After 3 months – flying home tonight

by Ed Colina on April 2, 2017

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.

 

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Drought and Water Issues

by Ed Colina on March 25, 2017

Today we packed the car and delivered food to our elderly and others in need. 
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Here is a sixty-second clip of the visit.

5We also passed by the farm to check out the field which has been planted with beans and mostly maize.  It has begun to germinate which means we have about two weeks for any kind of rain, or else the fields will dry up again.  1We also dropped by the construction of the new warehouse which will hold the poshamill (grinds maize into flour) and huge mixer (to make chicken feed).  This replaces the original storage building that is in the way of a new road.

athiThere are six boreholes in and around my house that have dried up, due to lack of rains and the drought.  Hundreds line up with containers to buy water from the few places that still have it.  Water is rationed in Nairobi.  I have a borehole where I live in Athi but the water is salty and highly fluorinated. Mwololo gets me drinking water from his place so I am fine.  Others struggle. NEWSPAPER ARTICLE

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Kibera School Video

March 15, 2017
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Home Visits – Two More Households Needing Food

March 9, 2017

Today we traveled high and low to locate two more elderly/handicapped in need of assistance with food during this period of drought.  Our hope is that once the rains come and our group is able to harvest, we can discontinue some of our emergency relief food distribution.  But until then, the numbers are growing.  They […]

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Beds Delivered on Saturday

March 4, 2017

One of the first home visits we did, when I first arrived in Kenya this trip, was to the house of an aging grandmother.  She had inherited one grand-daughter who is HIV positive and whose parents ran away.  She inherited another granddaughter and grandson when a different mother and father died.  All three grandchildren are […]

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Food Distribution and The Well

March 3, 2017

Today we did our usual food distribution to the elderly and handicapped outside of Machakos.  Added this time was checking blood pressure.  I had brought two BP cuffs and know some are taking some kind of medication for high blood pressure.  When we arrived, everyone wanted their BP checked, and they wanted it done before […]

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and cooking fat

March 1, 2017

Today’s chore was dividing up a slab of cooking fat.  Looks like butter, smells like Crisco.  We give each of the households a little block for cooking the onions, tomatoes etc.  Yesterday’s porridge mixing made me a powdery mess.  Today, the greasiness on my hands, utensils and little table will last for days.

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Porridge Kibera and Chickens

February 28, 2017

Today I was in charge of mixing a nutritious dry porridge mix. I mixed a powder that, when you add water and cook, provides protein and other vitamins for those in our feeding group who are HIV positive or their immune system is somehow compromised.  The mix contains – ground nuts, finger millet, soya, sorghum, […]

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Friday Food Distribution

February 24, 2017

We are now at 22 households receiving food assistance during this time of drought in Kenya.  As always, prayer, discussion, any needs? complaints? distribute maize flour, onions, potatoes, cooking fat.  Then it was off to sell eggs at a little roadside store. On the way home we encountered fighting over land grabbing.  Two communities with […]

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Squeezed in Kibera

February 21, 2017

We made another visit to our new Kibera School.  I hope you can see the difference between inside and outside the wall.  Our school looks very smart  when compared to our neighbors’ houses. We got to the school in time for porridge around 10:30.  It was a lot more chaotic than we would accept in […]

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