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November 2013

Entries from October 2013

Left Behind

I can remember before Andrew (our first child) was born I had an anxiety about leaving him behind somewhere. You know, a new parent not accustomed to having to lug a baby around just forgets him at a restaurant or in a shopping basket. I was not crippled by this anxiety, but it was in the back of my mind when we would go out.

I managed to go more than fifteen years before realizing that fear.

Yesterday I left one of the girls behind at school. Typically I go a few minutes early and while waiting for the girls to come out of the school I read. With my nose in the book I do not keep track of who comes to the van, and who goes. (For some crazy reason some of the girls come to the van then run back, come to the van, then run back, come to the van, and then run back, and so on.) I just kept on reading about some teenage kids discovering that they come from an ancient line of Egyptian magicians. When everyone finally gets in one of them will tell me “All in Daddy.” I start the car and off we go to home.

Well yesterday someone failed to count accurately. Poor Teresa got left behind. She is the quiet one.

When we realized what had happened I went to fetch her.

I just hope none of my other new parent anxieties come to pass.

Exams, transport

It is already time to start planning and thinking about the school holiday. This year, we have 4 girls who are taking their KCPE exams. This exam determines if they will attend high school and will also determine WHICH school they can be accepted in. It is a big deal, and a we are excited for them!

Which also means we are closing our school year soon (mid Nov.). This is the only time of year the girls have a chance to go visit their extended families. Many want to see how their grandmas are doing, and Johnny & I think it is important that they know them and build relationships with them. So we will need help with travel expenses for the girls who want to visit their aunts, uncles, grandparents, etc..

If you would like to help with that, just donate with the button on the sidebar and then leave a msg in the note or email us.

While some of the girls are away, we will be working, working, working! Progress is going on on The Shire. We are hoping that the beginning of next year we will have a shelter to live in on the land and a fence all around!

The girls will come back from their holiday visits finding a big difference on their future home site. I know they will be excited about it.

I am dreaming of ways Johnny and I will impact and help the people who live near The Shire. At the moment, we are building friendships and talking to our neighbors. We have hired several to help in the developement. Many, if not all of them, have their very old parents living with them. It will interesting to see what how we can help... beyond what we are doing now.

That is what The Shire is about.



Today, Johnny & I went to town, picked up the cash for the fence, and then headed over to our friend Ali's place.

We sat and chatted over masala chai about the barn and the fence on The Shire. Tomorrow, Ali will start collecting the workers to help us in this project!

It is all so very exciting to know we will be getting that much closer to seeing a dream become a reality. That much closer to having a place to call our own and to be able to expand and do whatever and help whomever we please.


The End Results


The Campaign is over. Finished a few days ago, and the results are in. We raised $11,000 to help develop The Shire! Go ahead, a round of applause is in order.



We transferred the money from PayPal to the bank in California, and it arrived. Now it will be sent from California to Kenya and work will begin sometime this week if the transfer goes according to plan.


image from

Our plan, at the moment, is to start the fence work and the levelling of the barn site right away. According to Ali and others the barn will go up quickly. Not sure how long it will take for the fence, keep in mind all the post holes will be dug by hand. There will not even be a post hole digger involved. In fact fence construction and the building of the barn/house will be done without any power tools at all. Not because we are some kind of crazed building purists, but simply because there are no power tools. Nor is there electricity to power said power tools.


Again we want to say thank you to all who contributed to the special fund raising effort. We are blessed and honoured by your generosity. If you were unable to contribute during that campaign but still want to give towards the barn building effort, then just use the link on the side bar or bottom of this post and let us know it should go towards the barn/house.

Mashujaa Day

It is Mashujaa Day here in Kenya. A public holiday, was actually yesterday, but it was pushed onto Monday, to honor the men who fought in the struggle against the U.K. for Kenya's independence. Once upon a time, before August 2010 that is, it was known as Kenyatta Day after the first president. However to broaden the scope of those being honored the name was changed.

Most often Kenyans celebrate national holidays by sitting and listening to politicians give speaches. Not my idea of fun. Since all our t.v. watching is via DVD, we will not be seeing any speeches today. Instead we took Emma, our six year old, to a friends place for a phonics lesson. Then Kate and I (Johnny) headed out to The Shire to drop off some lime for the hut's walls. We also took the opportunity to work on the barn's plan and shoot a few videos. Apparently I got confused as to which was the record button, so we may have to re-shoot some videos later.

Some other friends are coming over for a bite of cake and to hear Emma read a story any minute now. Which does make it odd that I hear Kate talking about taking a bath, so maybe I am wrong about the whole cake and reading deal.

So happy, blessed, or whatever you say Mashujaa Day.

What Is a Day Anyway?

One day means something different to YouCaring than it does to me. We thought yesterday was the final day of the campaign, since all day YouCaring told us that there was one day left. However this morning when we woke up it was 21 hours left. So there you have it, one day is not the same for everyone.

That means there are a few hours left, officially, in the A Barn, A Fence, and A Dream fund raising effort.

We feel blessed with all the help that has come in so far. (Keep in mind that money can still be given after the campaign. Not only for the development of The Shire, but for our day to day expenses as well.) We have a little over 11,000 dollars, a bit has come in outside of the YouCaring platform.

Once the campaign actually ends we will share how the money will be spent specifically. Generally speaking we will buy 2 water tanks, build the fence, and get the main structure up for the barn/house. Unless we get another 2,000 dollars, at least, before the morning then we will not be buying the generator with this money. Like I said we will share more specific plans in the next few days.

Thank you to everyone who gave, shared, prayed, and otherwise helped us out in this special effort to get us on The Shire. We are humbled by your generosity.