Sorry, in het engels!


July 14, 2007


Dear All,

You have seen the subject of this email:"God knows". Indeed, Starting to address several of you personally but not knowing anymore whom I have sent a line to and whom not. So, I take you on in one go!!! How are you?




I am freezing here. It is terrible weather. If our spirit would be depending on the sun here then we would be all down, deep far away!

We have not seen the sun for 3 weeks surely. I am surprised myself that this is noticed by many people here. Big vests on, a cap, double clothing. If one has work, better to do heavy manuel work outside; one is warm by that. You see what I am doing! Inside and the walls are icy and so is the house.


This mornig I have taken 2 tyres to the garage; all in all 4 punctures! One was even tubeless. When trying to take the road across my lane, I have seen cars passing right and left of me, not able to wait like me, seeing drivers standing on their brakes. No accidents! Just miracles all over. People try to avoid one another!!!!! No car damages but the heart is overtaken by fear!




Yesterday I was phoned by a hotel manager and he told me that it had been a long time that we had not seen one another. He likes to see me, being a stern catholic I think but especially he pleases me too as he has found me to be a priest who knows some places where the poor are being looked after. So, he had again a hundred big plates and some cups; this time for the parish, Guadalupe at Adam's Arcade. They were very happy with it.


Later he will send me still track suits and blankets for the mentally handicapped at the Brothers of Charity. This manager had already donated plates and cups before; so some other Sisters were lucky for their works among the women in the slum Kibera. He had never seen the sight of the slums before so he told me and now he is touched by the people themselves and the ones working there. Nice.




Having from time to time a letter of mine, does us, me in any case a lot of good. Some I will see after some time when tey return from holidays; others can hardly imagine what it is like here and others want to have the English spelled out as English is not one's mother tongue. When I am writing like this, I see different people passing by in my mind and I wonder how you could be. If you have some time, just give a sign of life. It does me some good too.


There is an attachment! (see below)

All the best.

God bless and united in prayer.





Dear All,


Kenyase kinderen in de sloppenwijk van Nairobi

Just to tell you how we are faring here in this old beloved Kenya.

At the moment George Smith is around and enjoys every minute of it. We have gone for golf at the race course here at Ngong road. I am going to enjoy it. I am sure. He was yesterday with friends at the Railway golf course. He was tired. Not in excellent condition! What is his handicap? I have bought myself some gloves; I had some blisters.




It is summer in Europe and the States but here Nairobi is bitter cold. I have now my windows closed, at night 3 blankets and during the day I have a long sleeved shirt, a sweater and a sport jacket. Colours, I do not mind as long as it is warm.

How are you? Been or going on holidays still? Hopefully some good weather, you meet.

Last Sunday I have been in one of our 123 parishes of the archdiocese and then I was in one of the outstations, St. Margaretís; slums on one side and on the other side housing estates. People live and pray together, the well to do and the less fortunate ones. This is seen all over Nairobi. The singing was again very well and the dancing girls in procession steal the show. It was an ordinary Sunday and the Church was full to capacity.




This coming Sunday I will be at our Parish Church, Our Lady of Guadalupe. O.L. of Guadalupe has nothing to do with Africa in fact but accepted as the Mexican priests are there for the poor as well for the well to do. This coming Sunday I will be there for the Eucharist in Kishwahili at 7 and continue from there for a boarding school of children all H.I.V. positive, Karen, Nyumbani. The 100 kids are full of pep and receive many, many visitors from English speaking countries especially. They are sponsored by I do not know how many organisations.


This is so for them but the longer I am here, the more I am surprised how many loving people there are to help these and other kids, the single women, the orphans, the small schools, the clinics; just you call it and of so many different denominations and N.G.O.ís. are there. Many people take to heart the less fortunate ones.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††Politics too!? This problem is huge.




At the moment we are busy with putting on a brand new corrugated iron roof on a formally flat roof which had been serving us for the last 20 years without fault but it needed now a good overhaul. You think that this was the end? We realised that the amount of water would be enormous and all this water would come gushing down. I needed to see the provincial bursar and happily he could approve of it. I think that it was not foreseen in the budget but leakages compelled us!






Yes, what else? I have seen the last weeks several young students of our Missionaries of Africa Society, coming through the house, and going home for the Priestly ordinations. They have successfully finished their 9 years of formation in different countries and are now ready to go and take off to one of the countries on the African continent.


It is nice to see others following them: some for 3 years philosophy in Zambia or Uganda, Tanzania, Nigeria with Ghana, Burkina with Mali; others for the noviciate in Burkina or in Zambia; then 2 years stage in one of the communities on the African continent where these youngsters are in full swing; then another 3 years for theology especially and some more practical work in the parishes of Nairobi, Abidjan of Cote díIvoire, Jerusalem and Kinshasa. Enormous effort is given to a good formation and every so often we have with these youngsters of ours a get together of how well one fares.

So during these weeks some have gone to their respective places passing by here at our house and more will follow the coming weeks; it is nice that we can meet like this. It means that one of us will take them to the airport or the bus station and before finding a ticket for them, they might needfirst and foremost inoculations and a visa. So many come and go. I am glad that I can be around and see these young people fully in shape for their next mission. May God bless them and we one another. There is plenty of new life coming up as I can see it.




In these days I will be back in the slums for the weekend services as I am helping out in the childrenís home now; Nyumbani untill their priest, our confrere is back from holidays. In the slum here next door (on the other side of our main road of Ngong road), there must be 2-3 small fires a month that puts the dwellings in ashes and then they have nothing to cook with or on; no bedding or clothes. People again pull through and hope for the better. How they manage, I do not know.


Today I have seen a man who is making our gutters; he comes with 4 sons; one of them is the one who will continue his fatherís business and the three younger ones are still studying. He has put them to this work of gutters and makes sure that the school fees can be paid by working for it and that they still learn a possible trade.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††Now he had to be operated upon, an umbelical hernia; He can laugh again but walks not upright yet. Pain. I hope that he can pay the bill though. There is a health insurance but he has had his pension at the railways and that might stop this social fund. He is one of the choirmasters of one of the Jesuit churches here in town, again a slum, Kangemi.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Do not forget but 70 % surely of the 4 million people in Nairobi are slum dwellers.

This is it for this time.

I hope that you all are well and that you have a chance of giving some news from the other side.

God bless. United in prayer and karibu, karibuni sana.

United in prayer.


Email address:

Skype: rinyvanbr. Then we can talk!!! Local time at 9.00 p.m.



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