It was another sunny morning as we excitedly set off from Nairobi for the drive to Denis Marshall Foundation, Kathageri on Monday 20th February.
I was so pleased to see Christine again and renew friendships with those living and working there, that I had met in 2010 and 2012, and we were given a wonderful welcome.
Meeting Isaac, the sponsored walker!
It was Molly’s first trip to Kenya and she was really amazed at the beautiful bourgainvillea, gardens and centre that has been built there over the past 9 years. I could not believe all that had been achieved by Christine and her team over the past 5 years since I last visited and we were all especially impressed by the new restaurant that is about to be opened. We admired the woodwork and other carpentry done by Boniface and the Makuti roof made so beautifully by Rooney and a tutor from Mombasa for the restaurant. It is so clever how the craft room and other rooms are integral to the building underneath it.
Not only that, but the Shamba has grown with the new animals and the slightly larger area and we watched as the new Pigsty was nearly completed by Boniface and the others in the week we were there. The goats and piglets were real characters and should provide some much needed income. It is lovely that the Irish Embassy has given the award to Peacemakers’ for this. Also the chicken house is well stocked too! We saw the incubator awaiting eggs to start the cycle again!
The building attached to Kisimani House is truly amazing with the computer suite, library and Reception area attached thanks to some funding from the French Embassy in Nairobi. What a mighty work Christine has achieved with Peacemakers’ friends fundraising and the support from the Embassies.
We were very comfortable in Kisimani house with the lovely rooms and luxury of a shower or bath in two places, and of course food a plenty on the table thanks to Christine, Fred, Wawi, Josephine and others. Andrew and I had withdrawal symptoms from the Mangoes and Pineapple and Passion fruit we were given and Molly especially liked the passion fruit.
One of the many highlights of the week was to visit the Kivuria small Home and Primary school just up the road and present the jumpers, exercise books, varied pencils and other items to the jovial and very friendly Head teacher Madam Lilian Ireri. The new Deputy Head had given us a tour of the grounds and three classrooms. Between the two of them, I think that the school will go from strength to strength, if the three teachers who were promoted are replaced, and the Government delivers on the books and new Curriculum promised. In addition, there is the underlying and wonderful support of Peacemakers International for the small Home and other children in the main school.
Money we raised was spent in Embu on a decoder (to change the analogue to a digital signal) and an aerial for the television in the small Home for disabled children. It may also help with the electrical work to get the solar panel working for electricity. Isaac, a new recruit to Peacemakers who has experience in all kinds of work (he was most welcome on our trips) had put the aerial up that morning before we visited school!
There were many other highlights including the visit to Chuka for drugs for the health needs of ladies on site and it was lovely to see a quick recovery for them. There was also a heartrending visit later in the day to give John his epilepsy drugs and before meeting his family, looking into to the muddy space he calls home. There are holes in the walls stuffed with plastic bags and it is not water or weather proof. His half-brother was given his own jersey on our visit to the school later in the week. We were shocked to see Patrick remove Jiggers from under the toenails of Eric although it was Andrew who gave them support all afternoon whilst Molly and I didn’t like to watch!! It is great that there is a campaign on ‘Jiggers’ at present.
Krispie cakes, tea loaf, chocolate tiffin and buns anyone!
On the Friday afternoon, Molly and I showed Fred, Stella and Wawira how to make Krispie cakes, tea loaf, chocolate tiffin and buns which was great fun. The next afternoon they taught us how to make chapatti dough. This was all for the guests we were expecting for the great visit from the famous Kenyan Gospel Singer ‘Daddy Owen’. In fact, he eventually arrived Sunday morning when we were at service in Chuka town Methodist Church, but he was still there when we returned. He is a very impressive young man with an increasing knowledge of the needs and the places supporting children and adults with disabilities. He was visibly moved by the wonderful work being done on the Peacemakers site. It was so lovely to see him give Christine the wonderful Malaika Foundation award.
Chrissie receiving the Malaika Foundation's
Good Samaritan award.
There I much more we could say but suffice to say that Molly said when we had been that she could live there and we are all saving hard for a further trip!
I will always remember Josephine’s wonderful singing of ‘Then sings my soul, my Saviour God, to thee, How great thou art how great thou art! as we left feeling quite sad but with God’s Peace and Joy in our hearts.
Thank you so much to Christine and all her team for giving us a wonderful week at Denis Marshall Foundation. It was such a privilege to share Kenyan life there for a week.
May God Bless all whom we met in Kenya and may His Blessing be upon the wonderful work being done there by Peacemakers International.