#27 2014 Back in Menlo Park and Finale to Blog 2014

#27 2014 Back in Menlo Park and Finale to Blog 2014

August 21, 2014

My current condition seems surreal, just a moment ago it was 6:30 Tuesday morning and I was rushing around the children’s home compound, crazy with last minute items, and suddenly it’s 4:45 am on Thursday and I am awake in Menlo Park. I’m quite sure I didn’t teleport—the trip back was LONG, but having arrived here, I find myself out of context. Many years ago I read Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time and I think I may have been in one.

The plan was I would leave Naivasha at 9, drive myself and my 4 girls to Nakuru, pick Fr. Kiriti, who would then drive me to Nairobi airport. When I’d gone to bed the night before I was packed except for —. Surely arising at 6:30 would ensure plenty of time. NOT! Phone calls, interruptions, delays, forgotten this and neglected that. ACH! Had to go to SFG to drop off all the items I’d borrowed through the summer, graphing calculator, books, plus books I’d brought to either be added to the library or given to teachers with small children. Had to see Ruth, we had to talk, and of course good-bye hugs and promises to miss each other and “see you in June!” with whomever was around during the break. Back at the compound, rush to get some of the dust of the car, gather the girls into the car (herding cats approach) and finally we were off at 10.

27 Margo with girls

Veronica, Margo, Yvonne, Quinter and Edith pose for a final pic, while David helps Tylon

wash dust from my car.

In the background is the donated wood pieces used for cooking in the children’s kitchen.

We made very good time, as most of the trucks seem to go early or late and we buzzed right along until we came to a police blockade. These are routine. I thought nothing of it, except to be part of the accumulated vehicles trying to squeeze by. Ostensibly these are to check for contraband and bad guys but in reality they are but another opportunity to collect bribes. Rarely does a car get stopped, just trucks and matatus. The blockage consists of 2 long metal strips with lethal spikes, each the length of 1/2 the road, arranged one each direction about 10 feet apart, requiring the driver to snake through very slowly. All the vehicles jockey for position, like a bunch of ill-trained first graders grabbing for a treat. Hodge-podge. And I was in the middle when suddenly a very grouchy, menacing police pointed at me, “Pull Over There!!!!” Confused, I pulled over and another burly character approached the car, asking for my driving license. I handed him the photocopy I carry in the glove. “Where’s the original?” he snarled. “I don’t carry it with me lest I am carjacked.” Of course the implication is that if they weren’t so busy collecting bribes they might be able to prevent same. “Do you realize you were in the wrong lane? That’s a felony!!! Since I had been in the middle of the rest (who were not stopped) I knew he has spotted my mzungu face and gray hair, figuring he could intimidate me. Sorry buddy, wrong girl. He took my DL, yelled at me some more and walked to the back of the car, just standing there. I was annoyed because I was already late, so I got out. “Just what was I doing that all these other cars, that you are not stopping, aren’t doing?” “You were in the wrong lane. See that? That’s a felony.” I looked in square in the eye with my best school teacher glare and said, “I know what you want.” We did a brief stare-down. I won. He knew he had no basis and he knew I knew it too. I reached over and grabbed my license from his hand and said, “I’d like to leave now.” He waved me away, I got in and drove off, heart pounding to be sure, but more from the exhilaration of the encounter than from fear of being arrested. He was the felony committer, not I, but I let him go, just like he let me go.

Fr. Kiriti confirmed he could not arrest me, and had a good laugh at my recounting the tale.

We dropped the girls at the matatu station to find their ways home, and were off, first stopping for lunch at a lovely resort with a panoramic view of Lake Elementita. It’s beautiful, but is so salty that no fish can live in it, although Fr. Kiriti says it’s a home for flamingos so maybe some brine shrimp are there. As we ate, he pointed out what looked like a big fat squirrel, dining on a plant just below the terrace where we sat, but he said it was a big fat rock rat and I was glad it was more interested in the lunch than us!

