A Day at Amboseli National Park

Today Caroline and Jacob take me to Amboseli National Park in Kajiado County, Kenya.

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Amboseli is the second most popular park in Kenya after Maasai Mara. It spans a total of 151 square miles across the Kenya-Tanzania border

Buffalo, ostrich, hippo, giraffe, zebra, monkey along with Elephants, elephants and more elephants!

Thank you Caroline, Jacob, Baby T and Nayieso for an enjoyable day at the park.

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Hadi wakati mwingine

 

Nayieso and her stone

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It’s been just over a year since I walked down to the Msangairo River in Loitokitok, Kenya with eight year old Nayieso Orumoi where she found a special stone by the riverbed. I took this stone and used it as a mold to make sterling stone necklaces.

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The good news today is many Nayieso necklaces have been sold with all the proceeds going towards her education.

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I was excited to spend the day enrolling Nayieso in her new school, Rombo Primary School situated on the border of Kenya and Tanzania. Rombo is a boarding school so she will now avoid the 5k walk to and from her home that was required of her up until now. Nayieso and her family are thrilled with her new school and happy she will be safe and well cared for at Rombo Primary.

Thank you to everyone who has purchased her necklace and supported her education. Anyone interested in purchasing one of these special necklaces, please contact me.

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Have a great year Nayieso!

Hadi wakati mwingine

Back at the Boma, Loitokitok, Kenya

It’s been a year since I have been here. Things are still moving like clockwork on this family compound, everyone with their jobs to do. Cleaning, washing, preparing meals, taking care of the children, tending to the many cows and goats and living the life of Maasai pastoralists as they have always done.

The family is very happy to see me again and honored to have me stay with them. The honor, however, is all mine. It is a privilege to have the opportunity to live the life, if only for two days, with a traditional Maasai family.

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I am especially fond of Tinken #1, Caroline’s mother in law and matriarch of the family. We cannot speak to each other with words but we speak the same language of sisterhood, motherhood and love.

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Tinken presents me with a very special gift…a goat. This is the mother of my goat.The baby will be named Hamden for the town I taught school in for over 20 years. Hamden will be born in 3 to 4 months. I am assured I will receive news of the birth as soon as possible(stay tuned). I am honored to receive such a gift.

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Love makes the world go round.

Hadi wakati mwingine

North meets South

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Regrettably my time in the north has come to an end. During my short time here we have accomplished this and experienced so much more:

Our first ever Mentorship program for The KURA Project sponsored students and 30 students from Korr, Opportunity kit deliveries to each female student in the Mentorship program, to Loyangalani Primary School and to women in the Lependera village of Ngugrunit.

My sincere thanks to Kura, Jennifer, Gumathi and Sarah for welcoming me into your home and your lives during the holidays. I enjoyed every minute of every day.

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Now I head to Loitokitok, Kenya with my dear friend, Caroline. Her Boma is located six hours south of Nairobi at the base of Mt. Kilimanjaro on the border of Tanzania. I am excited to be reunited with her family and friends for my remaining two days in Kenya.

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Hadi wakati mwingine

Water Mission International and the Struggle for Water in northern Kenya

Over the last year WMI and its engineers have been researching ways to help bring clean water along with more easily accessible water to Korr, Kenya.

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I asked Kura if he would show and teach me more about the problem while I was here. This is what I learn:

Korr in Marsabit County lies in the arid lands of Kenya. Marsabit County is the most neglected area of Kenya with poverty rates of over eighty percent and less government support then any other area of Kenya.

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There is no single running river in the entire Marsabit County. There are two rainy seasons, a long rain in April and a short rain in December. The short season usually fails as it has this year leaving the water situation in dire straits. People and livestock are suffering from dehydration and even death.

Women do the arduous work of carrying the water in jerry cans on their backs to and from their villages in 100 degree plus temperatures. One village is 2 kilometers away from the borehole, the second village is 3.5 kilometers away.

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On the way to the borehole, we meet a woman named Seison Ngusa. She tells us that she has nothing and that her back is broken from juggling the carrying of children on her front, water on her back and going to town to get food each day. She wants to know if anyone cares.

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We remain hopeful with help from WMI and a generous donor, a clean water system along with piping closer to the villages will be installed in the not too distant future.

Hadi wakati mwingine

Opportunity kit distribution to women in the Lependera Village of Ngugrunit

On our way back from Lake Turkana we make a stop at the sweet mountainside village of Lependera in Ngugrunit to deliver KURA Project Opportunity kits to women here.

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I am excited to witness first hand this delivery to women who have never owned a reusable pad, a disposable pad or a pair of underwear before. Animal skins and more recently rags is what has been used. They describe the discomfort of managing their menstrual cycles up to this point and express their sincere appreciation through singing, handshakes and words of thanks for this donation.

Along with the donation, instruction is given on the use and care of the pads that will last a year or more. We look forward to getting feedback from the women who along with their daughter’s are in need of this basic necessity.

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We believe in every woman’s right to go through her monthly cycle with dignity. Thank you donors and supporters of KURA for making this delivery possible and making their life a bit easier now.

 

 

Home visit to Lependera Village, Ngugrunit, Kenya

Today we make a visit to the home of one of our newest sponsored students, Florence. Florence’s father is no longer living and this home is everything her family has. School fees are completely unaffordable as day to day living is the task at hand.

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Unfortunately, Florence was not home at the time of our visit but it was heartwarming to meet her mother who was overcome by tears of gratitude for the gift of education for her daughter. She was assured everything will be taken care of.

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This is just another example of how  The KURA Project Sponsorship Program is making a difference. Many things can be taken from a person but once you have an education, no one can take that from you.

Thank you Martha and Bill for your investment in Florence’s education.

Hadi wakati mwingine

Happy New Year from Loiyangalani🎉

Loiyangalani feels like a combination of Oz and Wonderland. Any minute I expect one of the seven dwarfs or a munchkin to step out of the little thatched huts located at the resort we are staying. Here we will spend the next two days. Palm trees and these adorable huts make up this charming village resort.

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We make an Opportunity kit delivery to Loyangalani Primary School. Much joy and appreciation is shown for this donation of 30 reusable pads, underwear and soaps. A demonstration of use and care of the pads is given along with a survey to the girls for feedback of our impact.

Thank you donors and supporters. Without your belief in our work, deliveries such as this would not be possible.

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Hadi wakati mwingine

Drive to Turkana continued…

Continuing north we pass the giant wind turbine field being constructed. Soon 365 turbines will be in operation and will provide 30% of the power for Kenya…amazing.

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Finally we reach Lake Turkana. Wow! This enormous jade colored lake is simply breathtaking.

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Travel is difficult as we wind our way along the bumpy stone covered roads with temperatures reaching upwards of 100 degrees. One of our vehicles breaks down. After about 20 minutes, it has been repaired and we reach our destination, the magical village of Loyangalani.

Hadi wakati mwingine