Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Day 33 – Visiting Elizabeth’s family

We have left Lake Victoria amidst warm shows of friendship from our kind hosts (I feel like a rat), and headed north toward the city of Kisumu. Before getting there, however, we reached the house of Elizabeth’s stepmother (remember that this is a polygamist society, so a stepmother is just another of the mothers in the family). Mom lives in a typical African homestead, and the long delayed visit of one of the daughters (Elizabeth had last visited 10 years ago) was cause for an extravagant celebration. Chickens and wood were borrowed or purchased from the neighbors to prepare a feast, the generator was fired up so the visitors could watch TV, and all sorts of cousins came to have a chat with Elizabeth. Athah was of course honored as the visiting husband, and in his jovial manner he told me all about the mores of rural Africa (for example, even though the homestead is a rather open ranch, he as the husband was expected to only use the formal gate for coming or going, so anytime we wanted to go out we had to go all the way around to the gate). We all had a very jolly time, and ended spending the night there.

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