Friday, May 24, 2013

Three Things

Every week that passes here feels so full, but this past week in particular was extremely busy! There were three main things that I want to catch you up on. Honestly I could probably write a post on each one, but I won't. I will just give you the highlights.

First- Last weekend, May 17-18, we had a training at the office. It was a training for trainers. In a week we will be hosting a big training for all of the leadership teams that our organizers have recruited from their communities. Natalie and Ken facilitated a training to train our organizers and a few more local leaders to help lead the next big training. It was an incredible experience for me because it was the first time I got to participate in a training. To see people come together and find a shared purpose is a powerful experience. It was a couple of long days, but it was impossible to walk away without reaching a new level of gratitude that I get to be a part of this work. 
The group who attended the training!
David and I outside the Shalom House
Second- We received a visit from Rev. David Copley from the church office in New York this past week. I picked him from the airport Tuesday evening after his flight was delayed a couple of hours. We had a great dinner, but unfortunately we made a bad decision on accommodation. Even though we did not get much sleep, Wednesday morning we were up early and Zach Drennen, another missionary, picked us up from the hotel. While Zach and David spent some time together I was able to get some work done. That afternoon Natalie picked David and I up so we could go and attend a meeting in Ngong with Rose and Jacob, community organizers there. The meeting was for the community to decide who would be a part of their leadership team and how they could ensure equal representation from all areas within Ngong. It was amazing! Jacob did a fantastic job facilitating the meeting and the way in which the community has already taken ownership of their project is so encouraging. There were stakeholders from all areas of the community: church leaders, the area chief, youth and others. David, at the end of the meeting, brought us back to the Baptismal covenant and the part of it that talks about respecting the dignity of EVERY human being and how our work is in line with that. He was very encouraging about Tatua's model. I am very grateful that he was able to come. For those of you outside the YASC program, you need to understand that David is like our Papa Bear. And really everyone at the church office takes such good care of us and when we get to see them it is wonderful!

Third- Yesterday I went and visited Dagoretti Children's Home with Vickie, Maya, and Purity from Nafisika Trust. Nafisika is the organization working in the prisons here that I have gotten to do a little work with since I have been here. Dagoretti Children's Home is a government run remand center for girls who have committed petty crimes or are considered low and medium risk. The grounds were really peaceful. About 80 girls currently live there and attend school there. The school buildings they use were built in 1922! Believe it or not they look better than some other schools I have seen here. Nafisika wants to start doing more work with children and youths so as a first step in getting to know Dagoretti Children's Home we want to hold a 'Fun Day' event there on June 15th to celebrate African Day of the Child. If you would like to help support this event financially please let me know. We have a goal of raising $400 to make this possible so any contribution would be extremely helpful. Please send me an email to if you can help.

School building that was built in 1922!

On another note- I am going to Ethiopia tomorrow! I will be going to meet my friend Abby there and we will do some traveling around and site seeing. Don't worry pictures will come soon after I return.

As always na shukuru sana sana! (I am very very thankful for you all!) Summer has started for most of you now so enjoy the sunshine.