Zuri Watoto Wote

Mukuru… and the Village is Green

Posted in HIV in Kenya, Kenya, Nyumbani, Responding to poverty in Kenya, Tuko Pamoja by Lynn Ouellette on 01/27/2016

DSC_1370.JPGThere is always a sense of excitement when we are getting ready to head to Nyumbani Village. It is a place that is steeped in the richness of the Kamba culture and holds a little magic for everyone who visits there. The magic comes in the starriest sky you could ever imagine, the spunk and spirit of the dancing and basket weaving grandmothers, but most of all from the singing and laughter of 1000 children who would have died without it. But we had another stop along the way in Mukuru, the sight of the self help group which was the most recent addition to Tuko Pamoja.

We drove through the streets of Mukuru which seem somewhat more crowded and closed in than the streets of the other slum areas. The streets were very vibrant with vendors and loudly broadcasted upbeat Kenyan music. However, the poverty, crowded living conditions and lack of services like trash pick-up were very apparent.

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We arrived at Mukuru to meet at the Lea Toto site that is based there. On the way in, there were some interesting signs, one again about cholera and another about sexual and gender based violence.IMG_4051

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This prompted me to ask Simon, the director who oversees all of the self help groups of Lea Toto, how much of a problem there has been with cholera. He let me know that he actually had cholera back in 2011 and was quite ill as would be expected for anyone  infected with cholera. I thought that cholera was primarily a disease of the past, but not so in Kenya. The sign about sexual and gender based violence, which was really the side of a small building, gave me great satisfaction since that is such an issue in Kenya. There is a school right beside the Lea Toto clinic so we enjoyed seeing the mass of children in green school uniforms, all lively, very cute and interested in interacting with us.

The Mukuru self help group makes products from banana leaves, anything from baskets to detailed animals. Part of the order was for Christmas things and there were some rather cute Santas in cars, boats and even in a zebra drawn sleigh,  as well as other detailed people.

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Crafts of the women at Mukuru

The women were very excited to have us arrive. I had not met any of these women before, except for those who attended the Women’s Workshop, because this group was added to Tuko Pamoja in June when Lloydie was here. The women were lovely and gracious and, of course thrilled to hear that a bonus was to be given.

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The women of the Mukuru self help group

The women were given financial training by Karen and also were delighted to hear the cooments from the guest book which Deb has read at each Tuko Pamoja meeting.

The TP Guest Book

After we finished up at Mukuru, we were back in the van packed full of donation duffles and on our way to the Village. The drive there is about four hours total and after you get past the city area, it becomes very beautiful.

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The very packed van

On the drive, there was alot of green, sometimes zebra or giraffe sightings in a distance, terraced gardens, and wonderful fresh air.

The ride to the Village

When we arrived at the Village we found it to be lush and green like we have never seen it before. There was so much vegetation I almost got lost on my way to the counseing office. But we are here and it is  beautiful! The internet connection is SO V E R Y  S–L–O–W and connection, technical, and charging problems abound so it may be a bit before the next post!

  

7 Responses

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  1. Mary Ellen D'Agostino said, on 01/27/2016 at 1:44 pm

    Wonderful journal and photos. It allows those of us remaining in the States to be present to the events which give us all enthusiasm to continue to pray and remain part of Nyumbab’s support group.
    Thank you, Lynn.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lynn Ouellette said, on 02/01/2016 at 9:28 am

      Thanks for following the blog and for your comments. I am very lucky to be able to bring a little of the beauty of Kenya and her people, especially Nyumbani into peoples homes!

      Like

  2. Megan Culp said, on 01/27/2016 at 3:12 pm

    Wonderful, Lynn….bringing back so many memories and so good to hear your updates. Thanks! Megan

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Sharon Tardiff said, on 01/27/2016 at 5:05 pm

    Hello. I would love to see the starry sky at night where you are….and the bright smiles from the children and women…so much unconditional love it seems…any solutions to the trash issue would be wonderful. Thanks sharing..Sharon

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lynn Ouellette said, on 02/01/2016 at 9:26 am

      I have posted a lot of pictures so you will get glimpses at many of those things including the starry sky!

      Like

  4. Barbara Dallas Sutton said, on 01/28/2016 at 10:37 pm

    What beautiful women in the Mukuru self-help group… good photos of them. We’ve all come to know about Nyumbani Village… the amazing children and the grandmothers, so it’s good to think of you four being there again. I’m sure there were warm, heartfelt reunions. I hope you’ll get the photos of the night sky and stars you’re hoping for, Lynn.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lynn Ouellette said, on 02/01/2016 at 9:25 am

      Thanks Barbara. I always appreciate your thoughtful comments and can tell that you enjoy reading the posts. And I did get some of the star photos!

      Like


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