The following blog is from Judy Murphy. Judy and Margo have been friends since childhood. She was a social worker in Portland, OR, before retiring and has been member of the board of Kenya Help for a few years. In “retirement”, she’s made nearly many trips to Kenya as Margo. She focuses her efforts on the Mji Wa Neema orphanage and working closely with Jecinta, the parish social worker.
Thank you Judy for all you’ve done / all you do!!!
June 19, 2012
Dear Friends and Family,
There are so many wonderful experiences and things happening that I don’t know where to start. But I guess I will start with Fr. Kiriti’s leaving.
He was scheduled to leave on the 9th of June but the Bishop had not and still has not named a replacement so he did not feel comfortable leaving without that in place. He is so loved by everyone and he was so busy finishing up all his projects etc, attending parties and visiting his family that he would run from one thing to the next. The children had him for dinner last Sunday. Julia and Agnes made a great dinner. Margo and I bought chickens and fruit, the kids wrote poems and songs. So, after dinner Jecinta asked each of the children to say something and that was the hardest part, most of them and us were in tears, they could not sing their songs or recite the poem. He is the only father they have known and he has a real relationship with each of them. He bosses them, he yells, and he hugs and loves them and they know it.
The man is extraordinary. The church he has built is beautiful, the parish organization is exceptional and it will be just fine without him but he made it happen.
Since he has left things are still getting done, windows in the orphanage were replaced yesterday, a door was put on a room that hasn’t had a door forever, the kitchen sink was finally hooked up and the new floor in the dining room will be replaced starting tomorrow. Most of these were things I wanted to do but I did not think we had time before he left. It’s like he is hovering overhead finishing all the tasks. I love it!
Jecinta and I are still working on placing the young mother on the grandmothers land. We went to the rescue center to meet with the social worker there. The rescue center is designed to house abandoned children. There are probably 40 children there. They are fed and clothed but not sent to school. It is cheerful, the kids are clean and well clothed and the social workers work with the mothers or parents to place the children back with their families. Nancy’s children have been there for over a year, The 4 year old could not walk or talk when he came but is doing well now. Nancy has seen the land, knows we are building a house and providing food and household supplies and she is in agreement with the plan but will have to closely followed. She has not had the three children at one time. I am hoping the grandmothers will help her to get settled and welcome her. There are other children in this little community for the children to play with. this situation needs a lot of prayer.
Monday: Ann the social worker and David the rep from the NGO picked us up and we went shopping for the materials to build the house. He David knew a business where we could order everything we needed and they would deliver [by donkey cart no less]. It is amazing how they do things so quickly. This included aluminum sheets for the roof, posts, rafters, side poles and horizontal poles. door locks, nails and material for the pit toilet. The house will be made of mud and sand bricks which Jecinta thinks we are going to work on too. We will provide the household things she needs: beds, mattresses, cooking utensils etc. She is very fortunate to have this much help.
After shopping we drove over an hour on the worst roads to the grandmothers land to see if the existing house had been dismantled, which it hasn’t. The woman who was there left. The house is hers but not the land. Jecinta will give them a deed to the land when they have been there 5 years and she was not here long enough. We arranged to have the house dismantled, it is made of aluminum sheets, and set aside for her. We also took food for the big family next door who have 10 children who are always hungry. Bread and bananas. It is beautiful up there, I just wish it was more accessible.
The kids are busy studying for midterms so 3 or 4 come over in the evening for math assistance from Margo. She teaches all day but is willing to help anyone who comes. Some of the children have learning problems some are so bright. They love to hang out with us, go to the store, run errands, take our garbage, etc. I love saying the rosary with them in the evening. I hope they do well in their exams.
Well Jecinta is going to meet me in a few minutes so I best wind this up. We are going to Nakuru on school business, a long matatu ride. I forgot to say that Margo bought Fr. Kiriti’s car so we do have transportation at times. It is much faster.
Love to all.