July 2, 2016

July 2, 2016
One of our newest projects for the widows will be bringing water to those who are elderly or living in areas w/o much access to it.
For such a fertile land and one with over 100 inches of rain a year, most of our widows are w/o a daily water source.  Some villages have a well or spring, but it might have become fouled over the years.  Some live far from streams from which most people fetch their water.
After visiting one of the widows homes, we saw that she was using a water catchment system made out of buckets near the edge of the roof of her home.  Most homes, especially in larger towns, have a gravity fed water tank available.  This is the one at the boys home.

But the widows, unless they live in the village town area, have nothing.  Constant trips to the nearest water provide it for cooking, washing and if any is left, personal hygiene.
Our idea, is to add gutters to the existing roofs of the widow's homes, allowing the water to drain to a tank on the ground.  When we have rain here, it will pour for hours.  It's not like an Arizona rain which will barely dampen the ground, it's like a monsoon for 3 to 4 hours, without the destructive winds.  Tanks come in many different sizes, and with the proper construction of the gutters, rain can provide a water source. 

I had never really thought about having water available continually until I came here.  I don't remember any time, in Arizona, where the water stopped coming out of our faucets.  But we've gone a few days in our house in Kitale where we had no water.  It wasn't fun.  And these mamas deal with it daily. 
I love modern conveniences.  They make life easier.  There is such a struggle here because of poverty, so if we can help with just one issue, we can bring some change.
Like I've said before, I love it here.  And I love these widows.
Kwaheri from Kipsaina,

Mama Lani
 

June 13, 2016

June 13, 2016
It's wedding time!

This is Johnstone, one of the older boys from the orphanage, and his new wife, Linda.  Sunday, we had their wedding after church, to the surprise of everyone, and as usual, the entire congregation got into it like these were there own kids getting married.  It is wonderful how our people take every opportunity to rejoice over someone's happiness.  Coney announced, after the church service was over, that the wedding would take place and everyone started clapping, music was pl...
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May 27, 2016

May 27, 2016
We're getting ready to start our next seamstress class with Rose, our instructor, and five new students.  We just purchased the new machines.  We weren't prepared for this many students, but we are appreciative of the help we received from friends to acquire all five.

After our graduation last week, Rose explained to us that she was more than able to instruct each student we added and then told us that she herself had been blessed through helping the ladies and that she was able to rent the sm...
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May 22, 2016

May 22, 2016
You wouldn't believe the rain here!  Every day it has poured, some days it rained for over 2 hours.  The roads are terribly muddy, but I'm sure lovin' the weather!   My only problem is trying to get my wash dry.  It's hanging on the staircase railing and has been there for 2 days.  But I think I'll live.
Yesterday, the lady that asked us to start the sewing school at her tailoring shop last year, wanted a graduation party for the 3 women that completed the courses. Now, tailoring shop is a loo...
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May 11, 2016

May 11, 2016
We are back!  We landed in Kitale, Saturday, the 7th, after an interesting trip.  But neither a flu bug nor un-cooperative baggage handlers could prevent us and our luggage from arriving.  
Once in our house, I went to bed and slept for hours while Coney shopped for groceries.  Sunday morning arrived with me realizing I was going to live.  That's always a victory.
But we weren't prepared for the festivities waiting for us in Kipsaina.  We knew the widows had new dresses for their choir performa...
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September 27, 2015

September 27, 2015
Well, I'm partially packed, working on the house so we can close it up and fly to Nairobi tomorrow morning.  Its been 4 months and 3 weeks this visit.  Not our longest, yet it's really nice to be heading home.
Tomorrow morning we leave Kitale at 8:45 arriving in Nairobi around 10:00 a.m.  We don't fly out until 10:30 p.m. so it is a really long day.  But because there is only one flight from here to Nairobi, that's what we work with.

Today was the last church service of this visit and everyone ...
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September 16, 2015

September 16, 2015
Twelve days until we fly home.  It's been a very productive trip this year.  It's not that we didn't have problems, it's just that the things accomplished far outweighed the few that we had.

Sunday, one of the mamas in church approached me, asking for some help getting a business started.  This is always a tense moment because sometimes they ask for way, way more than we can possibly help. This mama told me she had a sewing machine, but no material or scissors.  And could I help.  I'm sure rel...
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September 4, 2015

September 4, 2015
Life in Kenya is difficult.  Life in a village in Kenya is more difficult.  Life for a muzungu who loves her modern appliances and furnishing can be the pits.

When we first arrived in Kenya, four years ago, I heard that the qualities Kenyan men looked for in a wife were:
Her ability to fetch water each day, carrying it on her head; finding firewood for cooking; making ugali, a Kenyan staple; and making and mudding her own home.
I would be a spinster.

Fetching water for cooking and washing would b...
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August 26, 2015

August 26, 2015
Our trip this year is winding down and we're in the last stages of the projects that we wanted to accomplish.  We have done quite a bit on the farm, building bee hives in trees, (totally different than ours in the U.S.)  passion fruit orchards,



banana trees and fish ponds with tilapia.  This all benefits the boys home, along with the tea which is ready to harvest, which will produce for over 70 years, bringing in an income continually.




We have changed our efforts with the widow groups.  Since w...
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August 18, 2015

August 18, 2015
The other day Coney came back from town after buying some beans and maize for the widows.  He had a picture of a woman bending over, picking through some already chewed small corn cobs that had been tossed, and collecting the one or two kernels on each cob that were left.  She then put those in a small bag she had next to her.


I asked him what he did after watching her and he told me he went inside the mill and bought a container of maize flour for her.  A large bag.  Large enough that she had...
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