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Friday, June 24, 2011

Day 47 Kakamega June 24, 2011


Today the power was going in and out before the daily storm arrived.  So I thought I better start writing because the storm is on the horizon and it sounds nasty.  Doesn’t matter I lost power anyway.  This morning I decided to go out and see if I can get a reduction in the cost of the support wire for the passion fruit.  I had purchased the first wire for 250 Ksh a kilogram.  I found out if I can buy it in larger quantities I can reduce the cost to 150 Ksh a kilogram.  I also found out I can reduce the seedling cost and the cost of the lumber considerably to plant much more acreage if bought in quantity.  Where we were paying 80 Ksh to 100 Ksh for timber the cost can be reduced to possibly 60 Ksh to 80 Ksh even for larger end posts that we are proposing.  The total cost of the widow's orchard is as follows.

6090 Ksh Passion fruit seedlings              
5400 Ksh Support posts
1650 Ksh Support post holes                   
1680 Ksh Fence posts                             
3100 Ksh Barb Wire
6875 Ksh Support wire
2000 Ksh Preparing the plot
2000 Ksh Plowing the plot
3650 Ksh Fertilizer
800 Ksh Fence work
510 Ksh U-nails

Total   33,755 Ksh or about $400 depending on the exchange rate.

If we were able to buy some of these items in bulk there is no doubt we could have planted this orchard for about $300 including the fence.  After my shopping this morning I returned to the guest house and waited for Pastor Robert Wafula to come and discuss what he had found out at the bank.

Pastor Robert arrived a little after and was joined an hour later by Dr. Moni Wekesa one of the board members of Wamula International.  Dr. Wekesa is the Dean, School of Law at Mount Kenya University in Nairobi and is Wamula International’s legal advisor.  Pastor Robert is also a member of the National Council of NGO’s here in Kenya.  So between the two of them I should be able to get the answers we need to move forward.  We had lunch and discussed the details of the micro-finance operation and our desire to have the internet banking control key with the signatory in the United States having sole authority of distributing and receiving funds.  I am told again not a problem.  Dr. Wekesa believes that this should not create a problem and because the NGO is international in scope the control key can be in the United States with sole authority.  He told me that he used to be the Kenyan representative with the Special Olympics here in Kenya and is used to having authority and money coming from the US.  He seems to be familiar on how the international banking system works.  I am so glad because I do not.  I believe the next step is to get the account open and bring the internet banking key to the United States.  I am looking to open the account on the ninth of July at the Mumias branch of Equity bank.  Dr. Wekesa will also review all the loan documents that we are to use and make sure that they meet the legal requirements here in Kenya.  I guess it is good to have a Lawyer on the board to help reduce the costs a little. 

After about a couple of hours going over as much as possible we ended the meeting and I thanked them both for coming and I am hopeful that we can get this partnership to work properly.  You know sometimes I just don’t know how to react.  These last few years have been extraordinary and sometimes just down right mind numbing.  How can this be I am so out of my league but yet it seems to be coming together.  I don’t know why I keep doubting all of this.  I can see that I am not in control, I wait and the answer is revealed.  However in my little pea brain I keep thinking this is all too good to be true and you know what happens when we believe things are too good to be true.  They are too good to be true.  I can’t help it but I feel that something really bad is going to happen to disrupt all this. 

Tomorrow morning it is off to Eldama Ravine to meet up with Ken and Susan for a trip up to Maralal in Northern Kenya.  The trip to Maralal is long so I assume we will be leaving Sunday morning.  I need to pack up but it is dark in my room.  Why can't the power go out in the daytime?        
Take care and God bless


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