27 Big fat rock rat

Then back to Naivasha to get my suitcases, which wouldn’t have fit in the car with the girls and their stuff, last minute hugs from Julia and the kids who happened to be home and

27 Mji Wa Neema kids
Goodbye from David Kamau, Tylon and Cynthia (brother and sister), Monica and Magdalene (in front)

off to make a quick visit to Catherine’s One Stop Center—except it’s way off the road, with only a few cow and goat trails to define the route. I had thought maybe she would be there, but only the workers were on-site, so back in the car, back bumping along to the unroad and off for my last 2014 view of the Great Rift Valley. Oh, my it’s hard to leave, even though I recognize I couldn’t live there permanently. Each time I wonder how I will be in 10 months. Will I be able to return? Lots can happen in 10 months, but each year I keep showing up and I’m assuming I will again in 2015—until some year, I don’t! We all live with uncertainty. This is mine.

My plane was scheduled to leave at 11 pm, but Fr. Kiriti couldn’t drop me that late. It’s not safe for anyone to drive in Nairobi at night, not even for him. Besides, he was spending the night with some friends in a monastery across town and dinner was at 7:30, so after stopping for a snack, at 6 pm I was in the queue for the first of many inspections in Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.

I won’t bore you with the numbing details of the wait to board, the 5 hours to Dubai (with little sleep, despite my exhaustion), the 3 hours in the Dubai airport and the 16 hours to SFO. In the experience it seemed to last longer than my 2 ½ months in Naivasha, but in fact it was just (?) 48 hours from my bed Tuesday morning in Naivasha to my bed in Menlo Park Wednesday night. I’d had an interesting seatmate, a young girl who had spent the year in Indonesia and was on her way back to NYC for her final year and Union Theological Seminary, after a visit with her California parents.

As always my son, Mark, found me wandering about the International Arrivals area more than 2 hours after landing. There was a baggage delay and of course one of mine was among those. Yet, I was grateful to not find my name on the list of those whose bags were still waiting in Dubai! One has to celebrate the little victories.

My house looked very welcoming, along with Amor Luz and Abel, filling in for my renters who’d left Saturday, in the kitty-sitting. My raised beds that I’d left with a few small plants, started from seeds is overflowing with luscious green vines and delicious lemon cucumbers. I feasted on tomatoes and still-producing raspberries while I searched the yard to Rufus. Sophie, ever the homebody was on my bed as usual and happy for a good ear scratch and face pet, but Rufus was not in any of his usual haunts and didn’t come when I called. Hmmm.

Bleary-eyed, I drove to Kay’s to collect my mail and cell phone, trying to stay on the right side of the road after driving 2 ½ months on the left. Even well-slept I find that transition disorientating, so concentrated on following everyone else, figuring they were probably doing it right (no pun).

The usual arrangement for first night home has been Mark drops me and I join them for dinner later, but he has joined an orchestra and Wednesday is rehearsal night. But great son that he is, he’d made me a delicious spinach soufflé, an old family favorite from my mother’s recipes. Amor and Abel had to leave for awhile, so I tried, unsuccessfully to do the Suduko while I ate soufflé and a wonderful banana bread Amor had baked to honor my homecoming. Planning not to sleep until 9, I tumbled into bed at 7:30 and now am wide awake at 5:30 am, after having spent an hour producing this. I’d been awakened by Rufus, stalking my head. He was happy to have his mommy back, which he told me as he purred through a thorough washing of my face. He seems in very good condition. He’d had very bad feline asthma all last winter, but finally rebelled at the pills I was trying to give him. I had hoped the summer weather would cure him, at least temporarily and that seems to have been the case. He’s such a great cat.

I’ll be back on PDT in a week or so, but in the meantime, if we meet, forgive me if I seem even more vague than usual. It’s the jet lag.

