Diane Greenwood

Thinking about…

A big day!

So there are two reasons why this is a big day. I will start with Nikki and I. Today were rostered on to the kitchen duties. Well I had been in and out of the kitchen – washed a few plates – made a few loaves of toast – peeled a few potatoes – but seriously was not prepared fro what Lillian does each day.

So we served breakfast, cause by the time we got to the kitchen the porridge was already made and hot. After that we made lentil soup with rice for lunch, we chopped and chopped and chopped. I will never complain when cooking for 2 – let’s just say that there was a lot of veggies to feed a lot of people.

Nikki and I chopping

Chantelle came to visit us in the kitchen – and Mr.Fly on my arm

The little kids lunch

David praying for lunch

Lillian with all the big children’s lunch ready to serve

Big children’s lunch time

Sophie praying

While i was in the kitchen the plumber for the new mud huts came with Mary and asked if they could look at our mud hut to see where he should put the plumbing points. I took him along and he came inside, had a look and on the way out he found a stone (he was carrying a big knife – who knows why?) then he proceded to note down the layout on the stone. Like a little plan. He he … I asked if he wanted a pen and paper – he said “You have pens?” I said yes and then gave him something to note down so he could take it with him. The african contractors way!

The stone with the plan – not too easy to see

The second big thing is … the group arrived … I sit here with everyone in their mud huts. Thank you God for getting them all here safe and I hope that this is the begining of a VERY big adventure.

Sabbath, Biscquit Run + Nakuru Town

So yesterday it was Sabbath. I started the day with a little bit of reading, then we went and helped the children get ready for Sabbath school. Nikki and I came back after Sabbath school to cook a quiet breakfast. We have been savoring our time together because 9 others are coming soon and we really wanted to just spend some time together. Should just say that we have done some amazing things together and we will cherish moments together and how we have been given the chance to give.

Last night we were talking to Mary about Sabbath and 7th Day Adventist’s. It is really interesting to think about a whole day just focused on God. That means everything from washing to business exchanges (buying anything) from sundown on Friday to sundown on Saturday. One of the good things though is that on Saturday’s sometimes Ivan does bisquit’s run. God’s work on Sabbath Day, giving, is part of Sabbath.

Ivan got the car ready and as we waited in the driveway he told us a few things. We prayed for the children that we were about to meet. He prayed for their patience and also that they would not be too rowdy. We were soon to find out why – who could blame them, we were handing out free biscquits.  In Kenya, people pronounce this buscquit word as it is written. “BIS-QUIT” “BIS-QUIT” “BIS-QUIT” so as we went down the road the commotion started. 

Our first “BIS-QUIT” handout – Nikki and Josh

Isaac handing out a “BIS-QUIT”

Me with Bonnie on my lap, Isaac under my arm and Josh in the red in front all with “BIS-QUITS”

Josh handing out as we stopped

Franko and Josh with a baby calf at one of the stops

Franko with a chick at the stop

It is so important to note that as we drove through the village we saw so much of MIA in there. There were water tanks here and there and we stopped at the Maturi family, who were a family that suffered from multiple mental illness’, Ivan and MIA had been able to get some money together to get them into a lockable home as the community were taking advantage of them. A very horrible story and so much better for having MIA in the community. The work of MIA stretches more than just visibly through this community. Ivan had people running to the front of the van to greet him with hugs, “my brother” one lady told us, another told us that “God was with us”. This place is so much better off with MIA in the community. MIA give to their community as well as their children – thank you for that MIA. If people want to give to GIFTS IN ACTION I highly recommend that it will be money spent that you will see the rewards for, money that you can trust, delivery and love included.

In the evening we went into Nakuru for dinner and a boogie, needless to say this is Kenya, so the boogie came before the dinner – the dinner was late!

Left: Darma, Nikki, Me, Kennedy, Lorrene, Peta and Wesley

TODAY

Was a very quiet day. Nikki and I started in the kitchen early. To say that we peeled a potato is an understatement. We did about 100 and I will not appreciate more when I get home cooking for Russ and I, maybe we only eat 1 potato a meal – if that!

We headed into town to do some shopping for the arrival of our friends. We got some water, some welcome treats, and some decorations. We also went to the market and brought a few things – Nikki actually brought me a beautiful Christmas present – Russ it is amazing and going on a wall in our new house (whenever that happens!) Also, Peta who we went in with dressed up as a Masai and was scaring everyone on the street, she is one hilarious character!

