2 years since Dan and I visited Saint Monica’s Children Home (October 2010) to paint walls for 5 days, I finally shared the story of the trip over on the Mothers Fighting for Others blog. Not a month goes by where I don’t think back to all the fond memories from Kenya. The whole entire experience was, well, “surreal”. That’s really the only way I know how to explain Kenya to someone who hasn’t been to Africa. It was truly an entirely new experience that’s hard to put into words. That said, I tried — head over and give it a read.
I’m leaving Kenya tomorrow and wanted to share a few thoughts that have been slowly compiling over the past month.
Internet in Naorobi – Reliable wifi does exist at Nairobi thanks to the iHub! I don’t know what I would have done without the internet time I spent there; well, actually I do – not gone online much & paid a heavy premium for the time I did spend online.
Mount Kilimanjaro – I’m so glad that Dan and I decided to undertake the adventure, but I can tell you for certain I have no desire to climb another mountain in the near future. 5 days without a shower wears on you pretty quickly, especially in after hiking all day in high altitudes in which the accumulated sweat drying on your body at night – for 5 days straight – as a result of the freezing overnight temperatures.
Microfranchising – It’s no secret I’m a huge fan of microfinance, but I also think there is a large opportunity for microfranchising to help bring people out of poverty. Not everyone is entrepreneurial; so if businesses can be built that employ a significant number of people and pay them enough to keep them out of poverty on a monthly basis, then that’s certainly a step in the right direction. You can read more about my visit to Kito International over on myKRO.org.
Orphanages in Kenya – My buddy Dan and I painted for 4 days at the Saint Monica’s Children’s Home, which my friend Rocky Turner is heavily involved with via her Mothers Fighting for Others charity — and saying “heavily involved is probably an understatement of her commitment. Saint Monica’s is home to 34 orphan girls, and the space they are renting is fantastic (and cheap). The facility has enough room for all the girls, yet I heard that other Kenyan orphanages put 3 times the number of children into the same space and sleep 50 in one room. I also heard that there are still Kenyan babies abandoned regularly or left outside a church for a priest to attend to because thee mother can’t provide for the child. Clearly there is a great demand for quality orphanages in Kenya, and it was great to see & learn first hand how a great Kenyan orphanage is run (and help them out a bit in the process).
The developing world in general – I know I’ve said it before somewhere on my personal blog, but I can’t stress enough the importance of actually seeing the world with your own two eyes. Seeing poverty on television versus seeing it in real life are not the same thing — far far from it actually. Once you see how the majority of the world lives on a daily basis, your life will never be the same.