And now dear readers, I bid you farewell until June 2015, God willing an’ the creeks don’t rise, as our ancestors were wont to say.

= Love to all
Margo

#26 2014 A Visit from Jane Doe (aka Mary) and a Harrowing Trip

#26 2014 A Visit from Jane Doe (aka Mary) and a Harrowing Trip

Past readers may remember Jane Doe (Mary), the young woman who had a girl child last year.  They came to see me today, after a harrowing matatu ride.  Mary is on holiday from school and has been staying in Narok (on the road to Maasai Mara) with an aunt.  She boarded a matatu at 12:30, expecting to be here at 2.  Two came and went, but no Mary.  I tried to call her, but no answer or as they say here, “she didn’t pick my phone.”  Later she called to say there was no network where she had been, and she would explain when she arrived.  Here’s the story.

The road from Narok ends in Mai Mahu, site of Fr. Kiriti’s home compound.  The police have been clamping down hard on unlicensed matatu drivers and one of the check points today was in Mai Mahu.  The drivers alert each other by flashing their lights.  Suddenly the driver diverted and went over very bumpy terrain, across a virtually unpopulated area finally ending on a totally different road.  She was frightened and worried about 1-year old Gwen (Guinevere).  Evidently the driver admitted to the passengers that he was evading a police blockade.

26 Mary w Guinivere

Gwen is darling, as you see.  She didn’t let me hold her, but at least she didn’t cry at the sight of my strange looking face.  She has 2 bottom teeth, stands well and walks with support from mom.  She says, “Da Da”, which means sister in Kiswahili, is very serious and really gave me the once-over.  I had bought some African dolls, momma dolls with babies strapped to the back, so I gave her one.  She looked at it, and dragged it around a bit, but will take awhile (if ever) to become attached.  She has quite a protruding umbilicus which seems worrisome to me.

26 Gwen-umbilical hernia

I’m sending a pic to a neonatal specialist friend of mine to ask whether it should be treated, either bound or perhaps surgically repaired.  I’ve never seen one like that.  Mary says it doesn’t seem to cause any discomfort, even when depressed, and the nurses at the well-baby checks have told her not to worry.  I’m not so sure about that. If anyone has specific information about what should be done, please write to me ASAP so I can tell Mary.  It doesn’t seem to me that she’s getting good advice at all.  Moreover, today’s paper carried several articles and editorials about the breakdown of the health system here.  It seems to be related to “devolution”, which means most of the power and authority has been ceded to the counties (like states) with drastic results.  Drs. Not paid, promotion by tribalism, graft everywhere.  It is so sad, particularly as we support 3 Drs. in university and I wonder what it will be like when they complete their studies.  They’ve all pledged to stay in Kenya, rather than emigrate to Europe or the US as so many others have done, but I fear for their idealism and willingness to work hard in a system so corrupt.

Veronica, one of the 4 girls who are staying here for a week, came in this evening, as she has almost every evening for mast help.  She always has very specific topics she wants to discuss and doesn’t tell me she understands until she really does.  It’s a real delight when I see that “I get it” light in her eyes when the veil of confusion finally lifts.  She is so happy to have this time here to get really private tutoring and I think her math grade will rise somewhat dramatically.  And when the girls aren’t doing math, most of them are discussing some other subject.  After I shooed everyone out at 1 today I found a whole group of them sitting around a table talking about biology.

Ann lives just outside of town and comes from an extremely poor family in which she is the oldest of 12.  Like other girls in that boat, she sees that high school is her ticket out and she works doggedly.  I give her matatu fare every day b/c her family can give it to her and she stays through the afternoon to work with the other girls.  She is extremely shy and quiet and never asks me for the fare if I forget.  She just comes to say, “Margo, I want to go home now.”  Today I was sort of dense and didn’t get it, so she patiently waited, then said again, “Margo I want to go home now.”  Eventually I woke up to the fact that she didn’t have the far to get home.  She hadn’t had any lunch either, because they didn’t think to hand her a plate, although there was plenty and they had expected her to eat.  So about 4, on my way out the door to pick Mary and Gwen, it occurred to me that she might be hungry and fixed her peanut butter with jelly.  I daresay that was the best meal she’d had in some time.  She is aiming high like Quinter, also from poverty.  They both know they have to achieve admittance in the regular lane to university if they hope to be sponsored.  I just hope when the time comes there will be enough to send her.  I didn’t think to ask her what were her career hopes.

