Whitney, Margit and Aaron left Friday. We sent them off as the doctors from Tenwek Hospital arrived from Kenya. Dozens of children met us on the dirt airstrip for the send-off and welcoming party. Just as the plane brought us new friends, it turned around and went away with old friends. Margit and Whitney will be back for the CHE training on February 1st. Our team will be back in the U.S. by then. It was a pleasure meeting them and learning from the great work they are doing in the community. Aaron too will be missed, he is such a talented young man and made many constructions improvements to the compound. We wish them well.
The team from Tenwek included surgeon Dr. Russ White, Grants Coordinator and Russ’ nephew Gabriel Ellsworth, anesthetist Phillip Lamgat and surgical resident Elijah Mwaura. Before unloading their luggage, they joined PCC staff for a meeting with the County Commissioner to further express our security concerns and needs. Mary and I met with the women under their usual tree behind the hospital. I asked them their ideas and told them about the sewing and craft project. They clapped at ideas they liked. Every woman clapped as I explained how they could use their crafts to make money for themselves and their families. They said that even thought they heard last year that they would get sewing machines, they did not believe it until now. Eager to begin, I hope to get them to the machines to them within the next month or two, but definitely before the rainy season begins. In the rainy season it can rain all day with no breaks and they have nowhere to meet. We are praying that we can use one of the empty community buildings in the village until we have completed the construction of the Growth Center.
After the meeting, I found a large plastic bag and two sacks that I can use to collect empty plastic bottles. Following the Banana Box organization’s model, we are going to use recycled materials, melt them down and mold them into strips to weave baskets, make toys, mats and other crafts. Mary helped me sew up one of the torn sacks. On Tuesday, we will go to town with the boys and pack up bottles. Please pray for this project. The women finally have hope and we want their efforts to yield results. With the crafts and garments, they can sell them in the markets in surrounding towns as well as in churches here and the U.S.
The day was full and what better way to unwind then a drive in movie? Or in our case, a laptop propped against the barn, as we sat enjoying the movie, “We Bought A Zoo,” with a huge tub of popcorn. Nature was our amphitheater and the half moon and stars were our audience.