Monday, October 1, 2018

Maciel's neighbours: way beyond just being neighbourly UPDATE


Just love in the English Spring sunshine

I'd shared Skip's link about my good neighbours with Dr. David Webster and
also with Stephen Luscombe. Have already passed Stephen's comments to Skip, but
here is David Webster's response.
I knew David as a mtoto in Marsabit where his father(Canon Eric Webster) was the
Rural Dean(I've mentioned him in my second book and also included his letter to
me in the book). David worked as a doctor in Uganda, then in Marsabit and also
as a G.P. here in England. We met after I'd heard he was writing a book(he wrote
2 in fact), and after I'd sent him a copy of his father's letter to me, he made it
a point of coming all the way from Worcestershire to have lunch with us at our
humble manyatta. Here's his reply:

Dear Mervyn,

You are certainly going through a very stressful and challenging time, and our
 hearts go out to you, and to Elsie. But what a lovely story of unconditional love
 and neighbourliness. At our Home Group (13 of us from around here meet each 
week at our house for fellowship and Bible study and prayer) I took the liberty, yesterday, 
of sharing the story of how your neighbours have taken you in, and are 
caring for you, and so also indirectly caring for Elsie. Our group were very
 moved by the story. Thank you for sharing it with us - a true example of how 
we should all live.

Our thoughts and prayers are with you and Elsie, and we hope the house
 will be ready soon , and that you will get the support you need in caring for Elsie at home.

Best wishes,
David and Rosemary"

Neighbour Jo mending Maciel’s jumper
Lunch with the neighbours, Jo, Eric, Amelie and Jack
Maciel’s cookery apprentices, Jack and Amelie try out banana fritters

Maciel thanks God for his generous neighbours!

Mervyn Maciel’s wife, Elsie, has been suffering from early dementia and suspected bowel cancer for some months now and all along Mervyn has cared for her at their Sutton manyatta. The children have also helped but as her disability increased, Mervyn (at 89) was finding it difficult to manage on his own. This is when the painful decision was taken to move Elsie to a residential Care Home in Surrey where she now resides.

Because of obscenely high Care costs, the family have decided to renovate the Maciel Manyatta and eventually bring Elsie home to be looked after by a live-in carer. Suddenly, Mervyn was faced with the grim prospect of looking for alternative accommodation in a hotel, B & B or some such convenience while building work was in progress. Like an answer to his prayers, his neighbours, Jo and Eric Fauvet, would have none of it and insisted on Mervyn moving in with them for as long as the work took.

Here, in his own words is what Mervyn has to say about Jo and Eric and their two adorable children, Jack 14 and Amelie 11.

“From the moment I stepped into their home I was made to feel part of the family. I was given a fully furnished room (which poor Jack had to vacate), fed daily with home-cooked meals, had all my laundry done, even to ironing every single item of clothing.

“Not only that, I was literally pampered and not even allowed to wash up after meals. The children insist “you are our guest”.  Jo went further by even patching up my tattered jumper, much to my embarrassment.

“And this is not all. I was provided with transport to and from the Care Home to visit Elsie daily on occasions when the family or other friends couldn’t help.  I was taken out for family celebrations etc, the children again insisting “Mervyn is family”.

“I cannot thank the family enough for all they are doing for me during these dark days and pray God may bless them.

“Since the children are interested in cooking, I have promised to show them how to make oatmeal cookies (which they love) and have already shown them how to make banana fritters. The attached photos speak for themselves.”

*Both Mervyn and Elsie are Goan icons: Mervyn wrote the much loved: Bwana Karani and Mtoto to Mzee. Bwana Karani is recognised by many as one of the best personal recollections of the Colonial Civil Service in Kenya. His second book Mtoto to Mzee is own personal journey. Elsie wrote her famed cookbook which it seemed every Goan woman from East Africa and beyond owned and used in the home. Margaret Thatcher received a copy and Labour's Neil Kinnock was enthusiastic to try out the recipes.

1 comment:

  1. This is my Son Jack. Nice to see some more pictures of him



  This invaluable collection of photos was sent to me by David Mungai. He says it is “for the acknowledgement of Kenyan History, the celebra...