Saturday we met again, but only 19 came.  I thought it was above and beyond the call of duty that 19 showed up.  As usual, we worked 9 to 12:30 at which time I left many of them still working, some on other courses, and some on math.  I’ve never had such devoted and determined students.  They are a joy to teach, but I do get tired after while.  And the morning isn’t the end, in the evening they come for kitchen table math.  Veronica is the most assiduous, with others coming too.  I think Quinter now has everything she needs to score very well on the test, but she is still attentive and active.

I did take time at the end to teach the unit circle, which I think is one of the most useful tools in all of trigonometry.  I’ve showed it to teachers with varying responses, but I don’t know how many of them use it—perhaps they haven’t see the value.  Nonetheless, the 19 copied it down and asked a lot of questions.

Tomorrow—confirmation by the bishop.

=Love to all

Margo

#25 2014 The Class, Rotary and Drama

#25 2014 The Class, Rotary and Drama
Thursday, August 14.  Each morning as I walk into the dining hall at 9 am I’m greeted by more faces.  First there were 9, then 12 (I think), then 2 guys didn’t come back, but then 14, 19 and today 24!  And I had to kick them out at noon, with only a 20 minute break.  Such nice kids, so eager, like 24 sponges soaking up tidbits to help them through the dreaded math – except a few of them are really good at math.  Kevin, a form 2, is already studying the revision (review) book for KCSE.  Each day he has a laundry list of questions he wants me to explain.  Some I answer for all, some he and I do together after class.  He’s so earnest and so grateful to have my full attention and every question answered, so as far as I can tell, he understands every problem.
25 Class 9_12
This is my group on Tuesday (14 students)
Because I promised that I’d focus on form 1 and 2 materials, sometimes the form 4’s quietly work on something else, as I explain to the others. Dan, a form 1, often finds questions beyond what he’s studied, but he bravely sits, doesn’t seem to want to leave, shows up every day and gets what he can.
On the board is a list of topics they wanted to cover.  We got through about ½ the items, but those we covered, we beat into submission.  We have tomorrow and we’ll work Saturday morning, but I have to reserve Saturday afternoon for packing.  Sunday the bishop will come for confirmation, which will take a good deal of time, plus several people are coming to see me.  Monday morning we’ll work and then the girls who don’t live here will go home and I will be in panic mode to complete packing for a Tuesday departure.  Although my plane doesn’t leave until 11 pm (UGH!), I will probably leave Naivasha no later than 2, so Fr. Kiriti can get back before it’s too late.  I’ll have a nice long wait in the airport (not my favorite place) but I treated myself to an upgrade on the first leg—to Dubai—with my miles so maybe there will be a special lounge area where I can wait.  I don’t know because I’ve never upgraded on this (shorter) leg of the trip.  Once I was given a free upgrade on the SF to Dubai leg and I almost kissed the clerk to told me!  What a gift.  Unfortunately a miles upgrade was not available for the 15 hours Dubai to SF.  It’s my semi-annual endurance test, a test I can’t fail – there’s no place to go.
After my lunch I decided it was WAY PAST time to clean my little residence.  I swept and mopped floors and was shocked and dismayed to see how dirty the water was, but I now love my nice clean floors.  I can actually tolerate a good deal of dust in the corner, but when I hit my limit I really go at it full bore.
Last night was my final Rotary meeting for 2014.  Everyone was so nice, “We’ll miss you.” “We’ve never had a visiting Rotarian who participated like you have, thank you.”  “Please come back next year.”  One fun thing they do is called Happy/Sad in which each member is given an opportunity to share something, after shelling out ksh 100 (abt $1.25).  Often it’s trivia, just a fun way to help raise funds.  A number of folks were “sad” because I was leaving, or “happy” for what I do here.  I was truly touched.  These are all people, mostly men, but a few hardy women, whom I didn’t know, nor would I likely have met them in any other setting.  It’s a small group, last night I think there were only 10, but that core group is very dedicated and do so much.  They have an on-going project to provide sanitary napkins to girls in poverty-ridden areas, they have a water project underway and are looking at new proposals for other water projects.
Generally no one eats at the meeting, although it’s held a 6:30 and goes sometimes for 2 hours.  But last night someone ordered chips and salad for everyone.  President Juanita whispered it was in my honor.  Chips here are really tasty and I noticed everyone chowed down, including me, although I had eaten before I left home.  I’d even remembered to take my camera for a group picture, but of course I had neglected to check battery condition, and – you guessed it – all run down!  RATS!!!  Several people had cameras, but whether I’ll get a copy is another question.
