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Monday, June 20, 2011

Day 43 Kakamega June 20, 2011

Greetings

Today was a most awesome day it was the first time in my life that I had bought three wheel barrows full of cow poop.  I even got to mix the cow poop with DAP and dirt by hand.  Hezron picked me up at the guest house early this morning and we stopped by the agriculture store and picked up a hundred pounds of DAP.  This should be enough fertilizer to last for at least a year.  We arrived at the orchard site and some of the widows were there.  We gave them the instructions on the size holes and they commenced to digging.  As the morning and afternoon wore on more and more widows showed up.  We ordered three wheel barrows full of cow poop to mix with the fertilizer and dirt from the ground.  We finished out the spacing of the plants and I lost another 5 plants to spacing.  We have finished digging the holes and it came out to 169 plants.  Today we were able to plant only 76 plants because we ran out of sticks and the afternoon storm was coming in.  Tomorrow the widows will all bring 5 sticks and they will finish the planting of the orchard.  We dug holes about 2 feet cubed and then mixed the top soil with the cow poop and DAP as instructed by Pastor Robert Wafula at Wamula International.  We put in about a handful of DAP with a couple of big scoops of poop per hole and mixed it all together.  We filled the hole to about one inch below ground level to collect the rain to help dissolve the DAP into the soil.  In two weeks time we will mix the remainder of the top soil with the DAP and cow poop mixture and finish filling in the hole.  After we had planted all the seedlings we then secured the seedlings with twine against the support posts or sticks so they can make it up to the support wire.

Widow's passion fruit orchard ready to plant



Starting to dig the seedling holes



Getting done with lunch it's time to get back to work


Kakamega County Councilor Biana (her title would be similar to our State Representative or Senator) also came by this morning to express her gratitude and excitement for the widows to finally have something that can possibly get them some real income.  In fact she was so excited she came by to tell me she is donating a third of an acre for the widows to use.  If this goes well and the money proves to be what was promised then Biana and her husband would be willing to add another 18 acre plot and 3 acre plot to help support widows and orphans.  I would assume that they could use some of that income as well.  I told her that would be wonderful but we are quite a way from planting that many acres.  We want to take baby steps at first. Twenty one acres would require a whole different level of management and it would most likely require a paid staff to maintain it.  She understood and said we can talk about it at a later date.

Councilor Biana greeting the widows at lunch time



Third acre plot that Coucilor Biana and Husband donated to widow's



Tomorrow Hezron and I will be going back to Wamula International to talk with Pastor Robert about his NGO and how we can partner with them to provide the means to bring micro-finance funds into Kenya.  Robert has already said that his micro-finance objective is in the NGO Constitution but has never formalized it.  Whatever we want he is willing to help and let us use his NGO.  There are some details to work out to add some of our people to his board, create a bank account, notify the government of changes, and of course pay some fees.  It’s always about the money.  Also we will discuss the application process, distribution of funds, and how the money is to be paid back.  I have already checked the NGO status of Wamula International and every thing looks great.  Hopefully this process will not take too long to set up.

After we end our visit with Pastor Robert we will then head to Mumias and meet up with the Associate Bishop of Freedom Ministries to look at a used motor bike that he has found.  You remember he has been paying 300 Ksh a week for 3 years and has bought a used motor bike at least 6 times with his rent money.  A good used motor bike goes for around $500 or 40,000 Ksh.  He pays over 93,000 Ksh in rent per year on the motor bike he rides around on.  It is his source of income and in order to make a living he has to pay his 300 Ksh per day in rent and if he makes 600 Ksh a day his portion still has to pay for fuel and maintenance.  If he could own the bike and make lower payments his income would increase.  After the loan period he could then save some money and then sell his motor bike and buy new or even buy another used one and rent it out.  After we look at the motor bike we will then go and pay the balance of the support post money to Mathew.  After Mathew we will then head back to the orchard site to check the progress of the widows and hopefully they will have the site finished. 

I want you all to know today I watched these women work so very hard.  I took some pictures but they cannot show you the excitement, the gratitude, the joy, and the feeling of hope that these women now have.  I wish all of you could be here to see them, hear them, and talk with them first hand.  It’s enough to make you cry or at least I do.  Between them all they had nothing and now they have something to rally behind.  The orchard is taking shape and will be completely planted tomorrow or Wednesday.  With their nurturing of these plants they will start to have an income in 6 months time.  I am planning to be back here in Kenya for the first harvest or sometime near then.  I might have to even make a trip back in September or October time will tell.  I cannot tell you how blessed I am that God has brought me here to help these women.  They constantly thank me for what I am doing for them and I do appreciate their kind words but it’s not about me.  It’s about Him.  I continue to struggle with this and believe me if it was about me I wouldn’t be doing this.  I am so out of my comfort zone and as of today I still cannot believe I am even doing this.  There is so much faith wrapped into this and I always feel I just don’t have enough of it to keep me going.  However its days like today that my faith strengthens when I can look at these women and see their happiness I know that God has his hands on these women.  I am so happy to be a part of it.

Wrapping up the day before the daily storm comes in



All the holes are dug and 76 passion fruit seedlings planted



A passion fruit seedling ready to grow



Group photo of widow's and some area pastors


Be blessed and consider your blessings they can be gone in an instant.

Dave

3 comments:

  1. Good work, Dave! Good to hear your voice yesterday and I'm sorry Steve had to twist my words around :)! Hope you have a blessed day and thankful you see the joy and appreciation the widows have!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks. No need to be sorry. Steve's a numbers guy. He can't help it. I really do
    appreciate all comments. The Wood boys do need to be more emotional.

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  3. Dave,
    I am blessed to be a part of you in this program. The Busia - Nairobi people have appreciated your efforts and the Development partners who care to help us move a step ahead.You are always in our prayers.Greet all your friends both locally and internationally,
    Rev. Ososo Carol Alois
    DISTRICT SUPERINTENDENT,
    NAIROBI DISTRICT,
    THE UNITED METHODIST CHURCH,
    EAST AFRICA ANNUAL CONFERENCE.

    ReplyDelete