I am spending a quiet Sunday, reflecting, packing and preparing for a midnight flight to the US. I close things up for the months I’ll be away. Store the clean clothes, sheets, towel, bed net, plates, cups and pans. I really don’t have many items of my own to bring home. Most clothes I have a home and just bring back what I am wearing. I’ll even leave my work boots for one of the guys here.
I said goodbye to my landlady as she left for church, goodbye to a couple of the Masai guards and two boda bodas (motorbike drivers). Mwololo will come later to finish up and lose ends. My ride to the airport comes at 6pm. Praying my two bags are not too heavy, loaded with wood carvings and jewelry for the fundraiser in September.
Reflecting on the trip, I can see some progress in our major projects.
The new Kibera school is doing well and needing to expand to take in over the 120 already enrolled. Those additional classes are in process and should be completed in April.
The elders group is growing slowly and responsibly. Mostly older women, these folks are struggling with the drought and lack of food and water. We assist with that as well as some medications and HIV-nutritious food.
The chickens are struggling with disease. We lost well over 125 but things are under control, thanks to Dr. Mwololo.
The farm is planted and there is no more to do but wait the rains. In my three moths here, there hasn’t been more than a few drops. Crazy and frightening if these rains don’t come soon.
All around us, S Sudan, Somalia, as well as Norther Kenya are going into a famine now. While we don’t experience it in the same ways near the cities like Nairobi, costs are increasing in the stores and soon there will be a scarcity of maize and other crops. The farms in the outskirts, where we are, are just desperate for a good crop, good rain, and good harvest.
If we have a rain problem in America, our food prices go up. If there is a problem in Machakos, Kenya with no rain, the people can’t eat. Water will be harder and harder to find at an affordable price. Schools can close due to no food or water. So we need rain badly. Already, animals have died, or if the herders are smart, they sold them off before they became too skinny. But no one wants to do that and they all believe the rain will come tomorrow and my cattle will grow big again. They seldom do.
My one disappointment is not being able to travel to Turkana this trip. I am still hopeful we can be of assistance in a place that needs help most of all. With the drought, some change of contacts in Kakuma and missing my Turkana companion who studies in the US, I decided not to travel there this trip. Next time – I pray.
Thanks to the African staff at the farm, the chicken coops, the school and my little house – I am so grateful. I am more grateful to Mwololo Kilonzo, a good friend who enables me to be in Kenya at all. Without him, there is no way we could get ANYTHING accomplished. He does it all and works tirelessly.