Wednesday, January 30, 2019


What happens to the children once they have finished the secondary school? The next step is either “college,” or university. Preparation for these more advanced studies have been made during the four year secondary school.

During “form 2” (the sophomore year), the students begin to study subjects in which they are more likely to excel. During “form 3” (the juniors), the students are increasingly encouraged toward their abilities, and during “form 4” (seniors—you get the picture), the students are very directed toward their likely fields.

As far as I can understand, the college is somewhat like out own “technical schools,” in the United States, where the students can learn a specific skill. The skills included in this are professions such as teachers for primary schools, nurses, pharmacists, engineering, and several others.

The universities give instruction in more specialized fields, such as more advanced medical studies, teachers for secondary schools and beyond, and in fact, most of the skills taught in the colleges but at a more advanced level.

Again, the students are not completely at liberty to decide their studies. It is based upon how they scored on their exams. In many ways, the education department determines what career the student should pursue.
The orphanage currently has four students in secondary. Three are in their first year of the four-year high school, one is in her third year.

The more advanced studies also require funding, just as you would expect. If the students have done well in their secondary studies and if they have finished well in their exams, there are scholarships or other types of funds available from the government for at least part of these expenses. The students also are given on-campus work, just as universities in the US have, and this is a way that the students can fund their education.

But there is always an additional cost. The two above mentioned sources of funding are rarely enough to cover the entire cost of the education.

At the orphanage, we currently have four youths who have finished their secondary training. These four are still living at the orphanage since they have nowhere else to go, but given the very many expenses that we are currently facing in the orphanage, there are is no funding for these students. However, we praise God that they have been able to finish with their secondary training. Many children in Kenya do not.

But I have asked each of these four to write a short biography of themselves, telling of their background and hopes for the future. I am not sure when I will receive these, but when I do, I will put them up on this blog page.

I have told them that perhaps (just perhaps), God will put it in the heart of someone to help these advance into college or university.

These are the things that I have learned about the educational system here, and how it affects what we do in the orphanage.

I am beginning my journey home this evening. It has continued being extremely cold at our farm, but Vivian has worked diligently and has not only been well herself, but has kept the animals safe and healthy.

“Thank you Honey! I love you so much!”


It costs the orphanage about $1000 per month to send all the children to school. That is a lot of money, especially to those of us who were brought up going to school where primary and high school is free of cost.

Supposedly, this should also be the case in Kenya, where the official position is that: “Primary education is free and compulsory in Kenya. Secondary education is also free, but not compulsory. ... Primary education has been free and compulsory in Kenya since 2003.”

That is the official position. The reality is much different.
There are many costs involved with providing the children with an education. The students must have their school uniforms of course, and shoes, but they also must buy their own textbooks, paper, pens, and any other costs associated with their education.

They must pay an electricity fee for the electricity they use while they are in school, and a water fee. There is a fee for the maintenance of the buildings and property, and if it is determined that a new building must be built, this is also reflected in the fees for the children.
There is even an administration fee, which I cannot understand. If there is not supposed to be a tuition, what other heading would this fall under?

Earlier in 2018, many of our children were attending a local school, which was close at hand to the orphanage. However, the government closed down that school because it was not meeting the national standards.
Perhaps they were correct in doing this, but the result has been that we have needed to send the children that were attending there to go to schools further away, and unfortunately, more expensive. There are four schools where the children attend, all of them quite a long walk from the orphanage.

Most of the primary students, for instance, walk at least a half hour in the morning to attend classes, the same distance to return to the orphanage for lunch, then again to return again to school for the afternoon, and lastly, home in the evening.

As I said in the previous post, it is no wonder that it always seems to be a Kenyan who wins the New York Marathon.

Why don’t they carry their lunch? I asked this question, and frankly, I do not think that they have considered seriously this option. Certainly there are some difficulties in this and it would mean more work on the part of the workers at the orphanage. Also, there is a question whether or not the school would allow it. But it is an option that is worth exploring further.

