Watoto Wote Wazuri

Excitement, generosity and THANKS!

Posted in Gratitude, Kenya, Nyumbani, Tuko Pamoja by Lynn Ouellette on 01/10/2015


This is the 100th post in my blog! I thought that I would do this post from Kenya, but instead I am posting it in the days before departure. This is the final weekend before we leave, when the final donations are being gathered and tallied and we are all scurrying around trying to pack enormous amounts of donations into duffles weighing as close to 50 lbs as possible. Since there are 9 volunteers on this trip, each of whom brings four 50 lb duffles (plus a suitcase and personal item) we will take the airport by storm with our massive collection of baggage. Each of us will have at least 3 full duffles of donations which allows ups to bring a tremendous amount of socks, underwear, shoes, clothing and so much more with us. It was all the emails back and forth, the heroic packing stories, and the conversations about donations that made me decide to write this post. We are all so excited about what we are bringing to share with the orphans of Nyumbani, the families of the Maasai community and the women crafters of Tuko Pamoja and about some new projects involving even more people. Here are some samples of the many emails:

“I just got a donation of 15 lbs of beads and 12 lb of yarns! The Tuko Pamoja Mommas will be so excited!”

Beading with hands and feet

Beading with hands and feet

“I am out of control with excitement! The village has given the sisal project 15 acres!” We have funding to plant at least five.

Kristen, who is a nurse who volunteered 3 years ago, and has been saving, planning and longing ever since to go back to Kenya, pursued getting scrubs for all the medical personnel at Nyumbani. “She thought to reach out to her fellow workers for donations of gently used scrubs. Then she decided to do better than that, for these well-deserving health workers in Kenya. She contacted the owner, Christopher, of the uniform company/store where she and her co-workers buy their work clothes. She asked me for advice of how many sets of scrubs to request. I tallied up all of the clinical officers at Lea Toto (8); the CO, nurse and lab technician at the village (3); and the 2 nurses and 2 Respite Care workers at the Children’s Home (4) for a total of 15 medical care professional in greatest need. I advised her to shoot for the stars and make her request for 15 scrub sets. Christopher donated two brand new sets for each!”

“so I’ve been in my office since 7am today…what have I done? Looked at Kenya pics, checked the Nairobi news, recounted multiple stories to my office partner, laughing and crying at the same time. I don’t think I can wait a day longer….”

“Very excited about a new project underway for Tuko Pamoja. I have just contacted the Kawangware Street Children and Youth Project….. These children make paper bags out of recycled materials, (like) the bags at Kazuri Beads, one and the same! The sisal handles are outsourced to single mommas living in Kawangware. Go to http://www.africabags.com to learn more. Check out the photo of bags to see the Kazuri one they already make! Tuko Pamoja is buying 100 bags and giving them to Kibera Paper to paint the TP logo on… more branding! It is my hope that we can visit the Kawangware Visions Center and see the operation and meet some of the children and help the Kibera Paper mommas paint the logos on the bags. How cool would this be?!”

“Just received an email from a friend that said: “Judy, you can stop by any time today. I will be waiting for you with money and underwear. You must be excited.” Now that’s an email I never thought I would get!!!”

“This is what I have to pack into 19 – 50lb duffels. Wish me luck! Thanks Woods Academy for your overly successful underpants, clothing and shoe drive. Kenya or bust, literally!”

Oh my!

Oh my!

And there's so much more...

And there’s so much more…

“I have a donor who will completely cover filling the water cisterns at PCDA! ($2200)

“Aren’t these stories reconfirming your faith in humankind?”

Yes, they are and that’s why I decided to post this blog now. Too often we can see what is wrong with the world, but just as easily we can see what is right and good. We have all of these donations and more. Collectively we have funding for the sisal garden project, filling both the water cisterns and funding the lunch program at PCDA, a sponsor for the Tuko Pamoja Women’s workshop, clothing and shoes for hundreds and a hefty response to the needs at all the sites where we volunteer.

I have been writing thank you cards to all my donors and found myself again and again writing that we could not do all that we are able to accomplish without the support and generosity of people who give us donations. Every donation of every size is a contribution that is so appreciated by us, but even much more so by the recipients there, the men,women and children of Kenya, who have tremendous gratitude for everything. Please know that there will be smiling and singing children, dancing grandparents, crying with gratitude Mommas of Tuko Pamoja, all of whom will be touched by the generosity from across the globe. This is why I decided to write this as my 100th post, to say thank you to everyone for making all of this good will possible and for truly changing so many lives.


