My Facebook friend asked me more questions, and I give more answers to things that might interest you. If you want to read the first list of questions and answers read this blog post.
Here are today's questions:
1. You knew you were going to have to live in the barn when you built it, why didn't you stay in the house you were in until you had a new house built with floors, showers, etc.?
A. Renting our house in town was expensive. It is a more complicated and longer story than this, but in a nutshell, we wanted to get out from renting as soon as possible.
B. The complicated part pertains to the girls' schools and timing of the move during a non school month. The high school girls were just starting their first year of high school around the time we were building. They get to choose the school of their choice. We chose to be near our FUTURE location at The Shire even though we lived in a town far away. Traveling to and from school from Nakuru all the way to Kasambara was a HUGE ordeal every morning. We woke up at 4 am, got dressed, took tea, and not having a car, we walked 45 minutes from our house to town in the dark to catch a public van. I walked with them for safety reasons. Usually, the van took hours to fill up before heading towards the village. This drive took another hour. The van stopped on the hwy, we'd get out, and then walk through the very dangerous bush up the hill past wild buffalo, hyena, lions, leopards... to the school. It was early morning by then, grey and hazy, just when animals like to come out. The thrilling walk up the mountain took about 45 minutes to an hour. Once safely at the school, I had to walk back down the hill alone to the hwy, wait for a public vehicle for sometimes up to an hour, then head back to town where I would get off in town, walk up the hill for 45 minutes to our rent house. In the evening, the girls would walk from school through the bush, again, then down to the hwy and wait for a vehicle to pass by this remote area and pick them up, then bring them to town where they had to walk up the hill home in the dark. It was a huge struggle. When April came, and they were out of school for the month, we decided the barn, which was just a shell, was complete enough for us to move in. It is near the girls' school. The younger girls also needed to move close to their new school in April as well since it meant in May, they would start a new term at their new school.
C. Having never lived with dirt floors and no electricity, we had no idea how hard it would be. One year later, it is tough. The dirt floors are probably the hardest part. EVERYTHING is dusty and dirty. Imagine going to the beach for a year without ever being able to step off the sand.. Fortunately, we are fundraising to fix these problems.
2. And are you going to stay there forever depending on donations? Doesn't that get stressful? Well I know for me it would, me working and being able to pay my bills still gets stressful.
We do plan to stay here forever. We hope to be an example as to how orphan care can be done well. We want to build more homes with parents caring for orphans as we do here. In fact, since we are improving the barn, we may end up using this building for housing another family after we build a house for our family in the future... I am open to following what needs arise. At the moment, a need has arisen, and we are giving our little hut to a single mom starting in the month of August.
Depending on donations is stressful, but we are encouraged that so many people WANT to help. We try to be efficient with donations. Most orphanages cost a lot to run with all of their staff expenses and what not. For us, we ARE the staff, and we work for free. We do have to eat, but when we eat, the children also eat... We do not feed the kids $1 a day food. No. We make sure we eat the same stuff, which is why our food bill is our biggest expense! Everyone gets to eat lasagna. Everyone. If the girls eat beans, I make sure that I cook them in the yummiest way possible because I will eat the beans, too! And because I love the girls! They deserve quality food.
3. And lastly I saw one day about not mentioning a type of religion or something like that, what exactly are you in terms or better yet what do you believe and teach?
We have pulled ourselves out of organized religion because we find it focuses a great deal on converting people to believe like we do and less on actually helping people's needs.
'Real religion is helping the orphaned and the widowed.' We teach love. Love people. All people. Whether they fit our molds of what we think people should be, or not, we should love them and help them.