I also wondered the reasons why the children attend so many different schools, four it total. Schools in the area are numerous and I must say, even after asking many questions, I am still a bit confused by the working of the entire school system.

Since the school district in which the orphanage is located is so large, and the orphanage so far from the center, it makes it impossible for the children to attend the district school. It matters little, for there would be no savings in cost, and may in fact, cost more. Thus, at least here in this area, the children attend a school that the parents, or in our case the orphanage, choose and can afford.

But it actually is not as simple as that. For instance, some of the orphans already had been registered at one school when the orphanage took them in, so they are required to continue attending there until they have permission to move to a different school. The permission is not easily obtained.

Also, there is a connection with the aptitude of the student. In some of the primary schools, there is a special emphasis on one particular type of education: music and athletics, for instance. All the other basics of science and math and the rest are taught in all the schools.

The children are required to take tests throughout their education, and if these tests show that the student is particularly gifted in one field, then he or she must attend a school that specializes in that study. It is not a requirement, but it is strongly recommended.

Would it be less expensive and possible to begin a school at the orphanage?

This also was my own question when the aforementioned school close to the orphanage was forced to shut its doors, and the school costs suddenly increased for the orphanage.

Apparently, it is possible to do this, and the leadership of the church is already looking upon this as a long-term possibility, but of course there are many more necessary matters that require more immediate attention—such as food and housing.

But it is a vision. The dormitory that we are building, for instance, is being built with this in mind. The dormitory itself would not easily be able to be used as classrooms, since it will be wall-to-wall bunk beds, but the building is being built with a possibility of putting on a second story that could be used as a school.

You can see why this entire work of the orphanage is in itself like a marathon. Why did the Lord give me this work in my old age instead of in my youth?

Good question and one I have asked him several times.
Are there any of you who has more years ahead of him who would like to come alongside and run with me for awhile?

Tuesday, January 29, 2019


I have been having a valuable time here with the church and the children in Kisii, but I must say that I do wish that I was home now.
There are record cold temperatures in Northern Wisconsin, where Vivian is taking a care of our home and animals.
I am very grateful that our oldest son Jesse is only about 3 miles down the road, and Levi is also not too far away.
Nevertheless, right now my heart is there as my constant prayer is that Vivian will be well.
This past Sunday was the only worship service that I have been involved with on this trip, but with the Bible Conference that Pastor Joel had arranged the first time that I came more than a year ago, I already knew what the services generally are like and what to expect.

The first thing that I would say about the services is that they are greatly joyful. There is much celebration. Choirs sing. There are three of them: The children’s choir, the women’s choir, and the church choir. Each of them have at least one or two songs to give to the Lord and church.

Even their entrance is an additional song. When the pastor asks them to come and sing, they do not immediately make their way through the crowd to the front, but rather go out the back. Once organized in back of the church, they begin singing
what I will say is their “entrance song,” and with their bodies keeping time with the music as they slowly walk/dance forward, they arrange themselves when they arrive at the front. It is then that the true special songs are sung.

There is also much more special music. These are the individuals or small groups who have prepared something to sing. It is sometimes in English, sometimes in Swahili, and sometimes in Ekkegusi. The pastor has to limit these, as there always seems to be more than there is time.

But there is also always time for those who have “the gift of dance,” as they call it. These are those who have a certain inclination for expressive dancing and who always have a number to present before the Lord and the church.

There is a time for testimonies. The people themselves do not seem to me to be the type that, in their nature, always want to be in the spotlight, but they are very happy to come and tell what the Lord is doing in their lives. They like to share the miracles that had happened in their lives. In fact, there is a special time set apart for the sharing of miracles. It is when I shared with them the miraculous healing of my cancer last year.

There are two sermons. First by one of the two assistant pastors, and then by the pastor himself. This last sermon seems to be the “main sermon.”

Then there are several other elements that are scattered throughout the time, a time which, as you might suspect, is quite long. How long? I was not there for the beginning, but the service began at 8:30, and by the time it was all over, it was getting on to 2:00 in the afternoon.