There is no need for temples, no need for complicated philosophies. My brain and my heart are my temples; my philosophy is kindness.” Dalai Lama

“What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead.” Nelson Mandela

15 Responses

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  1. Lloydie said, on 01/11/2015 at 7:15 am

    Lynn this post is over the top… just like all of the donations we have received! Ready or not, Kenya, here we come!


  2. Lynn Ouellette said, on 01/11/2015 at 7:21 am

    Yes, i couldn’t resist using the photos that you sent of your basement and sharing the excitement of the coutdown so i decided to write a post about donations. The pictures say so much!


    • Lloydie said, on 01/11/2015 at 7:25 am

      Yes, the photos, priceless. My family has already been put on notice that the only way they will know what I am up to in Kenya is to read your blog… no pressure! I could never tell the stories of Kenya they way you do through your eloquent words and prize-winning photos! Your blog is a great gift to so many… congratulations on #100!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Judy said, on 01/11/2015 at 7:34 am

    Beautiful Lynn!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Patti Arata said, on 01/11/2015 at 8:14 am

    Reading your post makes me want to get up and dance! I must admit, though, that hearing the excitement and enthusiasm in your voice and writings brings me great joy and comfort. Understandably so, it’s been a while since that beautiful heart of yours has been up to displaying the “fireworks of compassion.” I’m so happy that your efforts contribute so much as it also is great therapy for you!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. LH said, on 01/11/2015 at 10:43 am

    sooo incredible Lynn!!!! And I am so behind in all that I do, but want to do something. I know it is late, but can I send you $ that you can use anytime— if not for this trip, for later—towards the chickens, the medicine, the uniforms… something?


    represented by kpkgallery.com camdenfallsgallery.com


    Liked by 1 person

    • Lynn Ouellette said, on 01/11/2015 at 11:11 am

      Thanks Laurie, anything you would like to contribute would be great. It all helps. If I know you are sending a contribution, but it doesn’t get here on time, I could either add it to my donation tally and deposit later or save for next year. I have a special bank account just for this. I’m leaving to fly out of Portland around 5 on Wed. This getting ready has really lifted my spirits! XO


  6. Justus mwaka said, on 01/11/2015 at 12:36 pm

    What agreat work you have all done, your efforts and determinations towards changing and bettering the life of our homes,children and the society is nothing else but a blessing. Your work is priceless but God will definatly reward you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lynn Ouellette said, on 01/11/2015 at 4:35 pm

      Thanks Justus! I am so much looking forward to seeing you. And we are finally bringing Kristen back! I have a good friend Judy who is also coming. I know it will be another amazing trip!


    • Lynn Ouellette said, on 02/03/2015 at 4:33 am

      I am missing you already!


  7. Barbara Sutton said, on 01/11/2015 at 4:49 pm

    Very inspiring, Lynn. Loved the story around the scrubs and how the owner was moved to provide each person with two sets! It’s staggering to think of 1.5 AIDS orphans in Kenya alone. Great appreciation goes to the mommas in Kenya who dedicate themselves to providing for them, and to all of you for responding to their needs. Boy Voyage!!! Great 100th post.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. deepaul2014 said, on 01/12/2015 at 5:41 am

    Lyn,Thank you for sharing the progress of your trip. I am pleased to know that you and your friends are traveling to bring glory to others in another part of this world. I enjoy your blogs. I pray you all have safe travel and a successful trip. I hope you all get a few days to relax before you head back to North America. I do look forward to the sale that takes place at the Frontier next year.Thank you for including me as part of your email distribution. May the Lord shine brightly on you and your endeavors.Donna BeauregardSent from Xfinity Connect Mobile App

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Caroline Triplett said, on 01/13/2015 at 8:37 am

    Lynn, I read your 100th blog this am.
    It is like sunshine on a cloudy day.
    Thank you for sharing all the good you and
    your generous community are doing for
    the people of Kenya. I can hear the singing and
    see them dancing for the pure joy of gratitude!
    Caroline Triplett

    Liked by 1 person

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