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Similar and different from the stone abbeys of Europe

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The convent of the Evangelizing Sisters of Mary is both similar and very different from the stone abbeys of Europe. The sisters have a large compound in Ongata Rongai. It is, like the abbeys of old, an oasis of greenery and calm, that seems removed from its surroundings a bustling suburb, located just outside the Nairobi border.

But the compound is intimately connected with the local populace, not only that but its poorest and most vulnerable. There is a maternity hospital, a senior citizen's home, a nursery, elementary and secondary school, as well as classrooms for vocational and community outreach training, an acre of vegetable garden (mostly kale, including some plants over six-feet-high) and dozens of pigs, cows, sheep, rabbits and chickens, all cared for by the sisters, novitiates and some staff.

I don't know about you, but I don't associate Catholic sisters with pig farming, yet that's what I am seeing here in Kenya. While the order's mission appears to be proselytization I did not see much evidence of that, as of yet.

In this photo, the beautiful grounds, stands in the sheep pen. I will meet the compound's executive director Sister Mary, later during my trip. I plan to spend a few nights at this convent as well.

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