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Entries from October 2012

New Address for Donations

We have had to make some changes to our banking arrangements back in the U.S. and have a new address to send checks to:

Make checks out to A Future and a Hope

Mail to:

A Future and a Hope
c/o Bob Humphrey
7909 Walerga Rd STE 112-141
Antelope, CA 95843 

That's it.

Paypal remains the same, you will find a link on the sidebar of this here blog. One could also send money via Western Union and/or MoneyGram. Just send to Johnny Brooks in Nakuru, Kenya. Then email me the receipt number and the answer to any security questions. 

 


Cars

Our vehicle situation as of this moment is... we own ONE vehicle: a 1985 Nissan van with no power steering, no AC, and well... It breaks down. A lot. It also gets stuck in the mud a lot. Since it has no power steering, I (Kate) can't drive it because it's so heavy. In fact, I nearly miscarried during my pregnancy with Eowyn, according to the Doctor because of my driving this van. I've avoided driving it ever since. That was three years ago. (I miss driving.)

The van has two good features. It's big. It holds 9 passengers (we have 15 passengers + 1 driver), and it is paid for. Those we are grateful for!

However, driving back and forth to the land is an issue. Heck, even driving around town is an issue. The van is too long and too heavy with no Power Steering. In fact, it has been broken down so much we've come to prefer hiring taxis which is costly. We pretty much use the van, when it's working, to ferry our children to the school and back. Plus we need it for full-size family outings.

At the moment, Johnny and I have lots of thoughts on our vehicle situation and no real conclusions.

We are trying to see if we can get power steering installed in the van. The mechanic will give me a report at the end of the day. His first look and thoughts were, "It's not possible."

We have to replace the flywheel, and it needs new tires, but before I get tires, I have to decide if keeping the van is the best thing to do.

Johnny and I are considering many ways to go about our vehicle situation.

We need a large vehicle to ferry our 16 member family, but we also need a 4WD smaller vehicle with power steering for all the trips we'll be making back and forth to the land. Plus, it's so much easier to drive a smaller car in town to run errands as we do often with our bio-family while the Kenyan ones are in school. We found that we can buy a used, but newer vehicle in this category for around $8,000.

We've considered trading our van in for something else, but we can't get much for our 1985 vehicle. We'd have to find a lot more money to add to a car purchase/trade-in, and then we'd lose our 'family ferry.'

Considering we have only ONE car at the moment, of which breaks often due mostly to the rough roads, we are considering doing a fundraiser for a second vehicle.

But like I said, we still haven't come up with any real conclusions on the matter. We don't like bugging people for funds.

So there ya have it. Our thoughts on our situation... You are welcome to comment!

Ok, after reading this myself, I think putting tires on the van, and fixing the fly wheel are a must. We should keep it, and get a second car for all the errand running. That would keep the van from being used SO much and prevent a lot of the breaks it experiences on these horrid African roads.

What do you think? Would doing a fundraiser now after having done the land campaign be too much for folks?

 


Furoshiki

Today, I taught our East African Women’s League branch how to do Furoshiki. It’s the Japanese art of folding fabric. There are SO many possibilities with just a piece of square fabric! My flute case doesn’t have a handle, so I remedied that (see below) and made a bag for my music. I know, the fabric is geeky, but it was cheap. Google Furoshiki and have as much fun as I have!

IMG_8246


A Care Package for Andrew

Being the only boy in a house full of girls can have its drawbacks. One of the biggest areas Andrew, our 14 year old son, suffers is in the package department. We receive at least two to three parcels a month, usually from the U.S. These boxes typically come stuffed with girl stuff. Girl clothes, shoes, brushes, cosmetics, and such are usual discoveries upon opening the carton. Except when the package is full of treats such as beef jerky, candy, and Velveeta Andrew celebrates from the sidelines.

Until the last box to come in the mail that is. It was a big box from the U.S. addressed to Andrew himself. Once opened the boy clothing bounty was grabbed by Andrew and hoarded in the pit he calls a room. Especially loved was a pair of hiking boots.

Andrew is happy, and enjoying the clothes.

Now I wonder when a box with man stuff will arrive?


Random Headlines

Here are some random headlines from the Daily Nation, Kenya's most widely read newspaper:

Top Seat Aspirants Fly to Mara for Unity Talks

Tough Laws to Curb Cheating as Exams Start

Karua Warns Against Vote Buying

Chiefs Worried Over Their Fate After Polls

Petrol and Kerosene Prices Go Up By Sh6


High School Gave Me Compassion

I graduated from Port Neches-Groves High School back in 1992. Not so long ago but not last week either. I did not particularly enjoy Highschool. Not that I have anything against the school I attended, it seemed to be o.k. Though it is the only high school I ever attended, so who knows? It could have been terrible and I just had nothing to compare it with. My wife who attended Nederland High School, a rival school, might claim her's was better. To me a school is a school. If you can learn there, then it is a good school.

I say all that to make the point that school has been over for me long enough for me to forget what it was like to sit in a class. I still learn, all the time. It's just that now my learning lacks structure and any kind of grading system.

This morning as I was driving the girls to school these thoughts were swirling around somewhere in my cranium. Not sure why, but perhaps it was a means of reminding me to have compassion on the children. They are still sitting in class. The Kenyan girls go to a local private school, from 7 am to 4 pm. A school without a single computer, no library, and English teachers who do not seem to have ever learned English. My school had all of those plus a planetarium! Compassion, that's what my high school experience gives me for these girls as they sit through hours of memorisation exercises which are all written out by hand.


Muse?

Where is my muse? She is nowhere to be found. I think she might have left me for someone else.

We all lose our inspiration from time to time. Last week I wrote how Jeremiah 29:11 was our inspiration, which is true in my head. However my heart needs a kick in the "feeling inspired" department. Nothing has changed. We are still loving and caring for these children and others, but it feels too routine right now. No, more like I'm wading through a tar pit, and a velociraptor is waiting with that sharp claw for me on the far side.

Trust me I know how crazy this sounds. We just bought more than eleven acres of land, a dream long in the making. All the children are well, mostly happy, and being educated. I am married to a woman too good for me. I should feel like I am on top of the world, instead I find myself mired in tar and beset on all sides by razor sharp claws.

Do not think I am depressed, I am not. Just not feeling inspired at the moment.

My prayer; this too shall pass?

 


Money Wednesdays

Warning! Wednesdays are now designated "fundraising" blog posting days. You have been warned.

Since we hardly ever talk about money, or at least the fact that we need people to donate, a day was given up for it. Expect us to talk about needs such as rent, food, clothes, relief efforts, and well just about everything.

Our banking situation is also changing this month. Once we have all the details we of course will let you know. It will be a new address to mail checks. Our PayPal account remains the same.


Melting Pot

One of the things I appreciate about being from the United States is the diversity. I mean we have people from all over the world coming together and collectively calling themselves Americans. Different languages, faiths, cultures, political philosophies, and tastes. A melting pot of people groups.

Last time I was in Port Arthur, TX I was amazed at all the Spanish. Everywhere I looked I saw signs in Spanish and heard Spanish speakers. It was intimidating and thrilling at the same time.

Blending a family together feels the same way sometimes. Especially since we are trying to glue our family together out of different cultures.

We misunderstand each other, look different from one another, experience the world differently, and enjoy different things. This makes for tough times, but also for fantastic moments as well. When we manage to function as a family, as a cohesive unit, it is like a ray of sunshine on a cloudy day.

We are a melting pot of a family.