#1 My first letter, from Judy Murphy

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”, Judy has made nearly as 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!!!


Date: June 13, 2012 8:40:50 AM GMT+03:00

Subject: My first letter

Hi Family and Friends,

This is an exercise in patience. I am in the computer school in the compound and have started my email twice and the power has gone out twice, wiping out what I have done. I know now why these people are so patient and never hurry. It does no good. There is a Life in the Spirit seminar going on this week in the church and the choir is practicing next door which helps my impatient spirit. I might have attended but I don’t understand a word.

I have had a lot of time with the children since I came being alone for almost 2 weeks. Some have come for peanut butter toast, some have gone to the supermarket with me, and one girl came home sick from school and stayed in Margo’s room. They invited me to greet them the first night I was here and I join them for the rosary which they say every evening before their dinner. Their schedule is horrific. They are up by 5am some earlier, working outside my window. They leave for school at 6am and return home at 6pm. They also go to school on Saturdays so they have very little personal time. Our kids don’t know how lucky they are. They are a joyful group. 8 or 9 are in the 7th and 8th grades so next year is going to be quite different for everyone.

Jecinta and I have a lucky break on a project she has been working on. She is working with a 22 year old mother of 3 who was orphaned at a young age and had to put two of the children in a rescue center because she had no place, no food etc. She grew up in a rural area so Jecinta took her to see the grandmother’s land. One of the women left her plot and got married. Anyway she was willing to move there. We have to build her a house and a pit toilet, plus some household furnishings. We figured the cost would be about $600. We are working with a social worker from the rescue center. It just happened that one of the people who head up the NGO that supports the rescue center was at the orphanage last week and we met him. We told him what we were doing and I said we were looking for some financial support so he said to write it up and give it to him. We figured down to the penny, Jecinta wrote it up with Ann and I. The cost went up to about $800 when we figured everything. 3 days later we got over $500 for the project! I was so happy to find such a good resource.

Fr. Kiriti’s leaving is very hard for everyone. I was invited to a very nice surprise party at a beautiful hotel on Lake Naivasha with 18 of his closest friends. They made it a fun occasion. We gave him money and they had a wall clock made with his picture on it. It was hilarious. He is going to a very remote area, the tribe does not speak Swahili or English. He will have to learn their language. We are not sure who is taking his place. The Bishop has been slow in this area which makes it very hard for Kiriti.

The kids had dinner for him Sunday night and it was hard. Jecinta asked each of them to say something, they all ended up in tears and could not even sing the songs the had practiced all day. He is the only father they have known and he has bee a good one. He is such a good person, funny and warm and he knows each one of them. Margo is having a tough time too. He is one of her best friends. We are going to visit his place in July before I leave. I guess it is very hot and dry and the people are very poor.

Margo bought Kiriti’s car so we have wheels. We visited the boys and girls school yesterday. She does a good job. The high schoolers are doing well and will be home for 4 days the end of June so we will plan our outing when they are here.

There is so much more to say but I am ready to stop for today. Thank you for your emails and your prayers.

More later,



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