Thus, the first thing that many Americans may say about the services is that they are long. But frankly, they do not seem long. There is so much happening and they are so joyful, that time seems to have little significance. That is why I chose to use the word joyful as a single word introduction instead of long.

I did not arrive until about 10:00, so I was only there for half of it or a little more. I was to be the speaker for the “main service,” and was greatly privileged to be so.

I was introduced by Pastor Vincent who applied the reading of 2 John 1:12 to my arrival: “I have many things to write you, but I would prefer not to use paper and ink. Instead, I hope to come and speak with you face to face, so that our joy may be complete.”

He said that every Sunday they read the things that I have written on this same blog page (or perhaps in the books that I left them last time), but now I have come to speak face to face with them.

“We are greatly privileged,” he said. “Dad has come to speak with us face to face!”

Well, I already mentioned that I was the one who was greatly privileged. I had also already prepared to read a short scripture as a greeting.

Mine was from Philippians 1: “I thank my God every time I remember you. In every prayer for all of you, I always pray with joy, because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will continue to perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.
It is right for me to feel this way about all of you, since I have you in my heart.”

The scripture that I read also were not just “nice words.” I meant them.
Looks like that one boy is not listening to me
Someone get that kid's name!

There was one group of people who arrived even after I, a group of people from an area named Nkumbene. They walked to church from there, which is at a distance of (are you ready for this?) 64 kilometers away!

No, I could not believe it at first either, and it is still a little difficult for me to accept, but I have asked many people and it is true that the area is that far away, and I have no reason to doubt the word of these brothers, especially since the reason that they came to the service was that the pastors from the church first went to visit them. It is one of the areas where they want to begin another church, “The Log Church of Nkumbene.”

They began walking that morning at 6:00, and it took them 4 ½ hours to arrive. I worked it out, and it averages out to be about a little more than 14 kph, or 8.8 mph. This is a Sunday morning walk to church for these people!

No wonder the Kenyans always seem to win the New York Marathon!

With them they brought a gift for me. It was another thing
that I could not believe. Why would they do this?

They brought with them a work sculpted out of soapstone. It is so beautiful! It is one of those works that you need to touch and handle to gain full appreciation for it.

An African Dove.

I was then, and still am, overwhelmed by this gift of extreme generosity.

Monday, January 28, 2019


Food is essential for life (see post #8), but of course so is water. I also mentioned in that post that Kisii county receives at least some rain in every month of the year, and in fact, during the rainy season, it receives an excess.
But despite this, obtaining clean and healthy water is a problem not only for the orphanage, but for the entire community.

There are places in the world where there is enough steady rainfall throughout the year, that with an adequate collection system off the roofs, the people can gather enough to meet their needs. It was like that where we lived in New Zealand.

I see no reason why, during the rainy season here, this would not also work here. In fact, you do see some tanks in various places around the area just for this purpose. 

But even if this water falls from the sky in clean distilled form, it does not necessarily remain clean once it is stored in a tank. It can be treated, of course, but in the end, this system does not meet the year-around needs of this area. There are too many months with not enough rainfall.

The church and orphanage, and in fact the entire village, obtains their water from the same source. The source is from far down into a valley, where water is flowing out of an embankment. It is spring water. There are actually more than one spring around the area.
The pastors took me down to see the one where they get their water. We were down in the area to visit a school anyway, so since we were that close, it was a good opportunity to take care of this other request of mine of things that I wanted to learn about the situation.

The spring actually was much cleaner than I expected,
and people do drink it as it is. You can see Pastor Douglas doing just that. The area around the outflow has been sealed to keep out contamination, but I am told that the water is not free of contaminants. People do sometimes get sick from the microbes it contains.

