Friday, May 21, 2010

Sad News and Other News

Greetings to all!! We had some very sad news at MCC this last week. One of our sponsored orphans, Faith, passed away after complications from TB. Faith was living positively(HIV/AIDS)and on ARV's but the addition of TB was just too much for her system to handle. Faith was a lovely girl, age 12 in Standard 3 (primary school) here in Makindu. She was always friendly,playful and respectful. She is survived by her older brother who is also sponsored by MCC and her grandmother who was her guardian. The funeral is tomorrow (Saturday) and we will all attend. Faith will be missed by all. Kenyans are strong people and I saw few if any tears. I wonder if it is because they have dealt with the death of so many loved ones in the last few years because of the HIV/AIDS issue - I of course shed many tears and I am not sure what they think of that - but I couldn't help the emotions although I tried really hard to keep them inside.

All else is just going on - we continue to have trainings at MCC for the guardians in all locations, many are now accepting that donor funding has its limitations and may not go on forever - it is time for them to settle into to self sustaining income generating activities. I have talked about the choices here before, at least the ones we are focusing on; they are ropemaking, liquid soapmaking, goatkeeping, poultry keeping and weaving. My favorite is poultry keeping as many of them are currently doing that activity, they are just doing it more as a "hobby" rather than as a business. Many have now vaccinated their chicken, with our encouragement and assistance. They have not vaccinated in the past. They pay 5 shillings per bird and we have vaccinated well over 250 to date. They are now understanding that a 5 shilling investment will get them 350 - 500 shillings later at the market when they go to sell their chicken. It has been a slow educational process but once they see one of their neighbors vaccinating and then selling healthy (live) birds they are "sold" on the idea. So every one you get to vaccinate and then sell when the market is good is a success. It is really fun when they see poultry as a business and share with you their plans for the money. Three of the groups in our Twaandu location sold goats this year to help cater (buy) for the needs of their children as they sent them off to school - they and we were very proud of this accomplishment and I know it will continue. They have good leadership in their community and they have the desire for independence. I hope before I leave Kenya - we will have a model here at the centre for indigenous poultry keeping. It would be good income for MCC and make us less reliant upon donor funding.

MCC's founder, Winnie Barron, visited earlier this month - she was a bit delayed (a week or so) due to the Eyjafjallajokull volcanic eruption but finally made it. The eruption(s) have really had a major negative effect on the economy in Kenya, billions of losses. Winnie visited for about 10 days and of course the children and the entire community love to see her. Winnie continues to work tirelessly in funding raising for the centre. Thanks to those of you who have supported MCC. Donations are always welcome at As I always have said, this is a well run centre doing a lot of good things for the orphans in this area. Winnie will return to Makindu in August with several folks who have raised funds for MCC. MCC is the starting point for The Proper Walk adventure. Their main fundraiser that happens every two years.

Several fun and good books read in the past weeks - The Sex Lives of Cannibals by J Maarten Troost; Dark Star Safari by Paul Theroux (Peace Corps Volunteer 1963); Down Under by Bill Bryson and many more of his books and also Our Turn to Eat by Michale Wrong (about corruption in Kenya)there are more but it is probably not very interesting to you what I am reading but maybe it is?? Currently finishing up (again) short stories by Joseph Conrad.

That's it for now. Thanks for your continued support and thanks to those who write and email, a word from the States is always welcome. Stay healthy and happy!!!

May birthday wishes, again to DAD, Scott. Brooke and Lilly in June.

Love to all, Paula