The day after our arrival at IAA in Kinangop, Kenya was the day of Kings Feast. This is a party that has been happening for the past ten years. It got started because King, a frequent volunteer and champion of IAA, was particularly interested in seeing that the children had plenty of protein in their diets. Unfortunately, King passed away, but his legacy lives on in this annual celebration.
In Kenya, kids get the whole month of April off school and since it is also Easter time, it’s a great time to hold the feast. A cow, bull, sheep, or something is slaughtered and the kids of the community are all invited. This year there were 500 kids in attendance. It was nuts.
In addition to a lot of food, there is always a full day of activities. We had 3 guys dressed up in character costume (Flash, Batman, and whichever one of the Ninja Turtles wears a yellow headband), two bounce houses, a puppet show, games, face painting, a dance battle, music, and cupcakes. God held off the rain (it poured every other day we were there), which is a miracle He has provided every single year.
The night before the party, Em was in the kitchen with Posy, Lydia, and Lucy helping bake 300 cupcakes and a few sheet cakes. That would not have been enough for all the kids who showed up, but that was another miracle God provided. Kind of like the whole loaves and fishes thing, but with dessert. I mean, why not?
I spent the whole of the day floating about, capturing video of all the festivities. Many times throughout the day I would feel a soft hand on my arm and hear a gentle, “Auntie, may I aseest?” There was one little boy from another children’s home, whom I would guess to have been about 12, who wanted to help shoot video every time he was near me. I kept the camera strap firmly wrapped around my neck or wrist, but mostly let him fire away. Sure, I had a lot of footage that had to be deleted, but he was pretty responsible with the camera overall.
After the meal was served the trio of emcees was leading all the kids in some kind of game. They were speaking Swahili almost exclusively so I was never quite sure of the rules, but it was pretty close to Simon Says. Meanwhile, a few feet away, Kristin was drawing her own crowd, owing mainly to having long blond hair. She had about 10 girls around her, all stroking her hair and wrapping strands of it around her face. Then suddenly the game was over and I watched in awe as an additional 20 girls joined the Mzungu Petting Zoo party. She was a pretty good sport about it.
And when it was all over we were all exhausted and ready for bed at like 7:00, but this was Saturday and the kids have a Bible study and there was no way we were going to miss that. So we stayed up long enough to join them for their singing, reciting of memory verses, and some learning.
And then we crashed.
We are missionaries with Engineering Ministries International, based in Colorado Springs, and traveling around the globe to serve.
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