Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Kenya Votes . . . Peace Please!!!

Hello All!!!

It is a big day in Kenya tomorrow as they vote on a new constitution for their country. It is a national holiday to allow people to travel to their original homes to vote. It is a controversial vote; there have been many rallies and campaign stops for both the YES (green) and NO (red) teams. We have, of course, been advised to remain neutral and away from the rally points. Last week the Vice President, Kalonzo, was here in Makindu for the YES camp. We have also been advised to stay away from the colors red and green also - not that easy for someone who likes the color red, for clothin that is. We just ALL is peaceful in the country no matter the outcome.

All is good at MCC - we have 3 new people, two Program Officers and a volunteer so the learning process is taken our time now but they are catching on very fast. They will help move the program to the next step - more sustainability and livelihood security for the beneficiaries (our GOAL!!) The Sikhs passing through Makindu to visit their temple have been very good to MCC recently (and always). We have had two wonderful lunches catered by the Temple Sikhs for the children and many donations; such as numerous and varied school supplies, waterproof washable mattress covers, shoes for some very rural children and uniforms for three pre-primary students. They are very generous people, as I have said before. They hope to start construction on our two promised pre-primary classrooms middle of this month. For the most part all children are healthy at the moment although the coldness (to Africans) brings on some colds and coughs but nothing too serious. In fact I have a cough also - I hope mostly due to the DUST!!!! but it has hung on for a month now, time for it to leave. August will bring more dust and hot weather before the rains come in November so a few more months of barely breathable air. Most roads are not paved thus DUST!! Our cows arrived and both are with calf. We expect them to give birth before the end of the year - following a little time with the mother's milk then we will have some for the MCC children - what a treat!! That is one thing we don't have due to the cost. Most of the children are coming to the Center now for lunch and play as school is out for the month of August.

The Proper Walk (MCP fundraiser) people and MCC founder, Winnie, will be here soon so everyone is excited for that event. I have a Peace Corp meeting in Kakamega (Western Kenya) and I am taking a few days leave to visit the national forest in that area so I will miss their arrival but I'll get to see Winnie when they return from the walk. I'll be away the 10th until the 22nd.

That's the update - still going on with every day programs trying to help where I can. We will be heavily focused on income generating activities and livelihood security from now until my departure. Our biggest challenge now is the monitoring and reporting part - measuring their IGA impacts on lives. Not as easy as it sounds. Still some frustration in how slowly change happens here so two years seems ever more a short time. But change will come in time . . .

I hope this blog finds all of you doing what you love with people you love and that your life is good; full of happiness and joy!! I hope all of your summer vacations and those to come are grand and safe. I miss you ALL very much.

Happy Birthday to my family members for August; Amanda, Peri, Lori and me!!!! Next year maybe we can celebrate together. Also a BIG Happy Birthday to Joye Brady who turns 90 years soon - way to go Joye!!!

Take care all . . . until next time. Yours truly from Kenya, Paula

P.S. Remember MCP (Makindu Children's Program) and WOPI (Wings Of Peace International) if you have monetary donations burning a hole in your pocket!!!

No comments: