#26 A Visit with Kennedy and a Few Bits of Trivia

#26 A Visit with Kennedy and a Few Bits of Trivia                                        July 30, 2015

Exams are in full swing at SFG, so there isn’t much for me to do.  I stayed home today, spending most of my time rereading Harry Potter.  I’m well into year 6 and hope to be finished with year 7 by the time Mary Anne Rodgers arrives on Sunday with the final installment, year 8.  It has been sufficiently long since I read them that I have forgotten much of the details and am still as amused, thrilled, (scared?) and stretched as I was when they first came out.  The good part about doing it this way is I don’t have to wait for J. K. Rowling to finish the next book!  I’m again astonished at her imagination, creativity and sense of humor.  Sometimes I laugh aloud and sometime my heart rate doubles in the scary parts!  Great books.  Mary Anne, a member of the KH board, is coming for 4 days with her daughter, Emily and friend Sam to visit SFG and to help form 4 students “revise” their English mocks.  I’ll be working with math, of course.

What is known as the short rains have begun, which means weather is varied most days.  Often skies are clear in the morning, but begin to darken later, usually with great dark clouds and a nice strong, but short rain.  This keeps the dust down which is very nice!  The downside is the rains bring ARGH!!!!  Mosquitos!!!  As I sat here on my bed tonight, editing a business plan proposal for Joy Venter’s Joy’s Delights, I found myself slapping at the pesky guys and was forced to put down my net.  I just hope all of them are outside when I turn off the light for sleep.  My bed, BTW, looks like it belongs to a princess, except the canopy is a net, not some frilly whatever.  As much as I hate sleeping under the net, I am very grateful for it.  I’ve had a few bites, but by and large it has protected me very well.

You may recall my writing about Teresia (# 23) and her birthday.  I had given her some money with the thought that she might like to have her hair done.  We had discussed that, vs getting a chair for her room.  Yesterday she came to see me.  This is what she did with her gift.  She looked gorgeous!  You can see she has a real sense of style.

2015-26 1 Teresia

Kennedy came to see me this afternoon.  He is a young man whom I met some 10 years ago when he came to the rectory door asking to see me.  This was when I still stayed there, before moving to Mji Wa Neema (about 200 yards away).  I had announced my intention to give free math “tuitioning” to any high school student who was interested.  Fourteen year-old Kennedy wanted to know whether he could join.  On the first day he knocked at the door again to accompany me on the 30-minute walk up the road to Archbishop Ndingi High School, where I gave my classes until “tuitioning” was outlawed by the Education Office.  In vain I argued that I wasn’t really doing “tuitioning”, which by definition involved the payment of “tuition.”  I was offering a free service, but the principal feared retaliation by the district education office, so I switched to the dining hall at Mji Wa Neema (but that was later).

Back to Kennedy, every morning he called for me at the rectory door and gallantly carried my backpack, often heavy with math books, which I used for reference.  I found him to be quite an interesting young man, idealistic, full of questions about everything under the sun, thoughtful and determined to make a change in the world – he wanted to be a doctor.

Then came the clashes after the election in 2007-08.  Kennedy’s family is of the Luo tribe, while Naivasha is predominately Kikuyu.  Fortunately his family was in Luoland for a family funeral or they might not have survived.  As it was, neighbors with whom they had been good friends looted their house and burned it.  This happened all over, where friends became instant enemies and crazy young people were killing “other” tribe members simply because the elected president was from a certain tribe.  Whether he was legitimately elected or not will never be known, but the deaths of over 1300 people and the loss of millions of shillings in property damage provided a major wakeup call for everyone.  Next election was quiet violence free. Below is Kennedy in 2006.

2015-26 2 Kennedy 2006

So Kennedy’s family lost everything.  His father had been employed in the men’s prison here in Naivasha, but he had no job in Luoland.  Kennedy is somewhere in the middle of 6 or 7 children.  No money for school fees.  Finally he wrote to me, telling me he was attending a day school, but even those fees were too much for the family.  Could I please help.  Because I was asked so often to pay school fees—sometimes stopped by perfect strangers—I had made a point of saying “no”.  Any money I had was going to help build SFG.  But I remembered Kennedy and the potential I saw in him as we hiked up and down the road for those 2 years.  To him I said “yes”.

Now he is in his 4th year of med school, doing clinical medicine.  It’s like an undergraduate degree and when he completes a 1-year internship next year, he will be a physicians assistant.  Only now am I beginning to understand this.  Before I thought the 5-year program right out of high school was all that was required to be a doctor, but I’m glad to report that isn’t the case.

He would like to go on to become a full-fledged doctor and I would love to see that.  It will take another 4 years after he completes this course, but as he sat in my kitchen today and told me all about what he’s learning and how much he loves it, I know this is right for him.  I just hope I last long enough to see him through.  He glowed with passion and excitement as he told me about working with very gifted doctors in his clinical rotations, how much he learned from them and what a privilege it is.  After spending time in a number of different specialties, he now believes he is meant to be a surgeon.  He told me about inserting an IV line in an infant with veins almost impossible to see.  He was working with another student from Tanzania who was amazed that Kennedy could see those tiny veins and get it right the first time.

Kennedy shares a room with David Mungai, of Mji Wa Neema who is 1 year behind him.  (See # 21)  It’s great for David because Kennedy is so bright and so dedicated he can help David, although David is also very bright.  You may recall I gave Abraham Verghese’s book, Cutting for Stone, to David a few weeks ago.  If you’ve read it, you will understand why it’s such a perfect book for these African boys to read.  If you haven’t read it, I encourage you to do so.  It’s one of the best books I know.  I’ve read it twice and have listened to it severally on my iPod.  It is so rich in culture, medicine and interpersonal relationships that I still find things that had previously slipped by

I encouraged Kennedy to look into med school in the US or even the UK.  My impression is that some schools seek foreign students and will even support them.  It would be a great opportunity for him to expand his medical education as well as his life experiences.

Here is Kennedy today, age 22.

2015-26 3 Kennedy 2015

=Margo

#25 More About Nakuru Weekend

#25 More About Nakuru Weekend                                                                     July 27, 2015

Saturday morning Lydia and I took the 2 older children, Joy and Stephanus, into Nakuru, Stephanus to hang out I think and Joy to give a swimming lesson to a new child.  We arrived at the Bontana Hotel (very nice) and climbed the steps to the swimming pool.  A man was there with a 6-year old girl, Tabi and a 2-year old boy.  He introduced himself Dr. —–(didn’t pick the name) and Joy went off to the shallow end with Tabi where she gently and patiently drew her across the pool, encouraging her to put her face in the water, blow bubbles, etc.

2015-25 1 Joy nd Tabi swimming lesson

We watched for awhile then left to do the grocery shopping.  It’s amazing to watch her shop for her family of 6.  I had forgotten what it’s like to keep food in the house for a big family – plus there are 2 boys (6th and 8th grades) in a boarding school very near where they used to live.  They also support 3 other children at that school.  She bought soap, tooth brushes, shoe polish, some very small chocolate bars (forbidden) and some biscuits (= cookies) to be distributed among the friends of 2 of the children who have had recent birthdays.

Among Joy’s many talents is baking.  She is opening a small shop, Joy’s Delights and Home Industries.  The last part refers to the craft projects Lydia and Wilco do.  Some of their wares will be sold in the shop.  The shop won’t open for another week or 2, but Joy has orders for donuts and needed some ingredients as well.  We stopped in to see it, on the 2nd floor of a building in central Nakuru.  The space is small, maybe 10’ X 12’, possibly 15.  She’ll do the baking at home and have only sales in the shop.

Joy joined us at the market, then off we drove to a cheese shop I’d never known of, but it has an amazing variety of cheese.  I’d forgotten to buy cheese for the hamburgers I planned to fix that night, plus Lydia bought several different cheeses.  The shop has a small deli, so Lydia and I had a sausage and Joy had some chips.  “What about taking some chips home to have with the cheeseburgers?”  “Oh, good idea!”  While we sat under the awning outside, a big refrigerated truck arrived with a delivery of cheeses.  They were covered with pieces of plastic and I asked the delivery men whether we could have the plastic when they were finished.  They looked at me rather oddly, but handed me one piece.  I had imagined we’d get a whole lot, but they didn’t offer again, although they made maybe 10 trips inside, carrying heavy crates of cheese (covered with plastic).  Joy and Lydia were laughing at me, although she had been surreptitiously picking up “treasures” for her crafts projects.  (Recall she melts down all kinds of plastic to make planters and many cool things).  As we were leaving, I reached into the truck and grabbed another piece.  The men came along just after and I confessed I’d stolen more of their plastic.  I could see the minds, “crazy old mzungu!”  We got a good laugh from that, as we drove off to the boarding school to visit her children.

2015-25 2 Lydia and kids

As I indicated, the chocolate bars are strictly verboten, but each child received it happily.  Here is Lydia, handing them out.  The small one is Mary, in class 1.  She’s a very solemn child, having had many hard experiences in her short life.  She’s not one of the Venter family, but is a child they support, both financially and emotionally.

From there we had to go back through Nakuru and out the north end (school on south end) and finally back home – and a nap for both Lydia and me.

Everyone pitched in to make the cheeseburger dinner.  I’ll never replace Big Macs with my cooking, but they tasted good to me.  Again after dinner we stayed at the table talking.  Lydia finished her story of how each child came to them.  I wish I could tell it, but you’d have to hear the passion in her voice and see the tears to know just how special each arrival was.  In each case it seems that God told her this child was coming, often including the names.  Both she and Wilco thought long and hard each time, but eventually said “yes” even when the bank balance was screaming NO!!!!!  They’ve not had an easy time, often just scraping by, but I don’t think there has ever been a child who had to go to bed hungry.  They are very resourceful people who believe so strongly they are doing God’s work and it will all be fine – just not always easy.

The family includes other members than mom, dad and children.  There is Shadow, a big, black part Ridgeback part ???  He’s a bit intimidating, but very loving and he was my buddy after only 1 or 2 sniffs of my hand.  He was so much a buddy that he wanted to be petted and ear-scratched all the time and I feared he would knock me off the steps up to the front door.

Then there is Bella, a small dog, who birthed 2 pups while we were gone and 2 more while Lydia and I napped.  Wilco reported that Shadow had made a very unusual bark/cry earlier in the day.  He was alerting the family that the babies were coming.  They kept him outside, lest he harm one of the babies, but he kept his vigil right outside the porch where Bella labored and gave birth.

Sunday morning we had a wonderful breakfast, complete with apple/banana muffins with a small bit of chocolate buried in the center.  YUM!!!  Then we all piled into their car/truck/minivan to attend their church.  The congregation seems to be mostly missionaries (as are Lydia and Wilco) mostly non-Kenyans.  There were maybe 40 in attendance at a lovely service of songs and sermon.  Quite inspirational.

2015-25 3 Vinter dog Bella new pups

Bella and babies on their birthday.

Saying Goodbye to shadow as I leave on Sunday.  Such a sweet dog!

2015-25 4 Margo and Shadow=Margo

 

#24 – I Visit Old Friends in Nakuru

#24 I Visit Old Friends in Nakuru                                                                      July 24, 2015

I have hardly been away from Naivasha and not overnight at all, so today I’m going to Nakuru for a weekend visit with my dear friends the Ventners.  But first I have things to do at home, like shower and shampoo.  As I stand in my shower with the water so hot that I have to keep turning the heater off (water cools) and on (water gets too hot), back and forth and grumbling to myself about why those heaters are so #$%%** hot, when suddenly I remember Teresia in her one room, with no water at all and I realize that by Kenyan standards I live in luxury.  Not only do I have running water and an indoor toilet, but also I have hot water.  I’ve quit kvetching!

While I’m there in the shower, all wet, of course, I decide I might as well do my laundry as well.  I always get very wet as I scrub, wring out, rinse, ring out, hang, so it’s best to just combine it with a shower.  It’s almost 10 am when I finally wander out to the kitchen for breakfast – always the same, cereal with seeds and nuts sprinkled and 2 pieces of buttered toast.  Yes, I do live in luxury – I have a toaster, refrigerator and stove, though only the broiler part of the oven works.  Life is good.

I have many things to take to the Ventners.  I fill my backpack and a shopping bag, as well as stuffing some things in my purse.  Ben will drive me to the matatu stage, since I am loaded down with stuff, all heavy.  The stage is a madhouse and I am so grateful to Ben who knows exactly which matatu is the best and what they should charge me, as there are many going to Nakuru.  This is a non-stop van but it doesn’t leave until it’s full.  We wait maybe 10 minutes then begin to weave our way out of the staging area and onto the main road.  I busily text Fr. Kiriti and Lydia Ventner with that information.  Fr. K will meet me at the stage in Nakuru and drive me to the Ventners.  It’s a bit over an hour drive and I am so glad I made the decision not to drive myself.  All last winter I had nightmares about that road – I hate the drive.

I’m jammed into a seat built for an haute couture model, which I definitely am not.  I plug myself into my iPod and am soon engrossed in the Limpopo Academy, one of the #1 Ladies Detective Agency series.  Getting into Nakuru I realize that Friday afternoon is not the best time to travel anywhere.  Maybe all the Nairobi people have taken refuge here, because Nairobi is totally focused on Obama’s arrival today.  Roads are closed and it is crazy there.  Well, it’s crazy in Nakuru.  There are hundreds (yes 100’s!) of matatus all trying to get into the 2 block long staging area, each inching forward, using every nanometer of space, with people squeezing past barely moving vehicles.  How they manage this with so few injuries is nothing short of miraculous.  Finally our driver has found a place and our door opens.

Everyone wants to be first out, but we are all jammed in!  I ask the man next to me to hand me my backpack after I’m out, which he agrees to, recognizing he can’t get out until I do.  My backpack is heavy and I have a purse and a cloth shopping bag.  I don’t see Fr. Kiriti anywhere and realize finding him will be like the proverbial needle.  I rummage around in my purse for my phone, which of course has fallen to the bottom, beyond the glasses case, iPod, wallet, camera and who-knows-what-else, all the while fending off aggressive guys whose job is to find passengers for their particular car.  “Where to, mzungu?  Nairobi”, “No I’m being met.”  “Sho sho you going to Mombasa?” “No I’m being met.”  “Sho sho, you have a boyfriend?”  “You can be my grandson.”  (Laughter all around)  Finally phone is located and I sort of stagger off to the side, unbalanced by the backpack.  I call Fr. Kiriti.  No answer.  ARGH!  Try again.  No answer.  So I stand for a while, looking around so I can describe my location when he calls.  Pretty soon the phone rings.  “Where are you?”  “I’m just finding a parking.”  “Where shall we meet?”  “Start walking toward Kenyatta Avenue.  Just ask somebody which way it is.”  Everyone is actually eager to help me, and soon I’m slowly making my way toward the chaos of the street we came in on and walking towards the round-about.  People stare at this grey haired mzungu weighted down like a peddler, but everyone is bent on getting to where ever they are going.  Never did I feel the least bit uncomfortable as I stood there waiting.  Pretty soon I spot Fr. Kiriti across the road and miraculously a space opens between those 100’s of matatu’s and I’m able to get across.  He relieves me of the backpack and I’m fine.

We decide to have tea at the big shopping mall so I can buy some food that I want to take to the Venters.  Lydia has called to ask me to bring a big jug of water, as the filter on their dispenser needs to be changed (available only in Nairobi, of course) so we have our tea and go into the Nakumat, which is one of the big supermarket chains.  I’m stunned at the prices of fruits and vegetables.  I’m used to the prices in the Naivasha street market.  Prices here are as much at 60 to 70% higher.  No way, I’m not buying here.  But I buy minced meat (hamburger) and find something that will do for buns.  I can’t find dill pickles, but get gherkins and ketchup (they even have Heinz!). I’ve decided to offer to make American style hamburgers for them tomorrow night.  (RATS! I forgot cheese, but Lydia has told me we’re going into town tomorrow anyway).

Finally we are on our way out of town to their new digs.  Lydia has texted the directions, “Take the 4th dirt road to the left off the Njoro Road.  Follow it about 3 km until just past the orphanage, turn into First Avenue.”  First Avenue????  We’re way out in the country, the suburbs long past.  We drive and drive and drive and drive, and then suddenly there is a children’s home and WOW!!  Here is a community of new houses out in the middle of maize fields and cows wandering in the lane.  We’re looking for #8 as we slowly make our way down First Avenue, which is paved only for the first 100 feet, when we notice that only the very first houses is finished.  We call.  “You’re past us, Wilco will go out the door and guide you.”  Turn around, Ah, there he is.

They have a lovely home, which rents for a song way out here.  Someone thought Nakuru would grow faster than it has and may be losing his shirt, but Ventners have lucked out with a large house that’s brand new.

I met Lydia and Wilco 4 or 5 years ago and fell in love with their wonderful family.  I’ve written about them in the past, but will briefly remind you that they are Afrikaners who left South Africa for Kenya in 2001 after their families rejected (shunned) them for adopting a Zulu child.  They now have 7 children, all African and each very special.  Only 4 are home right now, the other 3 are away in boarding school.  The oldest one is in university in South Africa, the next 2, Joy and Stephanus, are out of school and at home.  Joy is about to open a bakery shop in town, in addition to giving private swimming lessons to well-off Nakuran children.  Stephanus is taking high school classes online.  He’s a musician and never could relate to traditional school.  Both kids have come to my early August free “tuitioning” classes in previous years, so I know them pretty well.  Great kids!  Timothy (maybe 12) and TeDay (7) are home schooled.