But I would think that it is the bringing the water to the orphanage that must be the worst part of using this water for the orphanage. Probably the water could be treated so that it could be made pure for drinking (I do not know for certain), but the fact that it is located far down into a valley makes carrying enough water up the hill a very daunting task. I would say that the trip would be a 30-45 minute walk, mostly up a steep grade, and with a water jug either on your head or strapped to your back.

For a family, it is one thing, but for an orphanage of 42 children plus a few workers, it is something else.

The answer of course, is a well-- “bore hole” as they call them here. I once asked Joel the depth of the water table, and he replied, “Praise God, clean water can be obtained at 129 meters.”

For we metric system challenged Americans, that is about 425 feet. Actually 423 feet and 2.74 inches (I looked it up so I may as well write it down). This water table depth is according to a government survey.

I should add that this water project is not a project that God has put upon me, at least as far as I know. But several people in the US have asked me about the situation, so I wanted to find out.
This is what I found.

Sunday, January 27, 2019


In the spirit of a facebook intelligence test, I offer you the following quiz. The short video below was taken in the Log Church this morning, but which one:

A: The Log Chruch of Tripoli, Wisonsin?  or,
B: The Log Church of Kisii, Kenya?

Answer the question with either A or B, but the test of your intelligence depends upon your level of certainty.

If you are 100% certain, you have an intelligence quotient of over 120
If you are 75% certain, you have an IQ between 110 and 120
If you are 50% certain, you have an IQ between 90 and 119
If you are below 50% certain, you have an IQ below 90
If you got it wrong, who is reading this for you?

Saturday, January 26, 2019


I think that over the past few months, most of my posts on the orphanage has been concerning the construction of the dormitory for the children. This has been and continues to be a big push—to have it completed before the rains begin in March or April. We trust that God will supply what is needed to continue.

But of course, housing is not the primary necessity of life. The primary need is food, and it is actually this that requires most of the resources of the orphanage.

We sometimes have the idea that since most people in developing countries do not have much money, the food must cost much less in those places. Some foods actually do cost less, but this is by no means true with all items. 

Below I am going to list approximate costs of foods that the orphanage buys. I frankly do not know if these prices would be more or less than what you would find in your local County Market, and it may be a little difficult to make the comparison. That is because the orphanage buys most of their items in bulk if they have enough money at the time, so that they can get a better price.

1. Rice—50 kg bag (120 pounds), 7,000 Kenya Shillings (≈ $70)  This will last about 2 days

This seemed like a lot of rice to me, even to feed 50 people. It works out to about 500 grams of rice per day. But I have never been a big fan of rice, so I myself have never eaten very much of it. However, I had to look this up to see how much rice is normally eaten in rice consuming cultures. Here is what I found: 

“In countries where rice is a staple part of the diet, the World Food Programme provides, on average about 400 grams of rice per person, per day (for families, including children and adults). That is intended for two meals that include other ingredients to ensure a minimum of 2,100 kilocalories per day.“

2. Maize—90 kg bag (215 pounds—can you imagine throwing that into the back of your pickup?),
8,000 Shillings (≈ $80). This lasts 3 days and works out to about 1.4 pounds per day

3. They spend some 3,000 shillings per day on greens

4. They do not commonly have meat, but when they buy goat meat, it costs about Ks 600/kg, which works out to about $2.75/pound.

We walked down to where Pastor Joel has some land on which to grow food for his family and for the children of the orphanage. It is a quarter of an acre.
They have dedicated most of that ground to the growing of kale, which is a staple to the diet of the people here, a fact that should be much to the delight of all of you health foodies.

But lately, their kale as been suffering from drought. Joel

also showed me a plant that he said has a fungus which is affecting some of their plants. There is no reasonable way to irrigate (which you will understand when I write in a later post about the water situation), so they are completely dependent upon rainfall.

Kisii County is actually better off than many parts of Kenya, in that they normally receive at least some rain in every month. January is probably their driest month (which is why I chose this month to come), and even in the few days that I have been here, we have had a couple of little showers. They were not enough to do a lot of
good for the kale, but it was something.

