Friday, December 31, 2010

Flat Stanley Goes to Kenya (7): More New Friends

Stanley was a big hit in Kenya, and as he got to meet Kenyan children it became clear that young people all over the world like to get to know one another, regardless of where they come from (or how thick they are - even a kid half-an-inch wide can make new friends).

One of our visits was to the community of Gem (pronounced with a hard "G"), near Kisumu, where we visited a family Mr. Guy got to know when he worked in Kenya. As it happened, our friend Sandi Kitt in New York had sent along a present for the young girl of the family, a New Orleans mardi gras mask, and I think Gweth Nyabera was very happy to have the mask to play with. She tried it on immediately and then ran outside to show it to all her friends, so I expect it will hang in a place of honor in her room.

Another highlight for Stanley was a visit to Nyanguru Village, to go to Charles's home and visit with his children and be with his and Jane's family. I had visited Nyanguru Village, near Kisii, earlier in the year because Mr. Charles (who started out as my driver and quickly became one of my best friends in Kenya) had invited me to get to know his family. You can read about that visit here. This photo shows Mr. Guy with three of the children, Justine (who often serves as my "official" photographer when we go on safari together), Ian, and Delfin.

Although I had been to Nyanguru Village before, this visit was very special because now I was going to have the opportunity to visit my African namesake. Claire Kwamboka Ombongi Masese, born just a few weeks ago, is named for Charles's recently deceased sister, and her first name is taken from from my last name. I was very honored when Charles and Jane connected to St. Clair and chose to name their baby Claire. We're calling her "Angel Claire," which is her daddy's special name for her. I am so happy that Stanley and our safari friends could meet her. It was a wonderful day in Nyanguru Village (and in Mr. Guy's heart) when we went to see Claire and all of Charles's wonderful family.

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