The last four weeks have been a whirlwind of Kenyan chaos & adventure!
When we left Wales 4 weeks ago we thought it was going to be manic knowing that we would be helping out with opening wells & setting up a goat bank on the West side of Kenya (see my last blog to read all about it); preparing everything for a UK Young Life team to come & help us build on the East side of Kenya near the coast & trying to catch up with friends in Nairobi in between-it definitely met our expectations!! But it was so worth it!
So, here's how things went...
Friends from around Kenya & a team from Uganda were awesome enough to come & help out with building as well as Maria & Lionece who came to Kenya with us a couple of weeks before we started. We all made our way to the school that was accommodating us & started to get to know one another. Meanwhile the UK team took 2 days to travel from Pembrokeshire all the way to our piece of land. After getting their arrival times confused they missed the (clean & efficient) train & had to take the (crazy) night bus to the coast. Knowing they'd be stinky, tired & hungry I arranged breakfast to be ready for them & let everyone know they could rest at the school for the morning & we'd all go to the plot in the afternoon. However after breakfast & a bucket 'shower' everyone just wanted to get to the land & start digging-what champs! And so the work began...here's a few pics of what we started with.
By day 3 we had done lots of digging but the land still wasn't even. But we had bigger problems than that: the 2 shipping containers which were going to be a major part of the building weren't close enough to where they needed to be & they were the wrong way around: on their sides. The lorry that had delivered them a week earlier didn't have a crane so they'd tried a rope to a tree, attached it to the container & then driven until it came off! We couldn't get a crane either so to turn the containers around & move them we had to use a bulldozer-it was crazy to watch!
Now that we had the containers in the right places people got to work on different things & over the last week the containers have been de-rusted, primed & welded. Others got to work on the wall that is between the containers to make a hall. In the last couple of days we managed to get most of the rust off, build the walls up to window height & get the ground relatively level. On the last day we planted fruit trees which the community will benefit from & had a celebration with all the locals invited too.
Amidst the chaos we had opportunities to get to know some of the people who live in the surrounding area, especially the women and children. This was great seeing as their the ones we're going to be working with once everything's ready.
After all the fun & hard work it was time to say goodbye to the UK team and most of the Kenyans. Bill (the guy in charge of the building bit), the guys from Uganda and a couple of Kenyans decided to be amazing and stayed to finish off what they could & some of them are still there now putting on the roof. These are some of the latest pics of how far they've got.
THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!
A massive massive THANK YOU to all of you who helped in one way or another to help us get this far! We're amazed at how much we've been able to do in such a short space of time and it's thanks to God's grace through you that's made it possible.
We'll keep on putting up updates of the progress so keep your eye out on our Facebook page (Love your Neighbour) or message me your e-mail address if you want to receive our newsletters. And if you want to get involved in our next trip don't hesitate to get in touch
It's been two years since I was last in this land of smiling faces, dusty red roads & delicious street foods.
It's so good to be here, to meet up with old friends, to eat my favourite Kenyan foods & to discover new places!
So far it's Lox, me & Joseia here along with 2 ladies who live in the U.K. & have come here to make a difference. We've had quite a few adventures travelling from one side of the country to the other & putting into action what God has put on the heart of one of these ladies, Maria.
To be honest, I've been inspired by Maria & the hard work & enthusiasm she's put in over the last year to do what she felt God wants her to do here. Firstly, she felt God putting on her heart to build 3 wells. She didn't have money to do this herself so she thought & prayed about how she could raise the money to do it. So, she collected empty water bottles & put a label on them asking her friends to put in 10p every time they drink water so that others can also have access to clean water. She gave the bottle out to her friends & anyone who was willing to take one & then followed up & collected the money every so often. Through doing this she raised enough money to dig 3 wells & to build a water conservation tank (to collect rain water)!
She then thought about what people here who are poor can eat each day? She was inspired by a book she'd been reading to start an animal bank. She's been asking people to buy a goat or chicken & over the last week she's been buying them & putting them in schools & with people in the community. The idea is that these animals will be loaned to poor families who will benefit from the eggs & milk. When their animal gives birth, they given the first one back to the 'bank' to pay their loan & keep the rest & so the bank continues to help other poor families.
It's been brilliant to see the wells being officially opened & people's excitement as they've been loaned an animal!
I've also been inspired by Maria's commitment to making these things happen. She didn't have much money of her own but she asked God for creative ideas so that she could raise the money needed. Through her obedience she's really made a difference in the lives of those people who now have clean water & milk or eggs to add to their limited diet.
It's challenging me & I hope it can challenge you too to think about what you can do? What difference can you make in someone's life today?
As Mother Teresa said, there's no big things, only small things done with big love. I believe it's these things which really make a lasting difference in the lives of others.
Welcome to my blog! In case you didn't already know, I'm Ruth. In 2010 I graduated from University and before I even had time to settle down and get a job I felt a tug on my heart to go to Kenya for a few years to help in any way I could. When I arrived it was love at first sight; I loved the more relaxed way of life, the way Kenyans would laugh at EVERYTHING and the way people would put people first. On my first day there I also met Lox, a tall, dark & handsome African man who had the same passions in life as me and the more we worked & laughed together the more we fell in love & after a couple of years of dating we tied the knot & got married. Now I live, work, eat & sleep Kenya. It's great to be able to help those who are in some ways less fortunate than me but amazingly I always feel that I'm the one who gets blessed and learns so much from the people I try to help and from everything I do. Enjoy my blogs which give you a taste of this crazy yet wonderful life I lead.