Nevertheless, as they harvest the kale, they are slowly replacing it with a plant which they call kunde. I think it is the black-eyed pea. They tell me that it is more drought resistant than kale.

Other than those two plants, they have some bananas planted, and a couple of avocado trees.

Nevertheless, any way that you cut it, it is difficult to imagine being able to grow enough food on a quarter acre for 50 people, but it is another area where someone who would like to dedicate part of their life to come to live and help these people, and who was familiar with new food production methods, could do much good.

Hydroponics? Again, a ready source of water may be an inhibiting factor, but probably not unsurmountable.

Another cost factor in having food to feed the children is the cooking of it. Here, there are two factors involved: a source of wood, and an efficient stove.

They need to buy wood for cooking. A lorrie of wood costs KS 15,000 ($150) and lasts 2 or 3 months. This brings us to an efficient stove:

The stove they have is the traditional one: three rocks with a fire in the middle—a campfire.

A campfire may be fun when you are camping out in the woods, but it is not an efficient way to cook food. Most of the heat is radiated out to warm the people sitting around the campfire and telling ghost stories as the smoke dances ghostily around their head—or in this case, to the ladies almost exactly right on the equator and cooking in a small building.

The ladies do not want the heat, nor do they want to breathe in all that smoke. They only want to cook the food.

Just as in agriculture methods, there are also stoves that are both inexpensive to build and very efficient. The "Lorena" stove is one of these. I understand that an even more recent modification on this is the “Rocket Lorena” stove.

Sounds high-tech, but the stove was developed in Latin America and derives its name from Spanish, a combination of the words lodo (mud) and arena (sand). 

It is of rammed earth construction and about the only real cash outlay is for a pipe to be used as a chimney.

It is the design that is the high-tech part and which creates a very strong draft for the fire, hence the of addition of the word Rocket.

This is the effect that the flame as it shoots underneath the cooking pots. It is an efficient stove and would save a lot of money on fuel, and also the health of the women since they do not need to be inside a small building with a campfire in the middle.

But these things will not happen with someone visiting them for one week out of the year. It would take someone who has an inclination toward appropriate technology village applications, and who is willing to dedicate at the least one year to living with the people.

Is it you?

This post is getting really long, but I have one more thing that I want to share (actually, I have a few more, but I will limit myself to just this one).

Today we had a meeting with the women leaders of the church, who told of some of the things that they would like to do for the work of the Lord.

These women, who come from families where the chief bread-winner has a wage of perhaps $2/day, spoke of how they would like to lease a bit of land where they could grow vegetables both to help feed the orphans of the church, but also to sell in the market—vegetables and napier grass.  Their purpose for selling in the market was primarily so that they can meet other women in order to tell them about Jesus.

Despite all hardships, they want to serve God instead of themselves.


Friday, January 25, 2019


Of course, the first thing that the people wanted to show me was the dormitory that is being built for the children.
I also was eager to see it.

It is difficult to get a sense of it from the photos that Joel had sent me in the past. That is the nature of  pictures.

If you have had similar questions as I did, then I’m afraid that my explanation of it will not help a great deal in clarifying things.

But all the pictures do make sense when you see the dormitory. They did a great job in the design and building of it up to this point. There are still several steps of completion before the children can begin living there, and we continue to pray that completion will be accomplished before the heavy rains begin in March or April.
On the front of the building is the entrance. Here, the children will remove their shoes before entering into the building. In this way, the soil from the outside will remain outside of the building.

Each of the rooms is 20’ by 24’—one end for the girls and the other for the boys. These are large areas compared to what they are used to.

On each end, there is a toilet. This room is actually divided with a wall into two sections. On one side is a place to wash hands, etc. and on the other side is the toilet. The contents of the toilet will be piped into a holding tank, which will be emptied by truck, much as many homes in the US do.

This is one area where I would think some application of appropriate village technology would be helpful. I know that there have been good latrine designs that if built and used in the proper way, could also provide enrichment for the soil.

