Thu Sep 10, 2009

Our Boy Is Still Going Strong

Remember Steven, yeah……..he’s a blast from the past!

A total orphan and having no hope for educational support we met him way back in 2007 as an outgoing Grade eight boy and featured his story on our website. Way back then he had just completed his primary school course at Maji Moto primary school.

Maji Moto primary school is the local school at Maji Moto location of Narok South District, about 400 km south of Nairobi city and 35km south of Narok town.

Many children in rural areas begin their early education in local schools such as this but the future of many of these kids is grim considering that without adequate support 40% of them will never access further education.

Today, Stephen is a sporting young lad of 16 years and in form two of his high school course. This, thanks to the constant support from you, our partners.

Right from the beginning of his high school at Narok Boys Secondary school, 5km north of the town, we have been part and parcel of Stephen’s educational life. We have done this by paying his school fees amounting to around K sh. 21,000 a year as well as taking care of his personal effects.

Stephen is grateful that our support has given him an opportunity to change his destiny. He says that education is his one way ticket out of poverty and as such he’s always motivated to strive for excellence. He is confident that with the help of God, hard work and discipline he will one day be the doctor he dreams of becoming. He feels that life as an orphan is not so bad when you are surrounded by loving and caring friends like us.

Posted by: Carol Amollo on Sep 10, 09 | 3:26 pm African Time

Tue Sep 08, 2009
Naserian: Striving to make a difference

Here is a cool, collected girl from Maji Moto striving to make a difference in her community. The Maji Moto community is a Masai community inhabiting the semi arid plains of Narok South, a district 350 km south of Nairobi. This is one of the few districts in Kenya where education is still inaccessible to most girls as a result of poor cultural practices, poverty and ignorance.

Naserian Kilusu, a beneficiary of our educational fund is bright and cheery as she prepares for the new school term due to start in September. She is one blessed girl as her father, Pastor Kilusu; Pastor to the local church has turned a deaf ear to tradition and has rather chosen to educate his daughter.

She smiles shyly as she narrates how the approximately K sh. 10,000 school fees that we paid for her first term in school affected her life;

“I had received my primary school results a few weeks into January of this year. However, my father, the local pastor, worried constantly about how I’d go on to form one without enough money for my school fees.” She narrates softly.

“Having performed fairly well in my exams, I had easily found placement in a good school, Chebonei Girls’ School, in the neighboring district of Bomet. As the reporting date drew nearer, we found ourselves caught between a rock and a hard place as I wasn’t ready to be a school dropout nor did I have the money to continue with my education.” She smiles her familiar warm smile, looks straight at me and says;

“Thanks to friends from Journey of Hope I am in school today, into my third term in fact.”

Naserian holds fast to her vision of becoming a nurse one day so that she can work amongst her people to improve their health. She is happy that she has us as friends who can help her realize her dreams.

Posted by: Carol Amollo on Sep 08, 09 | 4:01 pm African Time

Sat Sep 05, 2009
History of Drought Among the Maasai by Carol Amollo

HISTORY OF DROUGHT IN KENYA

Kenya is an East African country. Only one third of this country receives rainfall enough to ustain agricultural activities. The larger Northern part of the country is mostly arid meaning that it’s more of a desert kind of landscape where nothing can grow due to inadequate rainfall.
These Northern provinces are extensions of the great Sahara Desert being extended thus due to deforestation - meaning the cutting down of trees without planting new ones. It’s important to note that Kenya heavily relies on rainfall patterns for agricultural activities namely; crop farming and livestock keeping.

HISTORY OF DROUGHT IN MAJI MOTO

Maji Moto is a location of approximately 5000 inhabitants found in the Southern plains of Narok District in South Rift Valley approximately a 3.5 hour drive from Nairobi. The Rift Valley has been Kenya’s breadbasket since colonial times. However, since the early 1990’s, Narok South, inhabited by Maasai pastoralists has experienced repeated drought conditions, each one worse than the last.

