BIKIDZAYA – REPORT 5September 17, 2023
BIKIDZAYA & MAORO – REPORT 7September 22, 2023
Habari za jioni, marafiki na familia (Good evening, friends, and family),
We returned from our Safari excursion yesterday. It was a great little break from our work and an opportunity to take in some of the natural beauty of this country. We saw 4 of the Big Five, and were well educated by our guides and the Masai village that we visited. Everywhere we go we are impressed with the simple life that Kenyans have chosen, the respect that they show towards each other and the love they have towards their land and its resources. We met with Leah once arriving back in Mombasa and all gathered at a nearby restaurant. We decided that part of the way we could show our appreciation for the Kamoti’s support during our stay was to take them out for the evening. Mama Kamoti specifically had never visited the beach and it was so much fun switching roles (hosting them to a nice dinner and fun evening). This same group of women, led by Leah, had visited Swaleh’s (our previous driver) wife earlier in the day to see how the family is doing after the passing of their guardian husband and father. Between KOINS and Grant Victor Cares, we have decided to provide some financial support over the next 4 months as the family is in mourning and will not have any source of income. Swaleh’s wife was happy to hear of how her husband had spent his last week with the family, and of the service he had provided her local community. We figured that the attached picture, taken by Christopher, was the last picture that anyone took of Swaleh. This dinner seemed therapeutic for the Kamoti family as I’m sure this tragedy is reminiscent of the sudden loss of their breadwinner and family patriarch (Mr. William Kamoti).
Each day we encountered privileged private moments shared with the KOINS for Kenya team, the students, the villagers, and each other. Tonight is our last evening in the warm embrace of the Kamoti family. As I sit here typing this there is currently a group of eight girls chanting Judah’s name, he has been quite the hit with the children everywhere we have traveled. As the dance party continues most of the travel team has gone outside and are sharing stories and summaries of what has touched each of them the most. The last night here in the Kamoti home is always bittersweet, we are so thankful, and humbled by the support and love of the Kamoti family, and the support from each one of you.
Today, we loaded up into the van to go to a local medical clinic (our urgent care facility). This one was staffed by 1 nurse, 1 assistant nurse, 1 office manager, and 1 community outreach staff member that is required to check up on patients in the surrounding villages after care had been given. When the van pulled up they had approximately 45 parents and children awaiting care. (This Medical Center serves 20000 people from the surrounding villages.) We were blessed by arriving right after a mother had given birth to a baby daughter. To say this Medical Center was busy is an understatement. We delivered much needed medical supplies, baby blankets and had a brief Q&A with the staff. One of the things they let us know is they currently unable to administer any shots due to the “shot bins” (red waste buckets for used needles) were all currently full, and that the government had not been out for some time. The head nurse let us know that if they could build an incinerator, they would never have this problem again. After the Q&A we loaded back into the van to head to Maoro to check on the progress of construction since the groundbreaking.
There are so many thoughts and impressions, from the beautiful Kenyan smiles that seem to generate from the soul outward, the light in the children’s eyes when they played with us or even taught us some Swahili, the laughter when we tried to repeat the phrase correctly. The tireless work from Leah from Koins for Kenya, and her team overseeing the construction of the school in Maoro. Repeatedly we have been met with, joy, love, generosity, acceptance, and a shared love of life.
As we pulled into the schoolyard we were met by joyous singing and smiling faces from the learners (students) and teachers. Having an entire school sing your arrival is unlike anything I have experienced, it touches me deep within my soul, and always brings a smile to my face. We made our way around the school to see the progress of the new classrooms; it was staggering to see the progress made in just a week. Each drop of water needed for construction is manually carried in buckets by the village women, each brick in made by hand using a brick making machine and hand mixed cement, the rebar is bent by hand to make the forms. We were all blown away, and a little sad as we gathered with the construction team to take a farewell picture and board the van. Buffalo, Nzole, Leah, and team we thank you from the bottom of our hearts for everything you continue to do. Steve and Nancy Littlefield, our faithful shepherds leading the way we thank you, and love you both dearly. To you at home, to those that support this effort year after year asking for no recognition and openly giving from your hearts, to Grant Victor and the Grantvictorcares.org Asante Sana!
From the team:
Rhet / Ellerie – Today is bittersweet. Its our last night at the Kamoti’s house. It has been such a wonderful trip but we miss you all back home as well. We went to the dispensary today and it was such a great experience. While we were there a mother had her baby. It’s pretty amazing to see how fast they are in and out after giving birth. It was a humbling experience. We are very lucky back home in the US. We can’t wait to come home and see everyone. Peace/Love
Michaela – Visiting the dispensary was heavy on the heart. While we were there a mother had her sweet baby. The strength these women have to only have 6 hours there and then they either walk home or take a piki piki (motorcycle taxi) home with baby in their arms. I am so grateful for this eye opening heartwarming experience. Thank you to everyone at home that has supported this incredible effort here in Kenya.
Steve – The entire trip has been another successful Grant Victor trip. I’m overwhelmed when seeing the progress of construction of the school in Maoro. I spent time with Buffalo as he explained the construction process. They do such a good job. What a dedicated group of workers. Grant Victor can be proud of the quality of the classroom, water cistern, toilets, and desks that have been built with their donations.
Nancy – well, today was a delightful day in Rabai. We traveled to a dispensary to take supplies---one of the most emotional things I do here. Seeing the mothers and children lined up patiently waiting for medial help is heart wrenching. They are so patient. But, we were able to be there as a baby entered the world and see here just minutes after birth. The tiny baby lay in her grandmother’s arms while her mother was taken care of. I was able to give the mom a new pink fleece blanket. It was a highlight for me. The return to Maoro was fun too---to see the progress of the classroom construction. I have loved being here---I will treasure it always.
Lauren & Cory – Today we stopped at a local medical clinic on our way to Maoro. We handed out medical supplies and met the staff running the facility. They informed us that a woman was in the process of giving birth. By the time we toured the maternity building the baby was born. We were told the woman would stay at the clinic for only a few hours before returning home with her baby with a couple of Tylenol and a blanket. After saying goodbye to the medical staff, we went to check on the progress in Maoro. The school foundation was laid and the walls were about 3 feet tall. All of the work was being done by hand and the women were carrying buckets of water from the waterhole to mix the cement. It was crazy to think the school would be completed in 3 short weeks. It was a bittersweet moment as we left the village. On a happy note, we also stopped at the wood carvers and watched the men to their fantastic work. The skill and the meticulous care put into the wood carvings was impressive to see. One last market run to grab some fun snacks and drinks was another morale booster.
Chelsey – Today we were able to visit a dispensary. One magic moment is when a woman gave birth to a beautiful baby girl while we were there. It amazes me how strong the women are here. She just had a baby and immediately got up to walk. It’s our last night here and all the emotions are flooding in. What an amazing experience this was. As sad as I am to leave, I can promise that these moments will never be forgotten. I can’t wait to tell my family everything I’ve learned and experienced. This trip will forever be in my heart.,
Authored by Christopher Rawson