Commitment to Church
In general, people seem willing to give lots of time to the church. The first two weeks I was here, the carpenter was doing some work inside St Christopher's. The caretaker of the church came round every day, just to see if she could clean the church. And again, not a word of complaint about the number of times she came and found she couldn't do anything, because the carpenter was busy making a mess. Young people are willing to give up most of their Saturday to plan activities for their fellow young people, knowing that they will be spending most of their Sunday in church.
Life is more communal in a way than it is in the UK. Partly, I am sure, that is to do with the weather. We've had perhaps 2 showers in the weeks I have been here? The rest of the time it has been dry and sunny and a very pleasant temperature. This means that it is easy to stand and talk to people, or to put some chairs on the lawn outside the church after a service so that people can eat and chat together. Most people here seem to enjoy spending time with other people here and those social occasions after church services seem quite popular. What makes a difference, as well, perhaps is that those parents who can afford it send their children to boarding school. I suspect that a lot of people who are very involved with the church have either grown up children or
children at boarding school. Although, having said that, one of the lay
readers has her own cafe in Flax and her children are day pupils. She
still manages to devote an awful lot of time to church.
TV isn't necessarily something you'd stay home for, here. Unless you have satellite TV and can get channels that we can't get in the vicarage. The choice of channels there is fairly limited and tends to offer either Christian programming (televangelists, studio chats about Christian items, choirs singing gospel songs in English or in Kiswahili) or badly dubbed South American soaps. Occasionally there seem to be interesting documentaries in English about local things: The Roman Catholic Church's attempts to bring reconciliation after the clashes in
Eldoret after the last general elections; how Turkana people live; the Rift Valley, but interesting as they are, I doubt anyone would stay home to watch those.
In some ways, life seems to shut down a bit at sundown. Edna won't have any meetings or do any visits after dark, because she is not comfortable going out after dark. This means that most days, we are in the vicarage from 7pm. If this is the same for most other people, then perhaps this is when they have their family time.