For one to cultivate staple food crops, i.e. that which is mostly consumed by the indigenous people like maize, beans and potatoes, there must be the long rains; between March and June , and short rains between October and December. Failure of these rains leads to crop failure and ultimately famine for lack of food in the community.

Maasai people of Narok South are however mainly pastoralists meaning that they walk from place to place in search of green pasture for their livestock that are cattle, goats and sheep. However, there is a small irrigation scheme of 85 farmers at the hot water spring. This is the locations main water source. The movement of pastoralists is also facilitated by rainfall patterns. When rains fail, there is no green grass that can be found anywhere in the vast plains of the Rift Valley, this leads to death of livestock from starvation and lack of water coupled with exhaustion from walking long distances.

The rainfall patterns in Narok South district are dependent on its Northern catchment area of the Mau Forest. This is a large forest area covering about 8000 acres from Central Rift Valley to Western Kenya. It is located about 400 km west of Nairobi and 25 km North of Narok. Over the years, the forest has been gradually cleared due to lumbering activities, charcoal burning and illegal forest settlements. Although the government is finally on track to stop these activities in Mau it is a case of too little too late. The effects of deforestation in Mau forest are severely being felt by communities down stream. This is the reason for continued failed rains in Narok South and drought in Maji Moto location.

EFFECTS OF DROUGHT IN MAJI MOTO

Ole Singo Naisho, 68, is a Maasai man or Mzee (elder), living in Maji Moto. He is typically married to five wives as the tradition allows a man to marry as many wives as he likes. In times past this was a sign of wealth and power. His wives are namely: Noorginyerowua (has 8 children), Noormejoli (has 6 children), Nalotwesha (has 4 children), Noorngishu (has 6 children) and Nasha (has three children).

Ole Singo is a pastoralist by tradition and due to cultural diversity, introduced three of his wives to irrigation farming at the hot spring water source. His manyatta or homestead is 10km away from the water source and equivalent to a 4 hour walk to the same. By 1992 he owned approximately 100 head of cattle, 300 sheep and 270 goats; he was a well to do mzee by the standards of the Maasai. In the year 1999 up to 2000, a severe drought hit Narok South District. The drought lasted two years and Ole Singo lost a third of his livestock.

Over the last ten years serious environmental changes have affected lives even more drastically. The once flourishing irrigation scheme of which Ole Singo’s three wives are a part, has struggled under reduced volumes of underground water due to lack of rain. Also human/animal conflicts for water, lack of new skills and knowledge have further dampened prospects of bumper harvests.

Today, the drought being experienced by Ole Singo and his community has lasted three years. With no rainfall, old men like Ole Singo are forced to be constantly on the move across the plains in search of pasture for their livestock. Ole Singo is now a depressed old man owning five cows; too thin to sell at the market 30km away, and a few sheep and goats. Most of his animals have succumbed to the drought and others he has sold at throw away prices in order to feed his family of thirty-five. He easily tells the story of a friend who recently committed suicide on realizing that all his livestock had been claimed by the drought.

The water source, supporting the irrigation scheme has quickly become the only water source for people within a 300 km radius as all other water sources long dried up. Not only for humans but for domestic animals and wildlife as well. It is important to note that Maji Moto is part of the greater Mara Game Reserve and is therefore home to many wild animals including elephants, lions, wildebeest, and gazelles and so on. This serious water conflict has led to inadequate amounts of water reaching the farming land. Wildlife also in search of food, have taken to ravaging human food crops in the night .This has adversely affected the food supply not only in Ole Singo’s home but in the entire community.

No wonder then that the Mzee’s many children are malnourished and suffer illness every now and then. Without milk and meat from livestock and without staple food from the farms, it is truly a hard life in the drought.

Posted by: Carol Amollo on Sep 05, 09 | 9:40 am African Time

Sat Aug 22, 2009
Michelle And Kofi: Their Journey to a Brighter Future

It is said that the journey to success is not often a smooth one, but for a few like Michelle and Kofi (age 12 and 11) ; it is getting smoother with time!