 Peta in Masia outfit, with her carrot hands (yep we got potatos and she got carrots)

Water Tanks + HIV Testing

YESTERDAY

I didn’t post yesterday as again I spent the day in bed feeling pretty unwell. We reflected on a few things over the day while in our little mud hut:

  • again how amazing it was to be here in such a family atmosphere
  • how much this place is involved in the community
  • how when we were putting the hampers together Mrs. Pastor she reminded us of many bible stories and where biblical names came from and who was married to who

Pretty much a quiet day in the house for me and then I went and had some dinner and went bed after laughing really hard with Nikki and Peta.

TODAY

So today Nikki and I split up for the first time since we had really been together :( Nikki spent the day here at MIA doing HIV testing and had a really special time with Mary/Carers/Dr/Sarah and the children. She said that there were times that nothing was said and silence filled the room awaiting results.  The children were so brave as they had their tests, there were a few screams, but nothing a kiss and a cuddle couldn’t fix. The time was special and something that Nikki will not forget. 

While Nikki was at MIA I went into the village with some other volunteers and installed a water tank. It was a Grandma’s (Sho Sho) house. We met the grandchild, Mercy, who watched us for the whole project.

We began by removing the old guttering and facia from the old tank

We removed an old timber platform in the location for the tank and also dig the base for the tank to sit on and also the hole for the bucket to be filled up in. At the same time we also made sure that the water run off on the block was diverted around the tank; a bit of civil infrastructure

We connected the brackets for the gutters to sit on, with lots of help from John and Bill (??) making sure that they were level and fell into the tank. Gavin (a MIA volunteer who is also a plumber) made the final connections and also connected the tank to the guttering.

We connected everything up, added the MIA sticker to the front (this is a donation from someone). This is Mercy and her Sho Sho watching as I sticker their new tank.

In all, about 3 hours later, a fully installed tank and donated tank from MIA into the local community.

I can say today was a great day. Another day that MIA has put it’s fingers and roots into this community and village. Can’t wait to see what tomorrow brings. It is sabbath here tomorrow so I can’t wait for a rest and rejuvenation. 

Christmas Hampers

So today we helped put together the Christmas Hampers that people all donated through Gifts in Action.

Nikki and I got up early and met Lillian (Mrs. Pastors) at the MIA General Store. We were given a list of families that had been identified to receive packs. We sat together and put together and measured the flour, sugar and ugali (maize). It was so nice to do some good work for others. Packing we reflected on the great Christmas dinners that we had and also how lucky we are to have most of the things that we were packing for families in need. 

Ugali all measured out ready to go in the hampers

The sugar and all the laundry soap ready – Lillian (Mrs. Pastor)

Family packs on the way to being ready

Me, Nikki, Lillian putting some last touches in the packs

The pack included: sugar, ugali (maize), flour, rice, cooking fat, cordial, matches, candles, laundry soap, sweets for the kids with biscuits, salt and tea. 

The last things we have to do is put the toys and the clothes. If the family has a small child we will add a baby pack, if they need a hygiene pack we give them on of those. 

After packing we wondered back to our mud hut and spoke about if my computer would play DVD’s. Nikki and I got some DVD’s in Mombasa. We came back to the mud hut and gave it a go and yeah it worked! The story gets better … the other night I saw Mary making popcorn in a pot with oil, so I thought why not. Nikki found some popping corn in the cupboard and I went and got some oil. We watched the movie and Nikki reminded me that we are here to live the opportunities we have right now. 

Popcorn – who needs a popcorn machine! 

Nikki and I set up with the laptop and a DVD – we watched the afternoon away!

After movie it was a typical night of dinner routine, worship, getting kids ready for bed and then dinner for us upstairs. Nikki and I were able to eat tonight – yay – we had spinach on toast! Yum!

Now we too are off to bed. 

MIA School + Achoo’s Birthday

Yesterday Nikki and I felt heaps better and we were up and about in the morning.We went over to the school and started sorting out classroom 4. There were heaps of desks, chairs, clothes and a lot of other things that I am not sure how or what they are going to use them for.

They are planning to open the school on January 20, 2010. So we are hoping that all of us from Glen Waverley will be able to make this happen while we are here.

