Sunday, October 19, 2014

Christine's Beautiful Smile Now

Christine "Before"

Hairdressing Class

SFC Student in Class Doing a Pedicure

Going Up!

Marion and Me at Her School

Blog 4 Kisumu, Kenya

Blog 3
Kisumu, Kenya

October 19, 2014


I know it has not been very long since I wrote to you last, but there are some things I want to share with you – most importantly that Hinda arrived a couple of days ago and we are happy to see each other again after too long of an absence.

When I flew to Nairobi a few days ago to meet Hinda, a friend of mine met me at the airport.  Before checking in, you have to go through a security check and then again immediately after checking in.  My friend was carrying a large bottle of water and a can of spray net.  No problem through the first security check, but at the second one she was told to give up her can of spray net to the security guard (a woman), but not the large bottle of water.  The security guard wanted the spray net for herself!!

Many of you know about Marion who Hinda and I and some of you are helping to send to school.  I visited her school for the first time a couple of weeks ago and got to meet her teachers and see her school as well as to visit with her.  She is just about to finish Class 7 and enter Class 8.  As usual she is near the top of her class – she is 6th in a class of a hundred or more, and she is doing well.  But Marion is not only bright, but a very nice young woman.  I have put a photo of she and I on this blog.  I will be sending an email to some of you soon asking those of you who have helped support her education to do so once again.  Marion’s education, indeed that of any girl here in Kenya and elsewhere in similar places is a good investment.  If you invest in a girl’s education, you are helping a whole village.  If you only help a boy, that is all you are doing as important as that may be.

Here is an amazing story about what an organization like KMET can and does do:  Christine is a young woman of 29 who has twins and another young child.  She was widowed 2 years ago.  At the age of 9, one of her front teeth developed a problem that you can see in the accompanying photo. 

A couple of years ago I helped KMET start a community dental clinic designed to be accessible to low income people and affordable.  It has been a great success.

So I arranged for Christine to go to see the community dental technician there, (Joshua), he is not a dentist, but does everything a dentist does.  Joshua examined her; determined that her tooth which has a nearly dead nerve could be saved; did a root canal; measured her for a cap; had a lab make the cap; and installed it all in one day at the cost of 8,000 Kenyan Shillings - $90.40.  I checked a private dentist in town and the cost was about 50,000, and in the USA, thousands of dollars!  So Christine has her smile, I am proud, and the KMET Dental Clinic is doing what it was set up to do.  A win win win for all.

Here where I live I discovered that the water from the bathroom sink, shower, and kitchen sink were all flowing directly on to the ground and forming a pool of water and a nice place for mosquitoes.  So the plumber came connected everything to the septic tank. OK?  Not quite.  In the process he cut the underground power cable to my cottage and then there was no power for another day or so until the cable could be dug up and replaced.  Does it sound like fun yet?

The power here has been going off at least once or twice a day for the last 2 weeks; buy since Hinda came the power is back.  Thanks Hinda not only for coming to visit your husband of nearly 54 years but bringing power with you!!

At KMET where I am helping to add an additional floor, we discovered that we had to move a power pole because the power wires was going to hit the new floor.  The city power company – KPLC has estimated the cost to be nearly 1/3 of the entire construction cost of the new floor, so we will have a meeting with them next week and do some heavy bargaining.  (That’s what I am here for so wish me luck).

One the things that I have been doing is fundraising to cover the cost of the new floor being built.  There was not enough donated initially to pay for all of it.  Thus far I have already raised or have commitments for nearly 500,000 Kenyan Shillings!  And I am still continuing.

KMET has had for quite a few years, a skills training program for vulnerable and abused young women – tailoring, catering, and hairdressing.  The younger sister of my motorcycle taxi driver told me that his 21 year old sister had a child out of wedlock and had not finished school, so I connected him to the KMET training program – Sisterhood for Change, and she is now enrolled in the tailoring program at a very affordable cost and after graduating will stand a good chance of getting a job or even starting her own small business. 

When I went to meet Hinda at the Nairobi Airport, a policeman stopped the taxi I was in at the airport entrance.  He looked inside and outside the car and then got in himself.  He asked where I was going and I told him I was going to meet Hinda.  He asked the driver some more questions, thought for a while and then finally got out and let us go.  He wanted “something”, but he was unsuccessful.

Then as I waited for Hinda after her plane had arrived she seemed to be taking a long time, so I called her. She told me that everyone getting off the plane was having his or her temperatures taken as a precaution against someone who might be contagious with Ebola.  That’s a good idea, but she told me that there were only two people taking the temperatures of hundreds of passengers, and one of the thermometers was broken, so she and other passengers just walked past them.  Imagine!!

This is far too long!  Sorry! 

We are going to enjoy Kisumu for a couple of weeks and then go on a 4 day safari to the Maasai Mara just before Hinda returns home on November 2nd.

Enjoy, and love from both Hinda and me.

Sunday, October 05, 2014

Morning Singing at KMET

Monica, KMET Security Guard

Mary, Panda's Paradise