Saturday, June 13, 2009

All for today . . . Third try

That is all for today - the computer keep posting for me before I am finished so I am finished. The last of the previous post was . . . we are hopeful that our proposal will be approved. We will see. I am sure I made some mistakes having never done this in Kenya and the group hasn't either but I tried to ask as many questions as I could think of to make a go. When I shared it with the DC (District Commissioner) he said it was a good start but modest in shillings requested, wished me good luck and went on to tell me that I should focus on emergency preparedness for Makindu along with trash and MCC - a little large for me and beyond my scope I thought but I told him I would consider it . . .

Have a great weekend all!!! Next week we are celebrating Day of the African Child - that is Tuesday. Lots of activities planned at least we have planned them in the meeting - we will see what happens on the ground. Sometimes these celebrations are more focused on the politicians and their speeches that they are on the real meaning of the celebration . . . we will see.

Love and good health to all! Paula

OOPS . . . continued from previous post . . .

We mailed our proposal for our TupaTakataka Hapa project yesterday . . . I am working with a community group called Kazi Kwa Wote on the project - their name means We Work For All. Part of what they do is volunteer to do trash clean up in various needy areas - there are a lot of them. I met them as I was doing clean up all by myself each week in the district office compund area - sometimes it is better to just let people fiure out what you are doing and volunteer to help rather than recruit them. Volunteering is a new concept for Kenyans. Our proposal is for 20 trash/dust bins for the village and associated work tools, the proposed budget is 302,450 Kenyan Shillings about $3,877 USD. The DC (boss of the district) thought that was modest . . . but it is a start. We are asking Safaricom Foundation for funding. They are the largest telecommunications company here; cellphones plus airtime

YEAH PHOTOS!!! and Other Info from Makindu

Many thanks to my friend Lyzette in Winter Park, FL for posting photos to my blog . . . I sent her the chip which obviously arrived OK, I hope you enjoy them.

Today is Saturday . . . another "work" day . . . the children come a little later on Saturday as there is no school. Most of the older sponsored children in the area come for lunch and then play together inthe afternoon . . . a little football (soccer) and sometimes now video watching as our videa player has now been installed in the dining hall. They play very creatively as they do not have all the interesting plastic vehicles and toys that US children toys. In fact, any toys they have are hand crafted from whatever available materials there are . . . wire, wood, plastic lids and cartons.

My friend Barbara Verchot in Winter Park has been very nice to assist my project in Loitokitok (KISMA) with funding through her organization - Wings of Peace International; if you are interested in donating to that project please visit their website at and/or email Barbara at They also have projects in Thailand and Peru that I am aware of - I am grateful to Barbara and her organization for embracing the KISMA-Angels in Kenya Project. This project helps fund secondary school fees for children whose parent(s) or guardians are not able to afford these fees due to HIV/Aids related factors. Her organization has offered to match part of the funds donated for KISMA - please visit their website or email Barbara if you need further details. Thanks in advance for any help you choose to send us. Thanks already and again to those of you who have already contributed either directly or through Wings of Peace. Currently we have 17 children sponsored and in school who would not be attending except for your generosity. THANKS!!!

Our young boy, Nyamai is doing well. We continue to practice speech with him daily. Progress is slow but it will come. His attention span for practice is of course that of a 5 and 1/2 year old!!

Our visit to the HURUMA Community Group in Kibwezi ( a 20 minute matatu ride) was beyond wonderful and a real eye opener to many of our guardians at MCC. The women in this group are doing so many income generating activities it it hard to count them all. They are lead by Rehema who is becoming famous for all she has done. She is not a young women but has the motivation and enthusiasm for so many projects and she has motivated her group to success. I plan to take another group of MCC guardians there again in July. The first group came back motivated and I have already seen some good signs - I hope these signs turn into income generating realities. I have planned a soap making training for some of them for next week. This is a good startup project as it is relatively inexpensive to start and the market is already there for buyers; everybody uses liquid soap for everything!!! One of our groups is considering the rental of a shamba to grow drought resistent crops and we are planning a water catchment training for July (when it rains again, we can capture the water if we build water catchment retaining "ponds"). Rain has failed us for now but we are hoping for the December rains - when rain comes we hope to be ready to capture it and make it last!!

Yesterday, we mailed our Tupa Takataka Hapa trash/clean up Makindu project proposal to Safaricom Foundation in Nairobi. We