Classroom with the desks and chairs organised

Nikki stacking stuff back into trailer

In the afternoon I pretty much crashed again and slept some more. I was not feeling good again. But it was also Matthew’s birthday. Another volunteer here is Matthews sponser was here for his birthday and she gave him a bike. We spent some of the afternoon with Tammy and Achoo playing with his new toy.

Matthew (Achoo) with Tammy on his 3rd birthday

Nikki and I were really in a good mood today – we put Jason’s music and it really piped us up and we sang and had a bit of a boogie. Thanks Jas can’t wait to have you here with us. xoxo

 

Christmas at MIA

So on Sunday (13th) MIA had their Christmas party. It was a combination of all the children, all the staff, their families, all the volunteers and because the gate had been left open there were some people from the community as well. In all there were just over 100 people. We had it in the new half made restaurant area which was really good to be outside and have everyone in the same place.

Decorating the restaurant area for the party

All of us walking over to the restaurant

My Christmas lunch – rice, vegetable pattie, chapati, salad and beans

This was all the adults sitting after Christmas lunch

On the first night Nikki and I were here we put together some Christmas bags for all the children. After lunch we handed out all the bags to the children. It is not very often that they get sweets or anything here, so when the bags came (they had a toy, a chocolate bar, jelly beans, lollypop, chips, soda drink) they were very very excited. 

Mary handing out the bags

Shiko with her bag – waiting to open it up – SO CUTE!

Jemma with her bag

David (Hoover), Lillian, Mikey and Shiko (Lillian)

Jacob (Chucky) or Nikki has given him the name Spunk! He loves it!

The cake

After lunch Martha, Mission II, Mary, Ivan and Sarah cut the cake.

The day was pretty full with action and fun. Although poor Nikki was in bad for half the day, she missed some of the party :( 

I should also say that I have spent the last couple of days in bed with a good dose of gastro. Hopefully I have got rid of it before the others get here. Don’t think I can remember being this sick. Feeling on the up now – so I will update more frequently. 

Only 5 days till Neil, Jas, Kat, Alanee, Bec, Tracey, Rose, Bethany and Ben get here :)

 

MIA Sabbath Day

All of us on the way to Sabbath School

Sunday

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Sabbath Day

So today was Sabbath Day at MIA. No working, a family lunch, Sabbath School for the children and then Church for us. Lots of playing with the kids. What a peaceful and restful day! Thank you God. Amen.

I might have to think about a Sabbath when I get home.

Nakuru – Mission in Action – MIA

Alright so it is the 12th and we have been here at MIA for 2 and a half days. Because we are here for 3 weeks I have not spent much time getting photo’s. We have been playing with the kids and hopefully getting into working.

First impressions are glowing! These people are an inspiration to those kids. It is all about the kids really and you can see it. Although this place is very different to what I expected (or to what I saw in Mombasa) it has surprised me in many ways. Words that come to mind being here already are love and family. Two things that this place exposes as you walk in the door. There will be many photo’s to come :) But to start … 

Timothy (Tim Tam) and I before worship/bed last night

Shimba Hills – Mombasa

While my grandparents were in Nairobi they stayed in this place called the Treetops. This place in Shimba Hills was the same company and has built a hotel out of native timbers and it is like a big tree house. Also, last time Nikki had some friends that went and stayed at this place but Nikki missed out going last time so we made the trip for a night (8th). It was beautiful. It is also a part of a National Park Reserve and so we went for a few drives and were able to see a few animals.

This is the lodge/tree house

Baboons along the road

Dragon lizard below the tree house
Squirrel lying like on rail in the restaurant
Elephant …duh!
Pumbah
Beautiful clouds
A special type of antelope that they had not seen for a while – wrote the name down somewhere
Baboons as we were leaving
On the way there and back we had to catch a ferry. On the way there was fine. On the way back we had a 2.5 hour line to get on the ferry. Someone stopped and told our driver that a car had fallen off the ferry (the brakes didn’t work!) We are still a little shocked at how this happened – not sure that we will ever get an answer – we just hope that no one was in the car!
It was a very big change to the last couple of days we spent. In fact there were times when Nikki and I commented that it was so quiet and peaceful coming straight from Mombasa. After this night we went back and spent one more night at the Castle (9th) before leaving to go to Nakuru.
Typical bay of Matatu’s on the roads of Mambasa. Nikki and I travelled in many – at one time I counted 17 of us in the car! For only 20KSH it is well worth the trip and an understandable mode of ‘simple’ transport.

