Forth trip to Africa this year; third one to Kenya. Still willing if a bit worn.
was just work. Time with local folks was worth having made the trip to
Among the truly nice people of the world, my friends welcome me back and
make a place for me in their homes and lives despite truly difficult
Three more kids for a little help getting in
school. Uniforms and fees to start. A trip to the hospital for one of
them. They bring our group to 37 kids this semester.
how folks who have the least are often the most giving? Or that folks
who have the most difficult lives are the most likely to stop and land a
After making the trek across Africa - Sao Tome &
Principe, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Djibouti, and Kenya - I wonder why the
wealthy are so often full of themselves while the poor encompass
nobility and generosity. It's not just in Africa, of course. It was
the same all those years when we lived in Spain and wandered across
Japan may have been an exception; they were all pretty nice folks, everywhere we went.
rang this morning as I sat at my office in Maryland. It was dear
Salma. It costs just pennies to call the States from Kenya. She'd
called just to say hello and thank you. She's become like a sister to
me. The times we've had to sit and talk have been family time.
so minutes later, the phone rings again, and it's Salma again and you
can hear her family laughing in the background; she says, "Anderson
wants to say hello to his friend." Ha! So 3-year old Anderson gets on
the phone and laughs and says something incomprehensible in Swahili,
perhaps, and I ask him if he's being a good boy and he laughs and you
can hear Salma and her sister and mom and grandmother laughing along
with him. Marilyn says I got a grandpa call from Kenya!
Kenya, the rains of April and May 'make the animals happy', my friends
tell me. It's been a long dry season, and the rains are appreciated.
SUMMER '11 UPDATE: The rainy season was inadequate. The drought
has set in. Millions face starvation in the region. Our friends and
their children there are at risk, and we have little effective access to
Scrambling for funds for the access we do
have. Keeping them in school gets them one meal a day at the government
school. It's just maize meal, but it'll keep them alive.