Saturday, August 17, 2013

Six months already?

Its been about two months of malaria and typhoid and just not having energy. In those two months I have not taken time away from the compound to find a quiet place to relax. I decided to take a trip to Saiwa swamp today.  Saiwa  is a Kenya national park which is about a twenty or thirty minute piki ride away from the home.

I haven't done a blog in since February due to the reasons mentioned above and
I have found that things here have gotten into a routine making harder to find inspiration and inability to write on a public piece of cyberspace.  But sitting here in the park I thought I would take a moment in the peace and beauty that I have found myself in today, to write a little to do an update with my Blackberry.
For awhile it has seemed like nothing has been accomplished, which really is not the case at all. As I now see by visiting this blog I see that we are getting something accomplished.

The clinic is so close to being ready to open.  the electric service finally got hooked up. Its floors have been put in. The place has been cleaned and primed and is ready for paint. Basco has made a new antibacterial paint which is supposed to kill bacteria and reduce the spread of disease for the life of the product.  We were able to purchase this paint at a discount making it the cost of normal paint, as a charity from the company.
I am hoping within the next few weeks and with the arrival of a part for the paint sprayer that I will be able to get the place painted, and let the doctor move in and start setting up.

With help from Jeff the director we welded up a trellis that will have bougainvilleas growing over it to create a shaded sitting area.

 The downstairs dorm is being lived in by the twelve older boys, Ray a missionary from PA and myself.

It wasn't easy to move the boys in. It was actually a maddening rush to make it happen in the time table that was presented.  given a week before a team arrived I was made aware that we would have to be in, there wasn't much sleep that week. I was determined to get the boys room painted before setting up their new beds.  Its still the only room that has been painted.
  There is electricity, but no running water due to the fact that there is nowhere for the waste to go.
  I have been looking into a waste water treatment solution that will manage this building and the future expansion for our growing population of at the time of writing is 135 children!
Its been difficult for these big boys, who are really little guys 6 years to 13 being the oldest, to make it outside in the dark to go to the latrine. Most of them fear walking outside at night, making it a challenge for these boys and us to keep the place clean and well kept.

 As I have spent sometime in disappointment seeing a year's worth of sweat end up as a toilet. (Its not that bad and we do clean often but its a personal opinion and exaggeration).

I have come to understand that it doesn't matter how much light is shining in the darkness of night, the fear is still there.
I have to see the same correlation in the spiritual realm of things. We are all children of he creator of all things, heirs of his kingdom, given the light of Christ to illuminate our way, yet how often do we still fear?  Just a side thought to think about.

I struggle with a response to people who say that I am doing great work. Personally I do not feel like its me who does the work but rather God who does it through me, because I'm a great person, I think not. I am far from perfect and have an abundance of sin that I fight daily.

Over the past few weeks I have really had my eyes opened to the fact that I'm still pretty selfish and need work more at removing I, me, my, mine from my vocabulary. This is a difficult thing to do even more so in written word as I see while writing this.  We can't help but be selfish in our flesh. We have wants and desires, which ARE NOT wrong, in themselves. But become a stumbling block, when we are willing to sin to fulfill them. Which then makes them idols or false gods in our live and in turn separates us from God or your higher power if you don't call Him that.

In myself I was unable to leave life in America and leave behind family and friends, the people that I love. In leaving all of that I have found even more love for those left behind and even more of those that are here. The more love that is present the less I, me, my mine there is. With the absence of self the universe unfolds and great things begin to happen. Its not easy to step out into the light that's shining in the shadow of night, but with everyone and everything around you, you will find that you are not alone in your fear. You are not as different from others as you once thought. We are all pieces of the whole, we build each other up when we work together and we destroy when we work against.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Getting rolling again


In another two weeks I will have been back in Kenya for two months, its hard to believe that I have been back for that long. In this time I haven't felt like I have been as productive as I would like to, but with 120 children there is always more going on then what might meet the eye or what accomplishments might be visible at the end of each day. It has been difficult to get everything and everyone together to get things rolling again, but I think the ball has finally started rolling.

Ray and I have been placed in charge of the boys class one and older, 13 of them in total. The boys will be moving into the dorm when it is finished and will be responsible for shaping the boys into God fearing men. This process has started about a month ago, and at times has been a challenge. Our main focus at this time has been consistency and accountability. This is a little bit new to the boys because they aren't used to being so consistently checked up on with their responsibilities.

Since my return the first piece of business was to find the status of the roofing sheets that had been ordered for the school back at the beginning of November. I was told that it would take five weeks to fill the order and that they should have been delivered before the factory closed on the 15th of December if not they would be delivered the second week of January when the factory reopened. Well didn't get them before the factory closed and then was starting to get the run around when asking about the status of the order only to find out a few weeks later that I wouldn't be getting the order at all. After this I went direct to the company instead of talking to distributors and local hardware stores in town. After talking with MRM (Mabati Rolling Mills) they had their sales manager of this region give me a call so that I could place an order and get the sheets that I once thought that I had already ordered. After talking with Geoffrey we set up a meeting and he brought a sample of the color that we were looking for that was supposed to be a color that the company offered. As he showed me a color called lilac haze I found that the sample that he brought was more of a gray then a lilac color. So once again I was disappointed finding out that the order that I thought I had placed never existed. Even more disappointing is the fact that one of the largest manufacturers for roofing sheets in East Africa, MRM, doesn't even provide the products that they have advertised and published. So in the end I was invited to the factory in Nairobi to help them mix the color of paint in which they advertised, at my own expense of course, but this is Africa. The decision was made to go with the gray color to match the roof of the clinic, this was supposed to be an easy order and delivered within four days, after two hours of placing the order I was told that the sheets of that color were sold earlier in the day and I would now have to wait for another two weeks for the order to be filled, so now its supposed to arrive on the 28th of this month, I am praying that is the truth and this school can finally be finished and used before the term is over!

I have been praying and looking for an affordable pick up truck to help in the process of finding getting supplies to the site, Lord willing one will turn up soon.

Its been great having Terry here, he has been focusing on keeping things progressing with the medical clinic, now that more funds have become available for that project. Most of my time has continued to be spent chasing fundi's or what might be considered sub contractors and materials. Terry found a guy to do the tile work in the clinic who for here does great work. The downstairs is now completed with the exception of the bathrooms which are waiting for the plumber to return and finish his work of setting the fixtures.

 He has also been working on converting the hospitality room into a usable kitchen, which has been a really great addition for daily life.
Jeff and Terry have run a 2” waterline out to the clinic and connected the line to one of the existing tanks.

Connecting to the tank was actually really fun, here is a video of the kids getting splashed with water from the tank as we drained it before connecting it to the clinic line.



video


 The downstairs of the dorm has been cleaned up, all of the form work has been taken down.





The windows have been set and the electrical conduit has been finished, plumbing has been going in    



 and plastering has began.


   





It is my hope that in the next two weeks all of the doors will have been set and the plaster work has all been finished and the flooring will be going in. While the flooring is going in the upstairs will start to be focused on. The idea behind finishing the downstairs first is free up some space in the main house and make usable, within the budget available. Of course the septic tank will be put on hold as it will be a large part of the cost of finishing this project, in the mean time the older boys will be forced to use the pit latrine and take showers in the main house.




some pictures of a few children for January's "happy birthday"






We are only a few weeks away from election, please pray for Kenya that as a country they can come together and have a peaceful process that will move this country in the right direction.