Michelle and Kofi were left destitute several years ago as their parents succumbed to the affects of HIV/AIDS. Our friends took them in, Carol and Daniel, who have struggle to have the resources to properly care for them. Before the support of our Journey of Hope family and friends, they were under performing in the public school system that was introduced in Kenya decades ago. Public schooling is government funded and is better known as “free education”. However, this means that such schools are over-crowded, understaffed, lack books, teaching aids and exposure to extra-curriculum activities.

The result being that children in such schools are less equipped to compete with their counterparts in private schools. A private school education means the exact opposite: a variety of books, small manageable classes and study groups, good teacher: student ratios and extra curriculum activities.

Thanks to the sponsorship given to Michelle and Kofi they have been able to access private school education. They are now enrolled at Highway View Academy in Narok town, 250km south of Nairobi.

This is important especially in a third world country like Kenya where future opportunities are extremely competitive. Good grades and talents are imperative if one is to earn a position in one of the national universities. Apart from this, it is also impossible to break the poverty cycle without quality education.

We are thrilled to announce that Michelle and Kofi are at the top of their classes as of last term’s results where Michelle scored 412 points out of the possible 500 and Kofi scored 402.
At this rate, Narok District may for the first time produce Kenya’s top candidate in the near future!

Posted by: Rob Beyer on Aug 22, 09 | 4:53 pm African Time

Sun Aug 02, 2009
Giving is Living

Warm Summer Greetings!

Can you believe that we are entering our 7th year here in Kenya? We can hardly believe it ourselves! It was so good to see many of you during our trip home in June/July. Although we did not see everyone we would have liked, please know that you were in our thoughts. One thing we know for sure though, .no matter how long we have stayed in Kenya, Canada always feels like home and each year it becomes a little harder saying “goodbyes” :-}

This summer has brought the beginning of a real change to our family in that we returned to Kenya minus one daughter! Rachel is staying back in Canada and after working at Elim Lodge for the summer will be attending Eden High School in St. Catharines for the 1st semester. Admittedly, Linda and I are still very much getting used to the idea of not having her around – it seems a little quieter around here. However, Rachel is so excited about the opportunity and seems to be adjusting well to life in Canada. Needless to say, we are VERY proud of her.

Hannah is doing fantastic and had an amazing summer of hanging out with family and sleeping till at least 9 each morning. Besides visiting family, her highlight this summer was also the amount of wildlife she saw. During our stay in Canada we saw deer, bears, minks, foxes, raccoons, porcupines, ducks (lots of ducklings too), geese, loons, snakes, turtles. Aaahhh, the life of a kid! We had an interesting moment with Hannah one day too. We were driving along on the highway and we saw a police car with their lights flashing after pulling over a driver. When seeing the car from a distance, Hannah said “Cool, look at those lights! I want a car like that!”, we realized then that she had never seen a police car before (or at least understood what the lights were for). We all laughed…

Unfortunately, life in Kenya continues to be a struggle for many people. In some areas of the country the long rains (March to May) did not develop as expected and many areas are extremely dry. In Nairobi, water rationing is strictly enforced with water being available one day a week in most areas. In the higher density slum areas, people have to pay large sums just for drinking water and travel long distances to get it. Unless the short rains are plentiful, there is little doubt that water will be a huge issue in the months ahead. As a Kenyan just said to me a few moments ago, “we must trust God”, I believe he is exactly right.

We are excited that this year as we will be focusing our energies on micro-enterprise/income-generating projects as well as continuing to support many students with their school fees. During our years in Kenya we have learned that many Kenyans are extremely resourceful and have good business instincts although, often, lack the resources to see their skills develop. For example, an immediate project is the launch of the DUCA (or small shop) on the grounds of the new Pehucci girl’s dorm. The shop building is now finished and soon the girl’s will be selling everyday goods (sugar, rice, flour, maize, etc) as well as providing a small tea/snack shop for local people. We are excited to see this and other projects develop. We will keep you posted!