But that is a lengthy process to begin to teach this, and it would almost take someone to live there and work alongside with them. For now, what the people are doing seems to me to be the best option.

I was a little surprised how closely the government is keeping track of the construction of the building. They have made several recommendations and some requirements that must be met.

They are also responsible for the safety and the welfare of the children, so of course their interest  is understandable. Nevertheless, even though each of these recommendations are good, they also add to the total cost of construction.
One of these matters came in regard to the windows. You saw them being installed a couple of posts back.

The windows are made to specifications so that they can have both screens and glass, but so that they can also open for safety in case the children need to quickly exit the building.

In the end, this is a developing community and a poor community, and the government has some men and women who are working hard to make things work well. And they are doing it with little resources. For this we are thankful.

We are especially thankful that they gave special permission to make the dormitory usable for both boys and girls, providing that there are the proper building designs. That, of course, saves much money.

There is one more little addendum to the dormitory. On one corner there is a small room that has been built for food storage. This room is accessible only from the outside. It has the fanciest little shelter for the padlock that I have ever seen.

We praise God for the progress that has been made

Thursday, January 24, 2019


…And sleep I did (see previous post).

In fact, it was after 8:00 when I woke up. It was much later than I wanted to get up, but at times I am not completely able to control my super power. But it is just as well, because today (Thursday) was extremely full of activities, in fact, a little too full.

I had to hustle to get ready and be out the door. I will not be able to write everything we did today in this post, but will have to cover them in future posts. But as a quick review, these are the activities of the day.
I'll talk to Joel about slowing things down a little tomorrow

1. We first went to see the dormitory for which many of you have given money to help build. Of course it is still incomplete, but it is looking good.

2. We then went to view the land that they have on which to raise food. It is a quarter acre that they have planted in kale along with some bananas and a couple of avocado trees.

3. I asked to see how they were able to sleep the children at the present time. They were sleeping in the church building, but of course this made it difficult for service preparation. They are presently renting a couple of very small rooms (about 10 x 12)  adjacent to the church property.

4. Then the children came home from school for lunch. It is a half-hour walk for them to and from school. They walk four times a day.

5. We also had lunch. The local chief with his deputy came to join us, and I got to meet them and explain to him my role in this project. He was very happy to hear it.

6. We then went to the local municipality office, where I signed their book of visitors with my information.
7. It was also market day in the village, so we spent some time walking through the market so I could see the local wares and produce and take some photos.

8. Then we had a meeting with the staff of the orphanage so I could know who they are. I expressed to them my gratitude for taking care of these lovely children of God.

I think that there were a couple other things in here as well. When I review the photos, I will probably see them.
Not much here on each item, but I will try to cover these one by one on future posts.
Time for bed again.


First item on the agenda after arriving in Kisii—sleep.

I have my same room and same bed in the same hotel as I did last time. It worked well for me then, and it worked well for me this time. I woke up a couple hours ago after what I  think must have been in a four or five hour torpidity (if that’s a word).

From the two photos, you may think that the hotel is somewhat of a dive, but it is actually a very comfortable place.

Sure, the room is so small that the bed mostly takes up the entire room with only about a five-foot space with a small night stand on one side and you have to squeeze around the foot of the bed to get to the bathroom. But the reason that the bed takes up most of the room is because it is a king-sized bed with a mosquito netting canopy.

Sure, there is a petrol station/bus stop right outside my
window with trucks and busses pulling in and out all night. But the ability to sleep is the one and only thing that I am really good at.

In fact my grandsons James and William will tell you that it is my super power (I have chosen to use my super power for good instead of evil).

The hotel is clean, the people friendly and trustworthy, the prices reasonable, and I will say that the bed is the most comfortable bed I have ever slept in.
Also, there is a good coffee shop/cafe where I happen to be right now.

After my sleep, I feel great, but it is almost 10:00 at night—way past my bed time when I am home. The problems is, of course, my body seems to think that it is still home and is telling me that it is time to go out and feed the cows.

