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Report on our 2019 Project Journey to Kenya — First Visits

Office of Foerderkreis Kenia Freudenstadt e.V., Germany. Translated version. Original version first published December 1, 2019. Page 1/6.

IN FEBRUARY THIS YEAR, some of our five society members travelling to the Kenyan highlands took pictures shown on this page. To protect the privacy of the supported persons, the report contains again a small selection of images only with the names and other personal information of the aid recipients being deleted from this Internet version of the report. We thank all our members participating in the project journey for their detailed account. While reading the following report, you may navigate to the next page by clicking the "Next Page" link on the top and bottom right corners of each page.

Saturday, February 02, 2019: Germany — Nairobi / Kenya

Joint visit of society members and supported student to the Catholic sisters.
Joint visit of society members and supported student to the Catholic sisters.

Our journey began early in the morning with our departure in Stuttgart to Frankfurt and then on with a passenger jet, an A330-300, directly to Nairobi, flight time 7.5 hours.
It was a very quiet and pleasant flight.
Due to the time difference of two hours compared to Germany it was already late in the evening when we arrived in Kenya. After completion of the entry formalities and a problem-free customs control, our driver and a colleague of his were already waiting for us with their vehicles. We already knew the driver for several years and were quite happy to use his reliable driving services again. After the warm welcome we went through Nairobi to the youth center of the KELC (Kenyan Evangelical Lutheran Church). It was already midnight when we arrived. We were welcomed by warm hugs by three acquaintances, including the housekeeper and cook who has been working in the youth center of the Evangelical Church for many years. After having brought the baggage to our simply furnished rooms and had some fruit, our first evening in Kenya ended.

Sunday, February 03, 2019: Nairobi — Karen — Nairobi

Supported student of medicine with donated physician's bag.
Supported student of medicine with donated physician's bag.

After breakfast we discussed our agende for the next days. Two of us attended the service on the KELC property, held in Swahili, the national language of Kenya. The rest of us were now preparing our baggage for the upcoming trips to Kanyoni and Doldol. For lunch in the KELC building we had invited four supported persons. All of them received the annual support from our society and one supported student received a backpack and school supplies. An artisan from the Nairobi City Market, a good friend of one of our group, showed us his batiks and leather goods, some of which changed hands. In the meantime, our driver pulled his Toyota Landcruiser into the yard for our planned trip to Karen, a Nairobi suburb. On the way we were joined by the medical student supported by the society and all were happy to see each other again. Together we went to our planned destination, the Superior Sister and the other sisters of the Catholic Order of the "Daughter's of the Sacred Heart". The place being laid out like a small monastery, situated between two quiet woods, all but one of the participants had already been guests in these rooms in the past and we were glad to be here again. So there was no need for a formal greeting: We were warmly held in our arms and everyone welcomed us. First a traditional tea with pastries and fruit and then we sat together in the shade of the inner yard. The Superior of the Order in Kenya, originally founded in Malta, is responsible for the organization and distribution of all sisters who are sent out throughout East Africa. Previously being the Director of the Coastal Sistership at the coastal community of Baharini/Mpeketoni, she is now head of the affiliated girls' boarding school. A big surprise was up next for the medical student: She received from our society a physician's bag with basic equipment, filled with a blood pressure monitor, stethoscope, eye lamp, surgical instruments, ampoule box and a pair of special scissors. There were big eyes and gave thanks, embracing us with joy. For the background, we refer to the reports of the past years. She is currently completing her practical year in a clinic situated in the highlands. Two of our participants presented another one of our group the property's farming equipment, the cow stables, pigs and chickens as well as the training building for prospective nuns currently serving fourteen novices. In the evening our driver brought us back to the KELC via Langata, past Wilson Airport and along Nairobi National Park.

Monday, February 04, 2019: Nairobi — Kanyoni — Doldol

Visit to supported family.
Visit to supported family.
Trip to the highlands
Early in the morning our driver brought us to Kanyoni, a tour on an asphalt road until Thika but then on a bumpy gravel road until we reached our destination. A local family father supported by us was already waiting at our meeting place on the village square. The family father is known to the society since its foundation and has been supported ever since. As a thalidomide case with only arm and leg stumps, the society's project coordinator got to know him as early as the 1970s. As with every visit, food for the family was bought in the village shop, sponsored by our society. Then we went by car to the small estate of the family father, where we received a very warm welcome from the whole family. In front of the house his daughter was sitting at her sewing machine, which had been bought by the society two years earlier. The eldest son showed us their pineapple fields, bushes with macadamia nuts and passion fruit trees downhill below the house. By the end of this year the whole area has to be abandoned due to a major dam project which will be used to supply the constantly growing population of Nairobi with water. The father of the family receives financial compensation from the government for his 5.5-hectare plot, from which he can buy new land, build a house and sow new fields. The produce from his current land, mainly timber and some crops, may still be sold. After receiving the compensation, the family must have left the land within six months. So far, however, the family father and his family have not made any effort to pay for or purchase any new property. This was completely incomprehensible to us. In the pavilion next to the house the annual support and distribution of the clothes took place. In addition, one of our travel participants and the members of the society's board had set aside an emergency aid sum for the ad-hoc support of individuals in need from which he now received a donation for the purchase of replacement artificial limbs for his leg stumps. The old ones had already become fragile and caused corresponding difficulties. When asked about the employment situation of his daughter with the sewing machine, he explained that there would be only occasional clothes repairs, nothing else. We were not at all satisfied with this statement, openly expressing our amazement, and made it absolutely clear that it is necessary for them to actively seek out orders by themselves. Following an invitation of the father and his family, the stay ended by having lunch together in their house paid for, of course, by us but after the previous discussions this ended not as joyful as the meetings we had the years before.

Landscape in the highlands.
Landscape in the highlands.
Driving to Doldol
After having bid them farewell our driver drove again past Thika, then continuing via Nyeri and Nanyuki and then along the Oljogi Rhino Reservation towards Doldol. The last 28 miles to our destination we drove along on an uneven gravel-like road, but we were compensated by the impressive vistas we had. Like another world, huge rocks, like simply dropped, scattered in an apparently deserted landscape, embedded between partly rugged hills — are dinos walking around the corner? And always a northwestern view to Mount Kenya. We crossed a small nature reserve with giraffes, elephants, zebras, and hyenas. Shortly afterwards we reached the property of the Catholic Missionary Station within sight of the small town of Doldol. Gleeming with joy the leader of the mission greeted us here, and we moved into the guest rooms, then exchanged news while having tea, coffee, fruits and pastries. In the meantime another friar joined us. We handed over small gifts and pens for the school. Late in the evening, soon after dinner, we went to sleep and could hear the soft humming of elephants throughout the night.




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Foerderkreis Kenia Freudenstadt e.V., Germany; E-mail of our office: foerderkreis.kenya.freudenstadt@web.de