Arriving home and hoping for time to write, I found one of the girls knocking my door.  “Margo, I want to go home.”  Uh oh, what’s up?  She’d had her feelings hurt by one of the others, so we talked about it and I made her promise to go to bed (they’re all tired) and not to do anything until she talked to me tomorrow.  She left and I called in the others.  Of course there were 2 sides, but we worked out issues.  By then it was after 9 and dinner had not been served.  Suddenly I realized the major issue was hunger.  So we called the girl back and I made grilled cheese sandwiches or eggs and toast for the non-cheese eaters.  Amazing what food can do for one’s temperament! Eventually I sent them off to bed and hoped to sleep myself, but of course the pull of my book was too much.  I’m sure I’m the last person to read The Agony and the Ecstasy, about Michelangelo, but I am so enjoying it.  The fact that I often fall asleep reading it is testimony to sleep deprivation and age, rather than appreciation.
Seeing fatigue setting in, I decided this afternoon should have some fun, so proposed a walk to the market. Yvonne carried the bag and off we set.  Before we even left the church compound I heard, “Margo” and turned to find a woman who teaches at Ndingi chastising me for not finding one morning this season to come teach some classes.  Next we encountered a man I’d met in the early years when he drove Jane, the engineer who began the building of SFG.  Later I met Jacqueline’s mom on the road going back home and I realized how many times at home I go out and never see anyone I know.  Here it’s rare that I fail to see at least one familiar face.
As we walked along, I asked what would be a nice treat.  “Ice Cream!”  “OK, but we need some biscuits (cookies) to go with it.”  Standing in the supermarket aisle and doing a bit of mental math I determined we could get a big tub of chocolate and 3 pkg of biscuits.  (It’s like a mixture problem – I should have pointed that out to them – but it just occurred to me.)  As we stood in the queue I asked them how much change will I get for my ksh 1000 and was quite dismayed at how long it took them to figure it.  Oh my, these are kids I’ve been haranguing for 4 years about doing mental math.  Maybe it’s a lost cause.  Maybe I’m a total iconoclast and can’t understand why they don’t think in numbers like I do.  ALAS!
We all felt better for having walked, especially after I bought a small package of peanuts on the way back for the girls to munch.   After dinner we each had nice big helping of chocolate ice cream and biscuits, after which we had a rousing game of “Spoons”, a silly but fun card game.  Even small Joseph (peanut butter man) joined in, but only after he observed the first round.  He was quite adept and never was the person without a spoon.  For those of you who don’t know Spoons, it’s a little like Musical Chairs, but in this case each person grabs a spoon instead of sitting in a chair.  Each round elicited great laughter and fun, while the poor person left without a spoon vowed not to be caught short again.
At 9 I called it quits, but they played for another hour after which one of them wanted me to explain some more math.  How can I say, “no, I’m too tired?”  I can’t.
Friday, August 15.  When I walked in at 9 am today I was dismayed to see not more but fewer students.  Oh, well, whatever is, is. I began the topic we had stopped on yesterday.  But the door kept opening and students drifting in, one by two until there were 27.  I took the picture below before the last 3 straggled in.
25 Class 9_15
Friday’s class of 27 after last 3 arrived.
Later in the morning I began working requested problems.  That’s always a bit more challenging, since I have to shift mental gears for each new topic.  One question was particularly hairy and complex.  With 27 expectant faces, all waiting for me to be cogent, I found it hard to think clearly.  I do better working things out in advance by myself.  In my mind I’m thinking, “Oh !$@$#$!  I don’t know how to do this.”  I tried several ideas, but got nowhere.  And then that wonderful moment when the light bulb goes on!  I realized what was being asked (always important!) and figured it out!  They all clapped – not just a polite little clap – a big CLAP!  They might have even done a standing ovation, but the room is too crowded.  It was a great moment.  Of course I had to go back and carefully explain what I was thinking about (no, not the @#$@#), what was my path of analysis.  Eventually they all understood, or so they claimed, except for poor form 1 Dan in the corner who had nodded off while I was stumbling through the problem.  We let him sleep.  Most of what we were doing was beyond what he has learned so far, but I do applaud him for coming back each day.  I hope it’s because he wants to and not because mom insisted.
Same story as all week.  I had given them a 20 minute break at 10:30 (before the hairy problem) and couldn’t get them to leave at noon (2 ½ hours on intense math.)  Finally at a bit after 1 pm, hot, exhausted and losing patience, I said, “I’m done.”  Some are still in there working and I am on my bed, having eaten and napped a bit.
Tonight I must, must must start packing!  ARGH! How I hate that job.  I had to buy a 3rd suitcase at the Naivas and I’m not sure I can get everything in it.  I’m not sure what’s worse, packing or 15 hours cramped in economy-sized seats.  I leave in 4 days.  Sigh!
=Love to all
Margo

