So Many "Missionaries" Come Here to Run "Programs" by Chris

We have been surprised since arriving here how many people come to this area to help out.  Due to the historical links with the Consolata Missionaries from Italy that brought the Catholic faith here, many of the helpers come from Italy.  There are also many people who come to help from the U.S. and Canada.  This was not something we were aware of before we came here.  With all of these helpers come new ideas, new ways of doing ways of building buildings and many other ideas.  Some of these groups are Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) and some are small organizations that aid in some specific way.  Some are even large, public universities.  I will details some of what we have experienced along our journey.  There was one group which was a NGO from Italy that come to aid in building homes and helping families with children who have special needs.  This group comes every year to construct a home, hand out food to families among many other good deeds.
Michael, Jack and I helped the group from Italy expand this house for a family
Here is all of the food the group from Italy gave out
These are some of the children whose families received the food

There is a group called Mikinduri Children of Hope, based out of Prince Edward Island, Canada that has been coming for almost 20 years to help fund poor children's educations, hand out "Days for Girls" kits, help with clean water projects and bring "missionaries" here every February to assist with their "programs".  We have learned that the word missionary has come to mean people that come from either Italy, the U.S. or Canada to assist with physical or monetary needs.  This has been a very big challenge to overcome in the minds of the people here when we try to explain what we do.  It is as if you can see in their reaction, "You are correct, it does not compute, Will Robinson!".  You can click on that link to view a clip from the old TV show "Lost in Space" so the reference makes more sense.

There is a great group of guys that were close friends of Father B's when he worked in a parish in California in the early 2000s.  Usually Father B goes to visit them each year but this year they all came to visit him which was a big surprise for him and really blessed him a lot.  They work together to raise funds for building schools and help to sponsor kid's school fees for those that cannot afford it.  They are a wonderful group of guys that really blessed our family at a time where we were missing talking to folks from the U.S.
Here are some of the structures the guys from Cali helped build

Most recently, a group from The University of Michigan Dental School came to St. Dorothy's to give each kid a check-up, talk to them about good dental hygiene and distributed toothbrushes and toothpaste to each child.
Here is the group from the U of M Dental School

New ideas have also come to the area, such as producing silage for the dairy cows which helps them to produce more milk.  Karen, myself and Jack and Michael each helped out with this project.  It involved cutting down a field of corn, chopping up the stalks and the cobs with special motorized cutting machines and then putting all of that in a hole in the ground and pouring molasses over it all and covering it to allow it to ferment.  After a few months, it is ready to give to the cows.  The parish sells the milk from the cows to local families as a means of raising funds.  More milk from the cows means more money raised.  
Karen helping haul the cornstalks from the field

There I am helping to move the chopped up cornstalks from the chopping machines

Michael and Jack (along with all of their schoolmates) helped haul the silage to the big holes in the ground

Here is the big hole in the ground with the silage in it with the molasses on it
One last new idea that has come to the area is that of bio-gas.  Father B is installing a bio-gas manufacturing tank inside the compound so that all of the buildings can use that to cook instead of buying tanks of LP gas.  The cow and pig manure will be used to produce the bio-gas in the below-ground tank shown below.

Father B is a great administrator and has masterfully networked with all of these groups to bring so many "programs" to the area.  We had no idea that things were so developed before we came to this area.  We were under the impression that it was much less developed.  Kenya really is what is considered a "developing" country but that is a vague expression and how far along that very wide continuum have they developed is what is hard to communicate but hopefully this blog helps.

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