I’ll get straightened out eventually, but I may have to call upon my super power tonight.

This all builds my admiration considerably for those who fly around the world on a regular basis and are still expected to be coherent when they arrive on both ends of their journeys.

When I was flying regularly, it was mostly to and from the counties of Latin America—so south and north. Not a big strain on one’s inner clock. But even with that, I still used it as an excuse.

Pastors Joel, Vincent and Douglas met me at the Kisumu airport, along with Amos the driver. It was so good to see them all. We spoke of what we want to do while I am here, and I am going to meet them for tea in the morning so we can begin.

I need to see that building, of course. The children are in school so I may or may not see them tomorrow, but I think that it is Friday when Joel has scheduled for me to visit one or two of the schools.

I’ll tell you more tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 22, 2019


By my bleary-minded reckoning, it has been 34 hours since Vivian and I pulled out of our driveway in Spirit to go to the airport. But my trip to Kisii is not yet finished. I arrived in Nairobi fine, and it is almost 1:00 AM in Kenya right now. It has not been many minutes since I retrieved my checked luggage and went though customs.

I check into my domestic flight to Kisumu in about 4 hours, where my friend (from last time) Amos the taxi driver will pick me up to drive up to Kisii. I do not know what the drive-time is, but I will find out later today.

Naturally, I am not getting a hotel here in Nairobi. I did last time when I came, but at that time I was completely ignorant about what to expect on my arrival, and I did not want to take too many chances.

I am no longer completely ignorant about Kenya, just mostly ignorant, so I decided rather than to take time to spend a night and the extra day and money in Nairobi, I would just stay at the airport until my next flight.

That is why I am writing this tonight, for I expect by tomorrow I will not only be only bleary-minded, but I will be barely conscious.

I have to say that on my flight down here  from London, I was feeling pretty blue. I missed Vivian and I was wondering how she was doing with the cold weather and the animals and all.

I could not imagine that I would ever want to make this trip again, and in fact was already working it out in my mind how I could just explain to someone else who is interested how to get here rather than to bring them.

However, that depression left after I arrived and as I again began to have my conversations with the Kenyans. The people here are the most kind and hospitable people that I have ever encountered in my travels around to different countries.

“Let my ask you just one more question…” I said to one official here after I felt I was really imposing on him with the many questions that I had already asked.

“Do not say, ‘one more question,’” he replied. “Ask me ten more questions! I am here to serve you!”

I think that there was a day when it was like this with public officials the US, and I am sure there are still are some with this perspective. But I have to say, I felt very welcomed here.

"Karibu!" (Welcome)

Vivian also wrote to me by email and said things were going well, but I hear that there are some more cold days ahead for Wisconsin.

May the Lord sustain you, sweetie!

Monday, January 21, 2019


A couple of days ago Pastor Joel sent me a series of photos of the windows and doors that now have been made for the dormitory. Again, little by little the building is coming along.

When I arrive in Kisii and talk to everyone, I will have a much clearer picture of what actually is left for the completion. It cannot be much: Plastering, finish the floor, screens on the windows.

Another thing that Joel mentioned is that they need to make the velandah. I did not know what a velandah was, so I asked him. He told me that it is putting a hard floor on the outside around the perimeter of the building.

This makes sense to me, since water running off the roof would otherwise make it constant mud around the outside.
As I thought about that word velandah, I wondered if it is not a Swahili-fied version of the English
word veranda, which of course is what we call a porch. I sat many evenings on my veranda in India years ago.

I have tried to begin to learn Swahili over the past few months, and since Kenya is a former English colony, there are many influences in language.

For instance, the English have the habit of beginning a comment by saying, “I say…”

I have been told that the Swahili language has also incorporated this into their language, and often begin a sentence in the Swahilified version of “I say…”

I’m not sure how it would be spelled, and the pronunciation is changed enough so that unless you were aware of this fact, you may miss what was said.

Interesting to me. Perhaps not so much to you.

Anyway, I am en-route, at the moment.