SFG Girls Support Other Girls in the Area—Prevent 40 Missed School Days

From #2 Getting Settled and to Work  – June 2, 2011

Jecinta and I have talked a lot about inspiring the girls to contribute to the school after they graduate, go to university or whatever and have some small means. Then she told me this story. She had had a meeting with the principal of a nearby elementary school to discuss a problem with a girl she had taken in and really supported (another Jecinta!!!) In the course of that meeting he mentioned the problem that poor girls have all over—missing school 4 days a month b/c they couldn’t afford pads. Upon hearing this story, the girls of SFG started a “fund” of extra pads, soap and other necessities. They had done some calculations, that each girl was missing an average of 40 days a year. Many of them have had this same experience. At SFG, such necessities are provided for those who can’t afford. I was so touched that our girls, in their adolescence, in their push to prepare themselves to face a life of challenges, have reached out to their younger sisters to give them a hand up. WOW!

Life Bloom and Prisons

Apologies if you’re reading this a second time. I did a quick search and it’s possible I failed to forward this way bak in June when Catherine sent it to Margo.

Craig

======
Margo,

As you encounter the two women released from prison on Wednesday, I wish to share just abit of our history with Naivasha Prisons (am sure you know bits and pieces, and you have visited that place quite often, but I need to share this.

Way back in 2006, when we made our maiden entry to prison to visit the women prisoners (I had never known there was a women’s wing until then), what we desired to do was offer counselling and “rays of hope”.

Then it occurred to us (thanks for the staff who shared many details), that most of the women were jail birds, small little offences, most of them related to “negligence” of children, or “sourcing for their children upkeep” in the wrong ways, or the social push to be married that often push women harming their “husbands’ or their “husbands adulterous partners”.