Assisting with school fees has been a significant part of our ministry here in Kenya. This year we have solicited the help of a Kenyan lady named Carolyn who will be helping us in writing a brief outline of each person we have helped. Soon we will be able to give you a snapshot of the types of people we support and how the funds are used. Stay tuned on this one….

Rob is looking forward to his teaching and greatly enjoys spending time with the students. This year his courses include business, economics, technology applications, yearbook and digital multimedia and will also be leading the high school student council as well as coaching the varsity girl’s basketball. His classroom theme this year will be “Giving is Living” and in some ways captures what we are all about here in Kenya. Like previous years, it promises to be a full year!

Linda continues to work with Unicef and work to support the nutritional needs of children with HIV/AIDS. Would you believe that she has been on television, radio and in the major newspapers? It’s true. She works hard and has seen tremendous progress in the areas that she is responsible for. God is good.

As always, we love hearing from you, either on Facebook (look for both “Linda Beyer” or “Rob Beyer”) or via email. We are so grateful and blessed to have many family and friends who care for us and, most importantly, think about us and pray. You’re the best.

Have a fantastic rest of the summer.

The journey continues…..
Love From Nairobi
Rob, Linda, Rachel & Hannah

p.s. This year we will be coming back at Christmas to celebrate the season. Hannah has no memories of snow, lights, etc and will be exciting to see her experience a Canadian Christmas. :-}

Posted by: Rob Beyer on Aug 02, 09 | 1:10 pm African Time

Mon May 04, 2009
Pehucci Grand Opening

Greetings Friends! It seems that it has been way too long since I have posted something on our web-wite, and alas, it is true. :-} Not that there has not been much going on!

We had one such event on April 30th that certainly needs announcing. Last Thursday was the day that we officially opening the new girls dorm. We called it "Hope House - Home for Girls" and judging by the reaction of the girls who live there, it will live up to its new name. The girls who now live there we so excited and filled with such enthusiasm that it was contagious! Although the dorm was largely finished about 2 months ago, we decided to wait until a team from our church arrived to officially open it - and I am glad we did wait. The day was fantastic!

As seems to be the way in Kenya, although the program officially started at 10, we did not get going until 12 when most people began arriving. By 1, there was 500+ people there with the crowd growing each few minutes. What certainly made the day entertaining was that we were joined by 30 students from Pan African Christian University who brought some HUGE speakers, a DJ, lots of great/loud music. People for kilometers around knew there was something going on that afternoon!

There was singers, dancers, actors and even some budding rappers took a turn at the microphone! When it was my turn to great the crowd and the students, I compared that day to a day at the olympics for Kenyan athletes. They word hard for years although when their event comes and they do well (even win) they take the well deserved time to celebrate, and we all celebrate with them. Thursday was that kind of day for me. We stayed and celebrated and party-ed for hours and remembered all the hard work that went into the completion of that new dorm. We even had some special Maasai guests who performed for us and had the crowd laughing with their crazy dancing and antics in selecting certain people from the crowd to join them . We laughed and laughed as we quietly hoped we wouldn't be picked! Needless to say, our Maasai dancer selected me from the crowd and I made the crowd laugh with my lack of dancing ability! :-}

When it was time for the official ribbon cutting, we formed a cute line with the smallest girl carrying the plate and the official scissor. David and Lucy had us march from the school to the new dorm while everyone sang "When the saint come marching in"! It was quite the time. When we arrived at the front door, it was decorated in blue and white balloons and certainly looked official. Before Mike Hicks cut the ribbon (Mike is the administrative Pastor from Central Gospel in St. Catharines), Lucy handed me some helium filled balloons and told me that I am to release the balloons as Mike cuts the ribbon in a gesture that my Uncle Ken and Aunt Jane and my dad and mom (Bill & Lukie) know that we are thinking of them and remembering them at that time. It was moving for me as we watched those balloons take off!

