to know that Alan had some trouble in school. Alan was and is that type of guy that does extremely well in a classroom situation. It could have something to do with the fact that he applied himself more than I but I prefer to believe that he was gifted in that area. Always being the futurist of the kids I had already decided my life’s calling. I was to be a cowboy. You can see that even then I had a firm hold on reality!