Creativity….innovations….how could we offer a more comprehensive program which prepared the women for life after prison more appropriately and was also deter them from coming back to prison?

That’s where you found us.

We engaged in a campaign within Naivasha and beyond. We called upon our women friends to visit the prison with us, and to bring with them any item that could help set up a hairdressing unit. We got more than 200 packets of weaves, we got blow driers, combs, hair rollers, cutex…….most of those who donated are teachers within Naivasha town, and business women. yes, I got my 4 plastic chairs which I valued very from my house. The prisons administration fund-raised to get iron sheets and timber and the male prisoners put together an iron sheet walled room.
A salon was born. Janet, who you will meet and interview this afternoon, is a beneficiary of that project. And lo and behold, you should see the corn-rows the women in prison create on each others heads…! Amazingly creative.

Then we begun to source for books, exercise books, chalks, and a “black board” was created in that open space….and literacy lessons begun. This year, the prison will present the first candidate for the KCPE (Class 8) examination. You need to meet this young girl (I guess she is about 20 years) imprisoned for all the wrong reasons….but true she broke the law. She is a beauty and a Spirit!

And then there were children….children below 4 years of age finding themselves in these surrounding because of their mothers’ mistakes. On our last visit this Wednesday, there were 20 of them! Children! Many people have brought in gifts and toys and love and hope…and all.You, Heather, Gemma etc have all been there through Life Bloom, left your mark. Mukami’s Nairobi group have been there more than once. And of course celebrating the International Women’s day in 2011 and this year with more than 40 students from St Pauls University of Nairobi, a group of Women Pastors and two of their professors, isnt a small thing! Love, hope healing name it……all flooding through those barricaded gates at the prison, defying all odds and the flow can still be felt thousands of miles away….

Then there is the Water and Sanitation project. We received our first training in Uganda through Global Women Water Initiative. Our first stop was the prisons. Susan, Wanjiru and Phiona took this project to Prisons with a thud! And guess what? They now purify their own drinking water using the Bio Sand Filters.

One Wednesday every month, Trizer visits the prison for counselling and to receive updates on new arrivals or those released, majority of who join our program for purposes of integration into the community and their own.

As Life Bloom and her partners get to the conference in Sept, and the commissioning of the OSC, the women who have had experiences in prison will be a key target. Prisons administration whispered to me that they wouldn’t be able to sponsor Janet or any other ex-prisoner to the conference. And I thought, maybe by telling her story, someone might want sponsor her and a few other of our women who have been in and out of prison. We are targeting sponsorship for at least twenty of the women, (now I am smiling because reflectively, I think more than 80% of our women have been through prison). Do you remember what I shared a few years back, a remark by Mr Patrick Mwenda, the Officer in Charge of the Naivasha Maximum Prison? He said to me: “Catherine, if you dont see one of your women for some time, always make sure that you check with the prison, that is most probably where they are”. And he was right! Ha ha !

Dear, I think a Spirit has got hold of me…..and I can write about this forever…because it is just flowing…flowing…and flowing.

Meeting Janet on Wednesday, the smiles, the hope,,,,,the beauty I experienced in her presence has driven me to this. Amazing that we met at the barricaded gate when they were just about to leave, we wouldn’t have met if we had tad taken one more minute on our way.

Margo, its is possible, women can still “recover” and sustain their human face in the midst of great adversity…like imprisonment. Tell the story!

Love and blessings.

Next time I read emails is Sunday.

Off I go to the village till Sunday.

Catherine Mumbi Wanjohi.
http://www.catherinemwanjohi.com.
Executive Director,
Life Bloom Services International-LBSI
www.lifebloom.org.
+254 722 695 890

“There are no wrong roads taken to anywhere; there are no accidents….Every experience that we have in our life is there to teach us something.” l
Dr Wayne Dyer in his book titled I Can See Clearly Now.

LBSI……giving women and girls a second chance…..