About Friday (written on my lasy day in Kenya)

Friday October 12, 2007
Nairobi, Kenya

Friday morning was a free day. We didn’t have a meeting until 2pm. So Kristen, Nancy took advantage of it. I had been up the night before pretty much the whole night sick to my stomach. When I finally fell asleep I got the most incredible Charlie horse. The most painful thing I’ve ever had in my life. My assumption was that I was so sick, which caused a dehydration, which lead to a Charlie horse. I still had a hard time walking down the flights of stairs to the dining hall. It hurt a lot, but it was my last 24 hours in Kenya, and I’m going to make them count.

What else would a North American do, but go to the mall. Right? So we North Americans took the hotel shuttle to the ya-ya center. We walked around and bought the last minute souveniers for people back home. I had bought a little something for all the women in my life, so it was now time to buy for the boys. I think I got them something that they would enjoy. We were there for only a couple of hours.

We then came back to have lunch at the MGH. Ruth, came into town the night before and it was the first time I got to meet her. She sat next to me at lunch and we talked a bit about the conditions in Malawi. We talked about conditions from all over the world. And I have to say she is one of my favorite people around. She is so amazing. She has a way of putting it that makes total sense, and you can’t really question it, because she has lived there.

The first conversation we had is about orphanages. Why we CRWRC will not sponsor or support an orphanage. I stayed quiet, because I have my own personal opinions and it is so different from the thoughts of the North American culture. So I wanted to see if my thoughts were similar to hers or if she thought differently, etc.

She told me that she personally will never ever support an orphanage. They don’t work and they aren’t right. They do not benefit anyone other than the person(s) who donated money or came down for two weeks to build something and go home and fill good. She told me that there is now a study about how many unfinished building or empty buildings exsits from building projects that NA comes and does. She says even if the building is built, it’s crumbling in two years because there is no one around to maintain it. She told me that the average orphanage is understaffed. There are 20 kids for every one adult if they’re lucky. Yes, they may supply food/water but the environment is not condusive to succesffuly give a child a good future. Her viewpoint that an African foster like system would make so much sense. The African law even supports this. It’s known that if a parent of child passes the child goes to the next of kin automatically. The courts don’t even get involved. So there are ways of incorporating this. Offer free education to a family with kids were not only does the orphan benefit but then all of her kids too, or a nutrition program where they all substantially can eat. Where the orphan isn’t over privledged, but that the whole family unit can grow together. Ruth even mentioned that even if an orphanage can supply a good childhood it doesn’t prepare them for the circumstances of Africa outside of those walls awaiting them in adulthood.

I sat there and was so happy to hear this come from her. From an expert who is in the middle of it everyday. Who married an orphan who left an orphanage to be fostered in Malawi. Her husband is now one of the greatest developers in Malawi. So not only does she have a professional opinion her husband went through the system.

We talked for a solid hour and this overwhelming not feeling so good came over me. I excused myself and then went up to my room. I slept for half an hour and then came down for the meeting.

Right before the meeting I talked to Ruth and we mentioned how we had been sponsored to go on this trip. And in the conversation Heidi came up. And then she asked for my information to continue a dialog that we had started that day. When she saw my card she realized that she had seen my name before. A woman had emailed her my resume. Loved the name
www.convincedphotography.com . And said that my resume has been sitting on her desk for 6months. So yeah um, Ruth, Kristen, Liz, Marika, Heidi, ummmmmm….very interesting.

We started watching a living with SLIM video. Now I thought I had seen a lot of videos about children living with HIV/AIDS, but I never, saw anything like this. I just wept. I was so so sad.

We then opened up the room to talk about all our questions. Basically, it was a giant debriefing moment. Great conversations came from this. The whole group was there and we had an open forum.

But then again I got the cold sweats. I felt feverish one moment, and then cold and clammy the next. I even experience a few dizzy spells just walking down the stairs. Something really wasn’t well. I kept praying and praying and finished the meeting.

We were going to go out for a farewell dinner with the staff. We were going to go to an Ethiopian place and I was ready to jump in my car. When a sudden YUCK fell over my body. It was 6:30pm and I had hit my wall. I couldn’t get in the car and drive and still be social with the group once we were there. I kindly excused myself and just came back up to my room. I fell asleep at 6:40pm and woke up at 5:00am. I was just exhausted I guess.

Please keep me in your prayers. Not sure if I’m under the weather, or if it’s a spiritual thing.

At 5am I packed. Showered. Wrote. Blogged.

Leaving for Entebbe, Uganda today
Staying at a hotel there
And then taking a 5-10 hour ride to LIRA

That’s right Marika……are you ready for me?

So Marika, Dale, Kristen, and Liz all in Africa. Thank you Mrs. TM!!!
I can’t wait to see what will come from this

God is sovereign.

Ok. Time for breakfast.


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