Once the door was opened, I led the prosession slowly through the new dorms. Everyone was so excited although when we reached the new bathrooms, the Kenyan ladies broke out in spontaneous joy and singing. My ears rang as they sang songs of thankfullness that these girls will have a place such as this. I had "goosebumps". You cannot script moments like these.

Once the dorm was opened, it was back to the school/tent for more singing and dancing and the beginning of lunch. On that day, we had hired a large number of ladies to cook a significant amount of food and fed wellover 500 people a delicious lunch including sodas. By 3 o'clock everyone was eating a full plate of rice, beef stew, various vegetables. Nothing makes people happier than a full stomach, especially in Kenya.

As the music died down, everyone that we there would say that it was a great day and we had celebrated in style all that God has done.

Posted by: Rob Beyer on May 04, 09 | 6:47 am African Time

Sun Feb 22, 2009
Where have we been?!!

Hey Friends!

Some of you have been sending us emails lately and asking if we are alright because we have been slow in updating our website. Thank you, that is so awesome to think that people actually do read our site from time-to-time!! :-}

Let me assure you that we are fine and have just come off a particularly busy run. We have learned in our 6 years here in Kenya that the time frame following new years is always extra busy for some reason. As I write this, Linda and Rachel are in Kisumu (western Kenya on the shores of Lake Victoria) for the weekend and are visiting with her dad (Cyril) and the rest of the team from St. Catharines. The team is building some children homes for the Village of Hope located there. We are also preparing for a ministry team that is coming in April, our plans are starting to come together and I believe that their time here will be very full and exciting!

Speaking of exciting, we are planning a huge community launch of the girls dormitory at Pehucci to coincide with the arrival and plans of the ministry team. On May 1st we will have a thousand people from the area to be part of our opening. Should be a good time....

I have just posted 5 different picture scrapbooks on the site that will give you a good idea on what we have been up to lately. Here is a brief update on what each is about.

Girl Time!

Last weekend was the school annual valentines banquet. This is often a VERY big deal for the girls at Rosslyn Academy because it is really the only formal dress-up event that all the high school gets to participate in. Would you believe that most girls buy their dresses in June or July of the previous year?? It’s True! Well, Rachel and her friends had a good time getting ready and then spending time with their dates. Rachel had a very nice guy named Michael who asked her to the banquet and they had a good time talking and…yes… dancing! Gulp…. She is getting older!

As I provide leadership to the high school student council, this was a particularly busy time for me as I was working with the students to host and “put on” the valentines event. They did an absolutely fantastic job, I am proud of my student leadership team!

Rachel Rafting Pics

This scrapbook is some random pictures from Rachel’s camera from our big adventure to Uganda to raft the Nile river. These are some friends and sunset pictures. Check them out!

CFS 2009

CFS stands for “Cultural Field Study” and is a big part of the high school experience at Rosslyn Academy. Each year the entire high school splits up into 12 different groups (by grade) and then travels to remote parts of Kenya to learn about the culture and also to do a service project. This year, Linda and I took a group of grade 11 students to Maji Moto and spend 5 days among the Maasai in that area. Talk about a wild group! Our group was so excited for the entire time that they all came back saying their CFS “was the best ever!” Linda and I shared many laughs and good times with this diverse bunch. We killed and ate a bunch of goats, spent much time around a campfire , distributed 100’s of KG’s of maize meal to the local people and even painted the local church. What was interesting to watch with this particular group was to see them bond together as a group. Each day they seemed to grow closer together and by the end of the 5 days they were a family. God is good.

