Kenyans can find a solution to anything. If the government makes you chop down a stand of trees … you make desks and tables out of the best of the lumber and benches out of the rest. Today while checking on the use of large flash cards we have provided last year, they showed us the set of “student sized” alphabet cards they had been inspired to make themselves … from cardboard boxes. When the youngest students wanted dolls to play with, the teachers found a local tailor with remnants and they hand-sewed the dolls. The examples are endless.
Perhaps this willingness to make-it-yourself is why they greatly appreciate the handmade bags we give the teachers each year. Susan Baily from FUMC has never been to Kenya but seems to know exactly what to make. This year it was a beautiful array of brightly colored bags we filled with teaching supplies. There was one uniform response when we passed them out today … “It is PERFECT for church! It will hold my Bible. I will be asked by everyone where it came from!” Perhaps more of us should be carrying our Bibles because later in the day we gifted a bag to Delfina who oversees the porridge program … and yes, “It will be PERFECT for church!” THANK YOU, SUSAN!
Just as the government insisted on cutting down the trees as a “safety hazard”, the inspectors have given the school two weeks to close its traditional kitchen. Many of you know we built a kitchen for the school a few years ago with a fuel-efficient wood-burning stove. The old kitchen is still used to make the daily tea and more recently, lunches for the Eighth-Grade students preparing for their exams. There is room in the new kitchen for additional cookers. Let us know if you’d like to help.
A final word about hammers in Kenya. Here, you make use of what you have. This week we observed an urgent need for hooks for the teachers and students to hang their work-bags and coats. Off we went into the big-city of Meru and found a local hardware where we bought out their supply of hooks (68 of them). Each hook was neatly packed with 2 screws for installing the hook. Do I need to go any further? Did you know you could use a hammer on screws? YOU CAN! This proves the point, if all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.
Finding a way is not always what you expected, but at times you find it works.