Tuesday, May 23, 2017

2017 Kenya Log Entry 13

I will probably have more to say about my trip to Kenya last month, more pictures and stories, but I think it is time to share the outcome of the whole trip. The grand reveal. The purpose of the trip and the end result of a year of planning.

On Tuesday, our last day in Kenya, we picked up the rabbits and delivered them to Southern Cross Academy!
 First though, we needed to load their food bowls in the van. 
 This bunny is ready to go to a new home.
 So are these guys. 
 They were loaded in crates. Two. 
 Then four.
 Then six. 
 Ended up a little too crowded.
 So Mike ran for more crates before we left for the 45 minute ride
 Though the crates were a bit crowded, it was still safer for them then to roam free in the van. 
 Then each of us got to hold one on our lap on the way to the school. 

 Oops, I think that’s enough pictures for this post. I guess you will have to wait one more day to see them arriving at the school. 

Thursday, May 18, 2017

2017 Kenya Log Entry 12

The day after our visit to Mary Faith, we took a tour of Kibera Slum. Take everything bad I showed you about Mary Faith and magnify it a hundred times, and you still aren’t close to experiencing the largest slum in Africa, and one of the biggest in the world. 
  Madfish was our guide once again this year. 
 How is it possible to find hope in this place?

 But it’s possible to find hope anywhere. 
 The “bone guys” make jewelry from animal bones, and the work they do is beautiful. 
 The day we were there, a woman from Toronto, Jacky Habib, had brought a group of people to make their own jewelry. 
 For a small fee, they learned how to make several articles for themselves, with a lot of help from the bone guys. 
 Finally we made a home visit. This mother has a college education and is a school teacher in Kibera. Her husband had been a matatu driver before he was injured and is now unable to drive. Besides the couple and their two children, Shadrach and Mary, two other people live in this house. I was almost in the doorway when I took this picture, so that’s pretty much the entire place. 
 Not much room outside either. 
Yet, there is always Hope. 

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

2017 Kenya Log Entry 11

I am back to Kenya again. Or I wish I was, instead of sitting here in Wisconsin, reliving our trip last month.

On Friday, April 7, we visited Mary Faith Women’s Shelter and School. Here girls and young women are taken off of the streets, out of dangerous situations and abusive relationships. They are given an education, and since most of them are pregnant or have small children, their children are given an education as well.
Sounds like a great place, until you see it. The staff are doing the best they can with what they have. I get that, but it doesn’t make it any easier to witness. It makes you want to take any – and all – of these kids home with you. 
 Some of the classrooms. 
 The courtyard, looking worse than it probably usually does due to rain the night before. 
 All the kids chipping in to do the laundry. 
 Raising chickens. 
 Growing a garden. 
 The kitchen. 
 My daughter Val, doing what she does best, helping out. While the rest of us wandered the grounds, she sat down, grabbed a plate and started sorting beans, much to the delight of the young women. These girls were all so beautiful, but because their abusers are still out there, I unfortunately can’t share any of their pictures. (I can’t imagine anyone would find their pictures here, but I must be respectful.) 
 Like daughter, like mother? I don’t know about that. I wasn’t all that helpful, but it doesn’t take much to just be in the moment. 

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Happy Mother's Day

I have to be honest, I didn’t know what to write today. So I thought I would just post a bunch of old family pictures, showcasing, of course, Mom.
Happy Mother’s Day to everyone out there. The weather is going to be beautiful here in the Northwoods. Get out and enjoy it. 

Thursday, May 11, 2017

2017 Kenya Log Entry 10

Here I am again, not being as productive as I had hoped. Fortunately, for you, I still have pictures to share from Hell’s Gate.

Here Boni and John are giving us instructions for hiking in the gorge. 
 Here we go down into it. 
 Somewhere along here is where my feet went out from under me and I came down on my left hand. That was five weeks ago, and it still hurts. I did have it x-rayed when I got home and it wasn’t broken. It is feeling much better though every day. 
 Rachel and Kenzie, our volunteers from back home, put up with a lot from me that day. 
 I don’t know how I would ever exit in case of emergency, but how reassuring. Not so much. 
 Rachel and Kenzie dealing with me again. 
 This is the point where Boni said, “we can go to the left up this canyon and see a lot and climb a lot and it will take a half an hour, or we can go the other way and be out in five minutes. Your choice.” As if I had a choice. 

 Our first major obstacle. I took this one like a champ. Too bad I melted down later on, 
 As if the rope at this emergency exit will save me.
 Then just a few more bends and I hit the wall. If you didn’t read about that earlier this week, you’ll have to go back and check that out. 
 A beautiful place and truly worth it.