There were some high points though. On our first day the Kenyan Wildlife Service (KWS) was called to dispatch a huge elephant that had basically gone rogue and started to destroy the water hole around Maji Moto. You can imagine the excitement among the boys of the group as we got to get close to this beast and get a sense to how powerful and majestic these animals are. It is sad though that the animal had to be put down. Following the elephant event, the boys got right down to work painting the local church. It had not been painted in many years and was good to see a fresh coat of paint go on the church. While the boys were busy painting, Linda and the girls were out working at a children’s feeding project hosted by Compassion International. The girls prepared a huge lunch for over 200 people.

Pehucci – Dads Stuff

With the Pehucci girls dorm finished, we have begun shifting gears to other areas that will benefit the children of Pehucci. In 2009, there are 4 major thrusts most of which are focused more in income generation and to give the children skills they could use once they leave Pehucci. The areas are a small community store (a “duca” in the local language) run by the girls, a drought resistant garden project run by the boys, a small motorcycle taxi business run by the older boys and a chicken/broiler business run by the younger girls. Also, we will continue to provide practical and educational materials such that the kids can continue to learn and improve in their schooling.

Both my dad and Linda’s dad have been very instrumental in bringing stuff over that help the kids. From soccer balls, specialized garden/irrigation equipment to lots of casual reading books; the children of Pehucci are being cared for. Thank you to everyone who helped to make this happen. Together, we are making a difference!

Posted by: Rob Beyer on Feb 22, 09 | 9:24 am African Time

Sat Jan 03, 2009
Rafting The Nile

Rachel and I (Rob) had a big adventure last week. We, along with 16 other friends, travelled by bus (11 hours one way) to Uganda to the source of the Nile River. It is a place of big fast moving water that happens to be one of the premier white water rafting places on earth.

Rather than saying what the experience was like, check out the video we purchased from the outfit we rafted with! It is 13 minutes long but will definately give you an idea on how "hard core" this trip was for Rachel and I. It is located on the "gallery" section of the website and under the video category look for "Rafting The Nile".

Enjoy the Ride, we sure did!

Posted by: Rob Beyer on Jan 03, 09 | 5:57 pm African Time

Thu Dec 25, 2008
Christmas Newsletter

Warm Seasons Greetings from The Beyer’s in Nairobi!

We hope this email finds you well and getting ready to enjoy some time with family and friends during the Christmas season. In our little house in Nairobi, Christmas began about 6 weeks ago! Linda and I are amazed each year how much Rachel and Hannah love decorating the house and making it feel “Christmasy”. :-} Would you believe that we had Amy Grants Christmas CD playing non-stop since the 3rd week in November?? It’s true! We have fake “snow” on our windows and paper snowflakes hang in the house - we are so thankful that the girls share a love of this season. Even though we are far from home and that Christmas is celebrated so differently here, Rachel and Hannah do their best to make it special. We are blessed.

Here are some highlights from this year. Rachel is half way through grade 10 and is growing up to be such a fine young lady who takes her studies and her free time seriously. From August to November she played on the varsity basketball team and her team finished 2nd in the league after loosing in the final match. She has now joined the swim team and in her last race broke her breaststroke record from last year! In school, Rachel is VERY much like Linda as she is a “straight A” student. Hannah is doing amazing in grade 2 and has really established a love for reading. Hannah reads like crazy and is currently reading “The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe” by C.S. Lewis. Wow! Hannah is also an incredible little swimmer. Our swim coach told us that Hannah could swim but she hesitated signing up until November. Would you believe that in her first race (after only 1 practice) she broke school records? :-} Linda is doing good as she continues to work with the Unicef in focusing on HIV/AIDS prevention and Infant and Young Child Feeding. In October, Linda was able to attend a course in London England. Overall though, this year has been a little less travel for her. My (Rob) teaching has been going so well and I am fortunate to have such amazing students. Teaching both Business and Economics has been especially rewarding, as I am able to combine some of practical experience with ideas presented in the textbooks.

As we reflect on this past year, it has been undoubtedly one of the most interesting and eventful of our 5 and half years in Kenya. We witnessed the upheaval of Kenya following the post election violence and have now seen a strong effort by the government to rebuild the economy. We are so pleased that peace has returned to Kenya; it is truly such a beautiful country with amazing people and resources. Sadly, the impact of that time period/violence has left many people with severe food and money shortages.

