From Geoffrey to you; Flimsy Bridges and watch thieves

Thursday June 11, 2009

Flimsy Bridges and Watch Thieves

I spent most of yesterday visiting Nairobi and it turned out to be quite the productive day. I was able to get the extension for my stay, meaning I wont get deported ha ha. We were able to pick up a sick Tumaini girl to take her to the new medical center. We were able to buy the washing machine for our friend, this is to help her start her own small business which is such a huge blessing (even though it took us a while to figure out how to put it in the van because it was so big). We went to this place that is like a giant walmart to buy it, I got to buy chocolate but was a glutton and ate it all already (big mistake my stomach hurts). The coolest place we visited was one of the slums of Nairobi, no idea how to spell it but I think that it is something like Mathere… that is my best guess.

Think about thousands and thousands of small shacks stacked side by side. Some buildings are made of stone, but it seems like the vast majority were made from sheets of metal and planks of wood. The spaces between these shanties were sometimes ridiculously small and small rivers ran along most of the walkways, they were rivers of waste and sewage. To get in to Mathere we had to cross a flimsy bridge that was basically half of palette of wood, I am REALLY thankful I didn’t slip and fall. The walkways, walls, and ground was completely covered with garbage. The initial walk way had so much garbage covering it that it seemed a little springy. The smell was pretty intense, I’ll just leave it at that. This was the epitome of poverty.

A place where there is great suffering is a place of great opportunity. A place like this is the perfect place for someone to use what they have been blessed with to help someone else, to give back, and that is exactly what people are doing. Groups, organizations and churches have helped this area in different ways, one of them is called Community Transfomers.

Community Transformers was started by two young men who were born and raised in these slums. They give have given smalls amounts of money to HIV positive people for them to start businesses and to enable them to provide for themselves. They have taken in orphans, pay for their education and provide for their needs. They offer after school tutoring and mentoring time. They started only a few years ago and yet have touched dozens and dozens of lives.

War broke out during the presidential elections this last year. Kenya is divided into many different tribes but there are two prominent ones. Each of these two tribes had a presidential candidate. When one gained victory over the other the two tribes ended up slaughtering each other. Churches and schools were burnt down, limbs were lost by being cut off by machetes, girls were raped, people were murdered, and a complete massacre took place. Friends were killing friends and neighbors were slaying neighbors. This horrible incident took place partly around this area. During all of the killing and violence, Community Transformers was one of the very few groups that was allowed safe access to both sides to gather the dead and wounded. They would receive phone calls from both sides to come and get the lifeless and the hurt.

Amazing! This small group of people had become recognized to the extent to be trusted and to have the respect of both tribes.

I was really inspired by their story of the beginning of this organization. I was humbled by their dreams for Community Transformers. I was touched by the heart and compassion that they have.

As we were walking around I caught a young kid trying to snag my watch. I didn’t tell anyone at the time cause I didn’t want him to get in trouble, I thought it was pretty sad. He couldn’t have been older than fourteen and yet he was in a position where he had to steal. Depressing.

Our trip fueled me to keep on keeping on. It showed me that a small group of people united in heart can make a difference. It showed me that there is always hope.

Geoffrey Nighswonger

Prayer Requests:
Janet and her surgery
Stacy’s Wheelchair… still waiting
Jason Nates travels

I was looking to see how much a new digital camera would cost… lots of stuff is cheaper here than at home… it was like double what we charge… bummer : (
There is this thing called a Samosa. It is like a taco but a triangle… SOO good
I ate a coconut today… it was my first time… I think we should have waited a little longer cause it tasted pretty bitter
I was sent some mini DV tapes… so I am recording some of the stories I have written about. I am letting the ones who want to tell their stories so you guys can hear them for yourself and see them. I recorded Janet and her daughter today
Apparently this Jason Nate guy is really awesome. Mutuko (the grounds keeper of the hotel I stay at) calls him his best friend. Each day he comes running to me and asks me when Jason is coming. He told me about how Jason gives him his clothes and shoes and sometimes money. They Jason sent Mutuko a text message a few days ago and Mutuko came running to me to tell me that Jason sent him a message. He keeps on telling me about how wonderful and great Jason is. It makes me really excited about meeting him too.
I remember in Cast Away that Tom Hanks said that coconuts are a natural laxative… I think he was right.

Word of the Day
Mambo? Pua
Mambo pooh-ah
How are you (to a young person)? Fine.

This entry was posted on Thursday, June 11th, 2009 at 11:48 am and is filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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