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October 2012

Entries from September 2012

Land Purchase Update

In 30 days we raised 34,000 dollars to purchase a piece of land here in Kenya. The original land we wanted did not work out, but Kate found a better place within a couple of weeks. Negotiations took place, price set, sales agreement drawn up, and money was transferred from the U.S. So far so good, and relatively simple.

Turns out that the war on terror includes investigating financial transactions sent to Kenya to purchase land to help take care of orphans. I am serious. OFAK exists to make simple bank transfers more complex. (I had more to say on this but edited it out just incase some vindictive beaurocrat reads this. If said government drone is indeed reading this remember, Jesus loves you but loves orphans more, so release the money!)

The waiting continues. Kate will meet the owner today and give him some earnest money to secure the land. Everything is cool, we are just waiting.

 


Around, Around, Around We Go

Once again we have a problem with a school we use here in Nakuru, Kenya. Short backstory: we used an African Inland Church school for half our girls when we first started living with them. We had to take our girls out after a teacher became abusive and the school refused to do anything about it. We ended up enrolling our girls in a Prebseterian Church of East Africa school where things were progressing just fine till this year.

In the beginning of the year I attended a parent meeting at the school where the teachers attempted to convince us that the children needed to attend school on Saturday. To make a long meeting short; it all boiled down to the teachers wanting some extra cash. They charge an additional fee that is paid directly to them instead of through the school. I was the only parent to object, which was appaling. The teachers threatened to continue teaching the sylabus on the weekend, therefore if our children didn't go they would get behind. So they had no choice but to attend. 

Went smoothly till the children reported to us that many times the teachers didn't even come on Saturday, or at the very least came late and essentially only stayed long enough to collect the cash. The girls decided it was not worth giving up half their weekend to sit around for half a day at school. 

Not a problem till last week, when only one child turned up for Saturday school. Turns out that more students and parents realized that it was a waste of time and money. Naturally this upset the teachers, as their bottom line was being negatively impacted. 

The teachers decided to call parents to the school for a meeting about Saturday school, but only told parents about this meeting the evening before. Our children came home and said if we did not come to the meeting the next day they would be kicked out of school. Naturally we refused. Instead we called the headmaster and explained that it was too short of a notice for us to come to the school for a meeting. We also explained our feelings about Saturday school, again. 

Next day at school one of the male teachers slapped our oldest child in anger. He also threatened to refuse to teach them and to convince the other teachers to do the same, because they were not attending school on Saturday. When our girls wanted to leave school for home after this assualt they were refused permission. No one called us or informed us of this incident.

After the girls came home and told us about it I called the headmaster. Of course he acted surprised to hear about it, and agreed to meet with me the next day, today. So sometime today I'll go and talk with him and the teacher. Hopefully they will agree to my demands, which will be a written apology from the teacher to our child which will include a promise to never touch one of our kids again. If he refuses then I will have to go to the authorities and make an official report, and start looking for another school, again.

Teachers, when will they ever learn that when I say do not touch my children, I mean it.


Revamp Coming Soon!

I know we have neglected the blog for a few months, but never fear a revamping is in the works. Of the blog that is, not us, we're perfect the way we are. Well at least Kate is.

In other news, we will be meeting with the owners of the new property tomorrow to finalize the deal. Soon A Future and a Hope will own its first piece of land!

Meanwhile the van's exhaust pipe broke in half. Rough roads. So I'll spend some time today looking for someone to weld it back together.

 


I think I found it!

As you may know, the land we originally wanted is not an option any more, and I think it was not an accident.

I have been hunting for land now (again) far and wide. Prices near Nakuru are unbelievable. Just check out some real estate for Kenya (not just Nakuru) online, and your jaw will hit the floor. However, I have found something beautiful, functional, and yet not boring. (To me, land without SOMETHING to make it unique would drive me nuts over time, if I'm having to live there for a long time).

Here's a video of the land I'm hoping to buy. Mind you, I wasn't familiar with the land when recording, so it's not the best 'tour.' I was very uncertain about what was what.

  • PERKS about this particular land is location. It's not TOO far out.
  • Secondly, I actually have dreamed of climbing this hill (the hill I may actually OWN) since 1997.
  • The view is worth ALL the money invested.
  • I like that the land has farming potential, and grazing space for livestock.
  • It's the perfect price.
  • There is a small pipe of water already coming to the property.
  • Electricity is headed that way. Right now it's two miles away, but new poles are being put in.
  • It's near a MAJOR hospital, and a resort! People pay hundreds of dollars to see what I'd get to wake up to every morning.

Now, all I have to do is bring our team member Ali out there tomorrow and see how he feels about it, too!

 

Then, it's a matter of buying it! The title deed is in the hands of the agent, so that's no issue. Here's hoping things go smoothly.

 


Many Hands

We never would have thought that a month ago we, just two people attempting to do what God asked them to do all apart from organized religion, would be able to raise over $30,000 in 30 days for land without ever making an expensive 'fundraising trip' back to the United States, and without a huge institution or wealthy individual stepping in and doing the bulk of the funding...

We had 194 funders who gave a total of 34,150 dollars in a month!

The average donation works out to about $176 a person. So you see it was many hands helping to lighten this load.

I have to say that in the eight years we have been doing this, this campaign has been the single most successful fundraising we have done.

Again thanks to everyone, especially Kate and Bob.