Mombasa – Bamburi – Restoration

Firstly I should warn – this is a long entry. Now that I have finished I thought I should just put this to begin with :)

So the last couple of days have flown by. We have been so busy we have not really had much time to stop. On Friday night (4th) we went out for a drink with Milton, who I am sure would love to have taken Nikki home to his mother – in exchange for camels of course!

In the morning (5th) we were met by Olympas who took us on a Matatu to Bamburi to our homestay. We settled in and we met Mohammed again (picked me up from the airport). Moham made us a lovely lunch and then we went for a walk to pirates beach, I had a swim in the VERY warm water (it was like I was looking for a ‘cold spot’) and then we hung out at the beach for the night – had some drinks – watched some games for a Hindu Beach Party – travelled home (very interesting ride home – I think we broke the car)

Front of House

Our Bedroom

Pirates Beach

Camel on Beach

Umbrella and Boat at Sunset

The next day in the homestay we started off the morning with some Swahili breakfast. Moham and I made Chai together – with Tangawizi (a ginger spice for a sore throat), I have got the recipe for me to bring home – so no more visiting Coco’s cause I have Moham’s Chai. We spent the rest of the day in Mombasa Town – had a great lunch at Moham’s friends restaurant (which we will go back to when we are back in town).

Bathroom Homestay

Kitchen Homestay

Today is the 7th and it has been a big day to say the least. Today Nikki took me to Restoration Orphanage, where she worked for 2½ months 2 years ago. As we got out the car the kids came running to it. Eric remembered Nikki and through his arms around her and hugged her tight. It was emotional. To see her with those kids, Serena, Eric, Lynette … and all the others. Nikki introduced me to all the ones she remembered. We gave them all sweets. We then went for a walk to the school – which unfortunately in the rainy season had been badly damaged (when it fell it actually killed one of the children). As I walked to the school one of the girls attached herself to me – Sauda. Oh, I held her hand as hard as she held mine. She tucked her sweets between my hand and hers and said ‘hold?’, so we did until we got back to the orphanage. When we got back it was lunch time for the kids – so Nikki and I walked down the road to the store and Nikki got them some Fanta and Coke to go with lunch. When we came back they were excited – lots of photo’s, lots of singing for us and they loved our sunglasses.

 

Nikki handing out sweets

Lunch time with Eric and Serena

Eric, Lynette, Nikki and Serena

Lynette, Christopher (in front), Me, Eric and Justin

This part of our day was the hardest – but important, so I will be quick – after being led through the village by one of the boys we found Mapenzi. Nikki gave her a small angel and got someone to explain that someone was watching over her. We waited for her mum who was praying in her small house. We left what we had with us for her and the family and left with a sense of misunderstanding (a few things to process really).

Mapenzi with her sister and the angel – this is hope

Mapenzi and her sister infront of their house

So after the visit to Restoration and after talking with the kids, Mohammed, Willie and Hussein came and picked us up and we asked if we could make a trip to Nakumart to collect some things that the kids had mentioned in their chats. Some of them commented on not having any shoes – so we bought some shoes. Lynette asked for some socks – so we bought some socks. Eric asked for a bike – so we got a boys bike and we also got a girls bike (thanks to a special couple who’s donation paid for the girls bike). We also bought some food (maize, rice, basmati rice, salt, sugar, oil etc). We took them back to restoration – thanks to the boys for taking us all the way and just being so supportive.

Willie and Hussein with the food trolley and shoes

Group shot of kids and bikes

3 girls all with new shoes and the girls bike

Me and Sauda with her new shoes

This was one of the best days I have had. Those kids just wanted loving and we gave them what we can. Thanks to Nikki for letting me share this with her. Thanks to the people who donated the money that meant we could do what we did. Everyone who has given to us has been so generous.

Also during that day we went and visited Moham’s shop, and his cousin Nasim came over and we cooked dinner together.

 Mohammed in his shop – upholstering seats for Matatu’s

Upholstered seats at the shop

Nasim, Nikki and I cooking dinner

What a great/long/sunburnt/emotional/giving day! That is it till next time.