This is absolutely the most loving family I have experienced, bar none and certainly the most unorthodox.  They support themselves by their own creativity, making jewelry, wall pieces, tables – all kinds of stuff – from taka taka, (trash, junk, castoffs, detritus). Many of you will remember the taka taka earrings made from flattened bottle caps, colorfully decorated.  They sell in the markets and to people they know through their missionary work.  Lydia is totally hyper, while Wilco is totally laid back – a perfect combination.

I brought them an odd collection of gifts, pecans, chia seeds and hemp seeds all the way from Trader Joe’s, colored pens, TJ’s 72% organic, fair trade chocolate, Yogi tea (Egyptian Licorice, which they all love) and the bag of taka taka that I’ve been collecting since I arrived.  I give Lydia my bottle of Stevia (organic, from TJ) which is like gold to her.  RATS!  I should have brought her the full one I still have in Naivasha, instead of the one I’ve been using all summer, but still is about 80% full.

Everyone helps prepare the dinner, which is wonderful and we all chat well after we finish eating.  Evidently it is their practice to do a short Bible reading after dinner.  It’s TeDay’s turn to read aloud and he does it very well.  We discuss the topic in a lively and far-ranging conversation.  At one point I ask them to tell me the story of how each child came to join their family.  More about that in my next installment.  They only told me about the first 3, but that’s already a long story.

2015-24 1 Ventners old friends Nakuru

Timothy, Joy, Stephanus, Lydia, Wilco and TeDay.

=Margo

#23 New Uniforms, A birthday Lunch, More Readers

#23 New Uniforms, A birthday Lunch, More Readers                                        July 23, 2015

Today was the day we were to distribute 33 new uniforms to Milimani Primary School, right next door to Mji Wa Neema.  I walked over, planning to meet Ann, Simon Kingori and Teresia, but due to a mix-up they thought I would come to the ETW office.  It took several phone calls to get that straight, but they arrived in time, only because we thought it was to be at 10:30, but it was more like 11:15.  Ann is the ETW social worker who made all the arrangements, Simon owns the largest uniform shop in town and gave us a really good price.  He’s a very generous man and has been a friend of Fr. Kiriti’s since Kiriti came to Naivasha in 2004.  Teresia is a member of SFG 2010 who recently completed university and is waiting to get a job.  In the meantime she is volunteering with ETW until one comes through.

Milimani is a really big school, 2568 students in grades 1 – 8.  Here they are, except there were many children on either side whom I couldn’t get in the shot.  It was a sea of faces!  At one point the ones in back wanted to get closer and I was afraid the little ones in front would get crushed!  The teachers waded into the crowd and ordered them back.  It was quite a sight.

2015-23 1 Milimani

It took some organizing to select the neediest children, get their measurements, then Simon had to make some of them, some he had in stock, make up a packet for each child, for boys shirt, sweater and shorts, for girls, dress and sweater.  The lucky children were called out of class early and posed with Ann, Simon, and the deputy.  Called out of class AND get a new uniform all in one day!  That’s one lucky day.

After the event was over we collected the uniforms for the kids to pick up after school, lest someone grab it during class or recess.  We wanted to be as sure as possible that each child actually arrived home with uniform in hand.  Jackson, the boy who’s very tattered sweater began this whole thing by triggering a very generous donation for new uniforms was very excited.  I took his, plus those for Joseph and Lucas of Mji Wa Neema with me.  Jackson is one of the readers from 3 years ago when Judy and I first began bringing books.  I knew he’d be by to pick his from me after school.

2015-23 2 Milimni w Kingori and deputy

Here is a girl wearing a dress WAY TOO BIG, receiving one that will actually fit.

2015-23 3 pic

Here are Teresia and Simon.

2015-23 4 pic

Today was also Teresia’s 24th birthday, so I offered to take her to lunch.  We went to La Belle, an OK restaurant in town.  She had never eaten there and while we sat she told me it was the first time anything special had ever happened to celebrate her birthday.  I know it’s true that many Kenyans pay little attention to birthdays.

2015-23 5 Teresia

She has had a tough life and is so grateful for the opportunity she had to attend SFG and then university.  She has very little money, but she found a room to rent not too far out of town, which she wanted me to see.  It was SMALL, but it is hers, she found it and is paying the rent from the very modest stipend she gets from ETW.  She has nothing except a mattress on the floor and a tiny cooker.  I gave her some cash to buy herself something she needed/wanted.  She’s thinking about a chair for her digs – the molded plastic kind.

