Our February newsletter, just in case you missed it:
Our February newsletter, just in case you missed it:
A message from our 14-year-old daughter Butterfly:
"A child in a classroom is taught many things. Sit still. Pay attention. Make good grades. But what are they really learning?
They are being taught that learning something is a chore, and therefore unenjoyable. This sort of mentality could later prove difficult to overcome.
Horse therapy takes that bored, disinterested child and puts them outside, gets them moving and happy. Horses are amazing! Games are fun! and learning becomes a delight.
This is especially helpful when it comes to children with learning disabilities. The horses and games encourage them to work hard, and the desire to participate is furthered by helpful peer pressure.
Yes, some children thrive in the classroom setting, but horse therapy provides an option for those children that do not."
11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11
Education. Something I took for granted as a child. I started kindergarten and went all the way through high school without any danger of not finishing. It never even occurred to me that there were children not going to school or being sent home because they could not pay. I had not even heard of homeschooling back then. Unfortunately not being able to go to school is a way too common occurrence here in Kenya. Too many children are aware of the fact that they can be sent home at any moment, and often for the most trivial of circumstances.
Imagine if you will that you are headed back to school. You are starting class eight this January, a crucial year as at the end of it there is a test that will determine what high school you can go to. It is your chance to get into a good school that could even help you qualify for university or look good on your resume as you apply for that all important first job. It is a big year. The end of primary school and you can begin to see the shape of things to come in your future.
Now imagine if you will that your mom gets sick. She is out of work say for two weeks and has to spend money she cannot afford on medication. Consequently, she is unable to afford to pay your school lunch fee, which is not that much, but when you make two hundred or so Kenyan shillings a day (about two U.S. dollars) that lunch fee can seem insurmountable. Or maybe you rip your school uniform and are sent home to replace it. (Currently, we need to buy a second uniform for B.T. which altogether will be 6,900 Kenyan shillings.) Perhaps this is multiplied over two or three siblings. Tough.
We want to be there for these children. We believe in education as a way to escape the slum, poverty, and a host of other social ills affecting Kenya. The system in Kenya is not perfect, in fact, it is far from it. Yet it is the system one has to navigate, and the more children we keep on that journey through school the more bright futures we create. These futures are not just for the kids, but for us as well. These are the future scientist, politicians, mechanics, astronauts, and so on. They are necessary for our future.
I took school for granted and luckily ended up with a decent education. I do not want to take these children's educations for granted. I will fight for them to stay in school.
Goodbye 2017 and howdy 2018.
We spent 2017 digging deeper into The Shire (our almost twelve-acre piece of land here in Kasambara, Kenya.) We did some learning on permaculture and have begun to implement some of it's methods here on the farm. Farming is not easy, but not too difficult either. Growing food is something that I feel is innate in most people and does not take much effort to learn and experiment with. We are working towards drought proofing the land and growing more and more food for ourselves and others.
Our Dawn of the Ice Age fundraiser has reached %110! Yea!
Thank you to everyone who gave and shared this fund raiser. You helped us achieve what we could not on our own. It may be an overused phrase but, "many hands make a light load" is a true maxim. We have already purchased some food items for ourselves and one other household. One of my favorite things to do is buy food for hungry people. It is not a way to save them or rescue them from poverty, but it is a way to bring hope (and a bit of nutrition.) To know that someone, or in cases like this someones, cares enough to go out of their way and help you, restores hope that things can get better. Hope is one of the first steps for someone to be able to get out of poverty. With that hope, one can start making a life that is worth living. Without it, well it is then just easier to stay down and out.
As for purchasing the solar fridge set up, we will wait until the excitement over the election dies down. Hopefully sooner rather than later, and then I, Johnny, will travel to Nairobi and make the purchase. Our plan, currently, is to use the same company that sold us the solar hot water heater (thanks dad,) and have them do the installation. I am hoping to haggle a bit on the price and save some money, which will then be used to buy more food for more hungry people.
We will keep all of you in the loop with pictures and videos.
Again thanks to everyone who gave and shared. Plus thanks to Bob who coordinated the whole fund raising effort.
It has been more than three years since we last had adequate refrigeration. It has been tough going. We felt it was time to bring back the fridge to A Future and a Hope. We figured it was a good time to raise money to bring food to the hungry as well. We routinely feed hungry people, but this fund raiser will enable to spread the love on a bigger scale.
Check out the campaign by following this link:
If you would like to give via PayPal use firstname.lastname@example.org and include a note that it is for this campaign.
It has been a long time since we had an article about care packages, and it has been ages since we received one! Granted, they do charge us at the post office a percentage of the amount written on the customs form, but some things we just cannot find in Kenya, and we would love to have them. Here is our wish list! For my friends with horse connections, finding some items are quite difficult. We are extremely happy with used items as long as they are in good condition. I will post the horse items here first because they are difficult to find in Kenya, but if that is not an area of interest for you, please keep scrolling. We really miss certain things like ranch seasoning packets!
Horse stuff: (I am posting links to products so you can see what we are needing, but if you have used items in good condition, we are happy to use those!)