The Molo Wool Project

From farmers to fiber artistsMy husband, John, and I are directors of Friends of Kenya Schools and Wildlife (FKSW), a small nonprofit corporation registered in Oregon, www.fksw.org. FKSW partners with the Kenyan nongovernmental organization (NGO), Network for EcoFarming in Africa (NECOFA), in Molo, Kenya. Together, we support community development in rural areas in Kenya. In 2007, we spent a day with
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Kenya

John and I leave on January 4th for Kenya.
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Amakuru?

Amakuru?

In my last message, I told you that murakozi means good morning in Kinyarwanda. It doesn’t! It means thank you. So obviously, my grasp of even the few words I thought I knew is still tenuous. Anyway, murakozi to all of you who wrote in response to that message. It was great to hear from you.

Before I visited Rwanda in February, I knew little about the country. After spending a week there, I know that I have barely scratched the surface. The photos remind me that the seven days that passed like a dream were real. The memories are joyous, warm, amusing, and haunting. I’ve been thinking about Rwanda since I left, and I’ve been feeling Rwanda, too.
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Murakozi!

Murakozi! Amakuru?

Greetings are often the first words we learn when we visit a foreign country. Murakozi! Amakuru! means Good morning. How are you? in Kinyarwanda, the national language of Rwanda. Jordan and I learned these words and a few others during our week in Rwanda in February. Rwandans also speak Kiswahili, English or French, which because of the Belgian and French influence, was the language children learned in school. Recently, French has fallen out of favor and English is being taught instead. We got by well in English, but there were times when I needed to use my minimal competence in Kiswahili and even my 7th grade French to communicate.

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Salama sana

Salama sana!

We awoke this morning at 6 to find the power off, which meant that the water pump was not working, either. Our four candles, attached to the lids of empty coffee cans as a base, provided enough light to boil the milk for coffee and cut up a pineapple. There was plenty of water in our emergency bottles so hakuna matata! It was growing light outside, but to open the shutters would have invited the cold breeze to enter so we drank coffee by candlelight and the day began. Shortly after dawn, the power and water were back on, and now at 11 am, the sun is shining and birds are singing outside. A few minutes ago, a little robinchat hopped in the open front door, walked around under the furniture and then hopped through the sitting room, on through to the kitchen and out the back door. I guess he didn’t find anything of interest.
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Habari za siku nyingi?

Habari za siku nyingi?

How have things been these many days? Today is the beginning of the ninth week since John and I arrived in Kenya on January 4th, my 61st birthday! I’m writing from our Kenyan home-away-from-home, the little house on the grounds of the Michinda Boys Primary Boarding School in Elburgon. It has been home for 4 months out of the past year, and although very basic, it lacks nothing. Clean, running water (most of the time) comes from a bore hole behind the house (the pump has been a bit capricious but we’ve learned to fill every spare water jug and pot while it IS running and so have enough water for coffee, drinking, cooking and bathing when we want...laundry has to wait). The water was out this morning when I woke, but just now I can hear it bubbling back into the tank...we’ll be able to do laundry today.
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Baringo

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Habari za leo?
I'm in Nairobi, at the ACK (Anglican Church of Kenya) Guest House, for my last 2 nights in Kenya. Samuel and John brought me from Molo on Friday. Now it's Sunday morning, but instead of the sounds of jubilation that I enjoyed so much from the church services at Michinda, I hear hammers and saws from the construction site next door, vehicles traveling by in the streets outside the gate, and from the kitchen below and across from my room, the sounds of pots and pans and the voices of the cooks and kitchen staff cleaning up from the breakfast that has just finished.
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Still in Molo Part 2

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It's Sunday morning again...a beautifully blue, shiny, coldish morning on the hill here at Michinda. The boys in the dining hall across the football (soccer) field in front of my house have just started their 2 hour church service. They're singing...I think as loudly as they possibly can...accompanied by drums which one of the boys is playing. People outside, hearing the sounds of praise, join in the song as they walk by. The song they're singing right now is a medley of /He's Got the Whole World in His/ /Hands/ and other songs that I don't recognize. Now they've switched to a song in Kiswahili.
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Still in Molo

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When John and I arrived in Kenya on Dec. 29, we didn't anticipate being part of the unfolding drama that has continued now for almost 2 months. Nor had I planned to write anything but a few postcards to grandchildren, family and friends who had asked to hear from us. These messages began before the New Year, as a way of reassuring those at home that we were safe and that there was nothing to worry about. As the turmoil here developed and the news that was sent out from Kenya grew increasingly negative, we continued to try to reassure friends and family, and to pass along our perspective on what was happening to as many of you as we thought might be interested. Since then, the list of recipients has become long, and the words many.
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Back in Molo

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Habari zenu? (How are things with all of you?)

If all continues as it has been, I'm happy to say that things are getting much better here. I've been back in Molo since Thursday afternoon. I didn't anticipate being here again on this trip, much less without John, but then, there have been many surprises in the last 6 weeks. John returned home on the 3rd alone after we had decided that I should stay in Kenya for awhile longer.
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