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Kenya: News From Fr. Ken Forster O.M.I.

By June 14, 2016November 24th, 2021Missions Stories

May 19/2002

I have been very busy trying to get ready to leave. Besides the regular things that come up I have had some unexpected situations. Yesterday, I had organized that Sholto would celebrate a home anniversary Mass but he took Mario down to Nkubu to see a doctor, and was about an hour and a half late returning so I felt I should go to the home for Mass. I took the Motorbike hoping that the weather might hold. No luck. Partway in the Mass it started to pour. We were celebrating outside so we had to move inside a little house and pack like sardines. Then had to leave the motorbike locked in the Church and walk up. I arrived in about an hour and a half just as it was getting dark. My gortex coat worked well but I was completely wet on my pants and, as well, my shoes and rubbers were waterlogged. Took a shower and got into something dry.

Then chapter two. A family from Igandene arrived at the door looking for assistance. They had a very ill child and the medication was not working well. Pneumonia they thought. As she is the community health nurse form the dispensary in Igandene, I presumed her judgment must be right and the child must be taken to the hospital that night. The roads are horrendous at this time when it has not had a chance to dry. Anyway, I grabbed a bowl of Kitheri (Beans, Maize) and then headed down with them. It was raining lightly but I managed slowly to keep on the road and reach the blacktop. I waited about an hour for the child to be treated. By then it was coming down in buckets. Very few people on the road to help you (not like during the day). Well, I think I drove as well as anyone could and managed the first half of the journey quite well, keeping the vehicle out of the crevices created by running water and the ruts of the lorries. I thought when I managed to make the hill near Ngongo I was going to succeed. Not so. I even managed to pass another stalled vehicle with only a foot to spare from a good ditch just missing his mirrors, but then the inevitable happened. Coming up another hill trying to direct the truck between a ditch and a crevice, I got sucked into the crevice – actually, a stream flowing down the middle of the road. That was it. With help from three fellows, waiting and spinning for an hour and a half, one hundred shillings less as gift to the workers, I managed to get through that hole. I arrived back at midnight. Then I tried to take the woman back down to Igandene. Got about halfway down and met another truck on the road stuck. So, I left her and her husband off there and found a place to turn around and came back up on my own.

I arrived to an empty house, with the lights on. Mario had been resting after getting medication from the doctors. He woke up and found I had not returned so woke up James and went by foot down to Igandene thinking I had gone there. (I had gone to Nkubu) The phones were out with the weather so I waited for an hour or so, had a shot of rye, and went to bed thinking that he would have seen Patricia by now and she would have told him I had arrived home safely. I thought he might have stayed down there for the night. I was zonked and never heard him when he arrived at two a.m.

Why bother bungee-jumping, white water rafting, etc? Come to Kenya during the rainy season.

Greetings, Fr. Ken, OMI

Fr. Adam J. Filas, OMI

The missionary oblate of Mary Immaculate and the Roman Catholic priest. Originally comes from Poland, the beautiful area of Tatra mountains. In the past 30 years worked in Northern missions, English Parishes, Polish Parishes including organizing and building St. Eugene de Mazenod church in Brampton. Now works for Oblate Mission Procure - Assumption Province.