I was asked to tell the story of Purim before reading the megillah for the benefit of the children and then began the reading of the text in hebrew before Yoseph took over the reading in the native Kikuyu language.
Purim isn't new to this community, as messianic jews who live in the area keep jewish festivals such as Purim, although in a christian context (Joseph told me that it was therefore not a difficult step for a messianic jew to decide to believe only in the Torah and halachic teachings).
After reading the megilah we had a party. We had earlier prepared falafel from Osem's very good falafel mix that had travelled to this tiny village in Africa from Israel via Tescos. As well as the falafel balls we made 'laafa' bread for the salad and falaful. Getting the bread baked on the small charcoal burners involved not a little experimenting but we got there in the end.
Bagels I had taken with me also went down a treat toasted and topped with a piece of mature english cheddar. In one evening I had introduced both bagels and falafel to Africa!
That so many people came to hear the megilah was heart warming. The community members had not jumped into a car and driven in comfort to hear the megilah but for not a few this had meant a walk of many miles over atrocious country lanes in the dark with only the moon to light their way. That is a token of the Ol Kalou jews' determination to keep their faith.
The pictures above were taken with flash. The room was however quite dark as there is no electric power in the community. Life is quite basic.
|The above scene but taken without flash|