Zuri Watoto Wote

One more day, one more post, one more duffel…then we’re off!

Posted in AIDS Orphans, Kenya, KEST Women4Women, Nyumbani by Lynn Ouellette on 01/17/2012

We are off to Kenya on Thursday so this will be my last post before I leave home. Tomorrow will be a busy day since I will be working until the afternoon , then finishing up many things to prepare to be away, packing my last duffel and heading out on Thursday morning. I will first fly to D.C. where I will meet up with my fellow travelers and we will all fly together to Kenya. I received a lovely email from Lilian, the counselor at Nyumbani Village, wishing me safe travels and letting me know that she can’t wait to see me. We have also had several e-mails back and forth from the women at Kibera Paper making plans for our time together for a sharing of creative ideas.

More people have come by with donations making the packing a little trickier, but the bounty more plentiful and I’m very grateful to have these to bring with me. The monetary donations have really added up and I am very grateful for those as well since they will help us contribute to the nutritional needs of the Maasai children and to  buy mattresses for Nyumbani Village. They are also very light weight and don’t take any packing space and at this point I’m particularly appreciative for that! I really want to thank everyone who has made the effort to donate to this cause– every little bit adds up, every little bit makes a significant difference, everything is received with such grace and gratitude.  I wish all of you could have the opportunity to experience what I will when giving to the Kenyan people who I will encounter– it’s quite beyond words.

Finally, I would like to introduce you to another artisan group with whom we will work to discuss fair trade practices for selling their ware in the states. You have,  however, actually been introduced previously though not from this perspective. These are the grandmothers or shosho’s (sho sho’s , su su’s, nobody can actually really say how you spell this Kikombe word in English) at Nyumbani Village. This is a very spirited, lively, dancing and singing group of grannies who are prone to grabbing you at any moment and pulling you into an impromptu dance, who have a special 3 part Kikombe hand shake that they teach everyone, and who also greet you with gigantic smiles and Kikombe greetings with the expectation that you somehow know the correct response–if you don’t, they teach you on the spot with great gesticulation and broad smiles and laughter until you get it. They also weave very beautiful baskets out of Sissel and yarn and make it look incredibly easy. They sell these though do not have a well established market and really need to expand that since the baskets are quite beautiful and so well made.

Nyumbani Village Sho Sho's weaving Baskets

The storage room for baskets at Nyumbani Village

As you can see the baskets are as “colorful” as the sho sho’s!

So we leave on Thursday and arrive in Kenya late  (midnight) on Friday night. Our first stop after a night’s sleep will be the Nyumbani Children’s Home on Saturday. Imagine being surrounded by excited, squealing children with smiling faces who you know are healthy and thriving, who you know are alive and have a future literally because Nyumbani exists to care for them–it’s a very powerful and a very wonderful feeling. What could be better than that?!

Next time I write…..I’ll be in warm and sunny Kenya.

2 Responses

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  1. Lloydie said, on 01/17/2012 at 10:29 pm

    You had to rub the warm and sunny part in didn’t you?! I have been doing the very same thing myself! If Tom jealous of your departure or will he suffer without you? Maybe a bit of both! See you Thursday! Can hardly wait!

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  2. Lynn Ouellette said, on 01/17/2012 at 10:39 pm

    Of course, I learned that from you! Besides it was -1 here yesterday morning and that made even “HOT and no showers” look pretty darn good! I have a million things to do– can’t wait until I can finally just get on the plane–can’t wait to see you!

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