I had to return to SFG in the late afternoon to do a session with 6 form 2’s who are struggling with math.  Oh, my, I can see why they struggle.  Not totally sure of the multiplication facts, not sure how to add positive and negative numbers and they’re trying to understand logarithms!!!!!  ARGH!!!  Just how much can I do in 1 hour?  Well maybe some now can figure out –12 + 5.  I despair at the math curriculum in this country.

Arriving home after 6 pm I found a contingent of the readers awaiting me plus 3 newcomers.  Almost all are 6th graders.  Here is yesterday’s group, which included 2 girls.

2015-23 6 the Readers

=Margo

 

#22 Not Much Going On

#22 Not Much Going On                                                                                        July 22, 2015

It has been 5 days since I last posted.  It has been quiet here, and I enjoyed being a lazy bum over the weekend.  Form 4’s are taking their mocks and form 3’s are now taking their end-of-term exams.  Form’s 1 and 2 begin in a few days, so there’s not a lot for me to do at SFG.

Yesterday (Tuesday) I checked out several hotels very close to me.  They’re not as fancy and posh as those down by the lake, but the prices are very reasonable, particularly if one pays in shillings.  One place is the equivalent of $30 per day with continental breakfast – compared with $250 to $350 per day in the fancy ones.  One of our Kenya Help board members is coming early in August with her daughter and a friend.  They want to see SFG, meet the staff and students and just help out for 3 days. They are all quite good in English and the timing is perfect, because the form 4’s will have completed their mocks and will be “revising”.  I proposed to Ruth (principal and English teacher) that the 3 of them could work with the lowest performers to help them improve their writing.  She jumped at that, so I think our visitors will be kept very busy.  I will be revising with math exams, so will be busy too – probably working with the lowest kids as well.

Today I stayed home and finished (FINALLY!!!) my 2 copies of the 2014 KCSE.  ARGH!  Some of those questions are really hard.  I spent over an hour puzzling out one construction question.  But, I finally sorted it out and was very proud of myself.

Good news about Mji Wa Neema.  I’ve mentioned there are only 2 children here, Joseph and older brother Lukas, and intermittently kids who are on long holiday or are waiting to begin whatever school has accepted them.  There has been a lot of controversy about whether to close the home or admit more children, but now the decision has been made, a new committee has been named and some necessary repairs begun.  The first is replacement of the stoves, which were moved from the old kitchen maybe 8-9 years ago when the new kitchen was built.  The stoves were old then and finally were so burned out they became unusable.  Julia and the kids have made do with a jiko, which is a small cooker that uses charcoal and one stove, but if the home fills up again, that won’t do.  A man was hired to install new stoves and today completed the job, although the insides, which are lined with stones and filled with mortar, must dry until Saturday.  This is an important step.  Here is the new stove.  The white surface is a protective cover for stainless steel and will be removed soon.  Judy had raised the funds to build the new kitchen and a lot of other renovations and is now raising the funds to pay ½ the cost.  The other ½ will be covered by the parish.

2015-22  1 stove Mji Wa Neema

Celina has been here since I came.  She graduated SFG in November and is waiting to begin nursing school in Sept.  In the meantime she has been an incredible helper to Julia and to me as well.  I had given her a sweatshirt I’d bought at SFO, having forgotten my shirt, hanging in my closet.  I knew it would be cold on the plane and in fact, even though it was too small I wore it the whole time, except in Dubai.  She had asked me to take her picture in the shirt, and today I finally remembered.  She loves the shirt and wears it often, as it is cool mornings and evenings now.

2015-22 2 Celina in SF sweatshirt

You may recall I had written about one of the boys who come every afternoon to borrow books, has a uniform sweater that is so raggedly, it’s hardly a sweater anymore.  One of my readers was so moved by this story that she made a very generous donation – enough for 30 children at Milimani (next door) to get new uniforms.  This is a school serving the children of Naivasha who either can’t be admitted to private schools because their performance is down or because their parents can’t pay the fees.  Despite classes of up to 100(!) children, the school does well.  Most of the Mji Wa Neema went there.  I made sure that my raggedy reader was one of the recipients as well as both Joseph and Lucas.

Tomorrow is the day we go to present them.  It’s being done through Empower the World, and one of the board members owns a major uniform shop in town.  He gave us an incredible price break.  He’s so generous – was the donor of all the uniforms we presented about a month ago to students in other schools around.  Tomorrow’s blog will have a picture of him presenting to one of the recipients.

Tonight is Rotary, so will have some dinner and get ready to go.

=Margo