#32 Such Good Things

Thursday, Sept 1

#32 Such Good Things

Following Fr Makarios to visit his project this morning, I thought about the many projects I’ve seen this summer and on other visits.  His is St Therese Develop-ment Center, a safe house for abused children.  He began just a year ago but has made incredible progress.  His bishop gave 33 acres for the center.  He has had to raise the funds to develop and build.  He’s on the right, with Innocence, the architect and over-seer.

The plan as well as the implementation is impressive—rooms with large windows so it’s light and airy, nice kitchen and dining/multipurpose, separate areas for boys, girls and volunteers, of which he hopes to attract many to work with the children.

A drip system is in place in the shamba (garden), he has a bore hole with piping to fill the water tower (background), a pond which will eventually be a fish farm, and many other thoughtful (and green) features.  He’s considering using composting toilets, which make perfect sense here.  Otherwise he has to put in a drain field, which would be much more expensive and not nearly so eco-friendly.  I like his work and his manner, no nonsense, very straight-forward, sensitive to the needs of children.  The land is far enough from town to be very open, peaceful and quiet.  As you see, the vistas are broad, with few trees, as it’s very dry.  In time he will have trees, fruit as well as decorative to provide shade.

Observing the men at work on the water tower (left) I thought of the Tower of Babel and wondered whether it was built in a similar manner.  The men are shoveling mortar up one step at a time, working in a unison that probably is not planned, but they just naturally fall into it.  There will be 2 tanks, one on top of the other, with living and office quarters below, on the first 2 levels.

Innocence has done a fabulous job of design.  I had not met him before, but he told me he also designed Upendo Village, next door to SFG, which I have dubbed the Taj Mahal, because of the nice design features.  I will be eager to see this finished project as well.

Coming back to town I stopped by Life Beads of Kenya, the workshop run by my friend, Minalyn Nicklin, who trains and employs HIV+ people.  She is a tender-hearted woman who loves each and every one of her people.  When I arrived, she told me her daughter, Sandy, has been hospitalized for 7 days for an as yet undiagnosed condition, possibly Kawasaki’s Disease (I think that’s the name).  While we talked, Sandy appeared, sleepy and sweaty, to tell me how much she was sleeping and how she had no energy.  She’s a darling girl of maybe 10.

I thought about Sr Cecilia’s school, about which I wrote (#17) when I visited it, about the addition to the district hospital, for maternity and other women’s needs, the project of Cindy Berkland, an American nurse, in conjunction with Panda Flowers, here in Naivasha.  It’s not yet complete as fund raising is going slowly, but when it opens, it will be state of the art.

Front view of new women’s wing of district hosp

rear view

I wrote recently about Helping Hands (#23) a nursery school that welcomes children with disabilities and Marcus’s project (#13), a primary, K-4, as I recall in the KCC slum.

In addition to these great projects, I see building going on all over the area.  Despite famine in the north, continued reports of graft and corruption (though the government is slowly addressing those issues), poverty, unemployment, alcohol and drug addiction, drought in some areas, flooding in others, power outages, sugar shortage (BIG problem here—Kenyans love their sugar), bad roads and on and on, I see so much progress, so much life, hope, courage and love.  This country is making great strides and I am so privileged to be part of it.

Margo

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