Friday, August 21, 2009

Those Happy Faces at the Top are Afrizo

There has been much going on to ready the Afrizo team for their big tour of the US. It really is an exciting time. I will actually miss them when they go – but I hope to remain friends with them all after they return.

On Tuesday evening, Afrizo leader, Hellen Mtawali and 8 students board a plane to Minneapolis! I think this is the first time out of the country for all the students. It’s Hellen’s second trip to the States. Their main purpose for the trip is to raise awareness for the needs of Daystar University. They hope to raise funds for student scholarships and thank the generous donors that have been faithfully giving – even in these hard economic times.

Please follow their tour of the US; pray, attend a concert. They really are amazing musicians! To listen to a song or two check out the Daystar website. They will not disappoint!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Find of the Week

Last week I had a few idle moments to browse the sauce aisle at Nakumatt; the Kenyan equivalent of Super Target, but not as big. With the influx of business people from China in this country it’s now fairly easy to find all manner of chili oils and fish sauces. Maybe I should take up more Asian cooking...

As I was meandering along a familiar logo caught my eye. Sometimes I am aware that this might just be a knock-off. It seems that all those mayonnaise jars that have the trade name of American Garden (which I have never seen in America) have a reverse side that is all in Arabic. Needless, I stepped closer to check.

Sure enough, it was a real jar of Old El Paso Salsa! I’m not saying that is my favorite brand or anything, but this far from home, it might as well be. Since I was still in a bit of disbelief, I decided to look at the back to make sure it was actually the Old El Paso I know.

My second discovery came in reading the fine print. Did you know that Old El Paso is manufactured in Minneapolis, MN? I had to laugh. It reminded me of an old commercial that had a cowboy with a southern accent incredulously reading a salsa label, “Ne-e-ew Yo-o-ork City!?!” I consoled myself that there were plenty of Mexicans in Minnesota and it’s still a lot closer to Mexico than Kenya or the UAE.

I won’t tell you what I paid for those 16 ounces of bliss. But I did have a fresh batch of homemade tortillas at home, so I didn’t care. Good thing I brought some taco seasoning with me.

Monday, August 10, 2009

What do Adult Orphans Look Like?

Today I was part of a small panel that was asked to interview work study applicants to the University, specifically to hear about their plights as orphans in an effort to determine there need level. Probably each one could have been a riveting story of what happened in their particular circumstances. Some of them had their parents death certificates stapled to their application. Of those attached, not one that I read was by a car accident. That is something I would think claims a high percentage of lives. No, several I read were deaths caused by tuberculosis. TB is totally curable, I think. (Docs reading, correct me if I’m wrong.)

Others who lost their parents weren’t specific about what claimed the life. But it starts to become apparent. One young man first lost each of his siblings, both younger and his mother and finally his father. I tried for just a moment to imagine the feelings inside that drives such a person. I just can't imagine.

I really never thought of what an adult orphan looked like (except for me). These young people are depending on the kindness of relatives, sometimes siblings or aunts and uncles. Often besides the person losses, they carry the pressure that they are now a burden to others.

May God give the grace needed to each to carry on and become the servant leaders for which they are training.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

It's Official!

This week I was handed my Daystar ID badge! It's kind of fun feeling official.

Monday, August 3, 2009

A Few More Shots of the Jikaze Outing

Outside the offices of Nairobi Chapel, loading the buses to head down to Jikaze. Ian M. is on the top doing manual labor, very uncharacteristic of him.

Some of the children recite a poem for us about living in peace and what real peace means.

A brand new "foot ball" - a welcome and very unexpected gift.