However, we are thankful to be able to assist those whom God puts in our path. A very significant project for us has been the completion of the new dormitory for the young ladies at Pehucci Children’s Home. This has been a yearlong process but is now finished - and the girls are excited about moving in! We are awaiting delivery of a final load of beds and then move
in can begin. Be sure to check out the pictures of the finished dorm in our website – www.journeyofhope.ca/gallery . Another area that is becoming an increasing focus for us has been micro enterprise, helping people with skill get the necessary resources to start their own businesses. Kenyans are very industrious people who often just need a little help/push to start on their way. Whether it is bicycle taxis, milk delivery, meat processing, gardening supplies, running a small shop or helping pay school fees; these are areas that we have been able to help people. We are thankful.

Helping the Maasai people of Maji Moto continue to be a focus of ours. This Cristmas we will be providing a significant amount of fresh seeds to the families of the area as a way of giving them some practical help. Following the post election violence the price of commodities went way up leaving simple things like seeds and tools out of reach for most people. We will be
providing enough seeds for 60 families to plant gardens and then will pray that enough rain falls to see those gardens bear fruit. Please join us in praying that the rains come in February & March.

I should close this little note for now. Just a final thought….We have learned that as the world news (both economic and political) of the last few months has shown, there can be little certainty in life. We are thankful that God sent His son over 2000 years ago giving us the kind of certainty that lasts beyond on our lifetime. From our family here in Kenya to yours; may we all feel the same sense of wonder and joy this Christmas season as experienced by others so many years ago.

We wish you a fantastic Christmas season, we are truly blessed to have such an awesome family and fantastic friends.

Love From Nairobi
Rob, Linda, Rachel & Hannah

Posted by: Rob Beyer on Dec 25, 08 | 1:04 pm African Time

Tue Dec 16, 2008
Fish Flies and Small Red Stones

I am always astounded by the business sense and drive that many Kenyans possess. Something happened the other day that drove this home to me – big time. A Kenyan friend of ours, George, who is a gardener and a pastor of a small local church approached me and took out of his pocket a little plastic bag full of fishing fly’s!! Here we are in Nairobi, about 1.5 hours from the nearest fishing spot and he has someone in his congregation that has been trained on how to tie really awesome fishing flies!! How random is that.

He was wanting me to see if I knew of anyone in America who might be interested in purchasing these flies and in doing so provide some income to the person making these. These are not simple ones; these are complex and obviously take tremendous skill to produce. Names like Purple Egg Sucking Leech or Green Copper John or “Maribou Black Madler should indicate their complexity. Like many people in Kenya, he has skill but absolutely no resources (i.e. money) to turn it into some form of livelihood.

Do you know of someone who would be interested in importing these fishing flies such that we can encourage this skill?? If so, please drop me an email and I will arrange some samples. The samples will be available in Canada by the 3rd week of December.

The longer we are in Kenya, the more I appreciate the drive and ability of many Kenyans. These are not people who are prone to laziness, rather if given an opportunity will often rise to the occasion.

For example, I am reminded of another little business we help start about one year ago. The area around Maji Moto is filled with small red quartz-like gravel that basically sits on the ground everywhere. For years, we have walked on the trails on the Maji Moto hillside without knowing that these little stones are invaluable to the well drilling industry!! I found out that when a well is finishing drilling, the water engineers need to place a significant layer of these stones down the hole and around the pipe that then keeps dirt and particles from plugging the small intact holes at the base/end of the pipe. There are several men who have now worked for months in digging tons and tons of these stones that are now used around Kenya. Who would have thought???

In 2009, I hope to help more these small entrepreneurs in bringing their goods/services to market.

Posted by: Rob Beyer on Dec 16, 08 | 6:07 pm African Time

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