kindness kenya

 

Dear Friends, You are seeing this page because of kindness. This page began as a personal diary for me to reflect on what was unfolding through my friendships and support in Kenya (and my work with Joyfuel) and a space to keep photos from our connection. This is not edited or proofread, and initially was not going to be shared with anyone, but as you–my beautiful friends–began gifting, praying and caring about our friends in Kenya I decided to share my thoughts and reflections so you too could witness how our collective kindness is making a difference.
The way bottom of this page were the first four weeks, but now the top of the page is updated with personal thoughts as well as the updates  I share on Facebook. The earlier week’s were private look into my struggle to figure out how we could support these people.
We aspire to continue to support them with small weekly money gifts for food, through lockdown which may be early July.

Ways you can help:
Money gifts through paypal creativegirlnet@gmail.com or www.venmo.com/reb-suz or email me for my address to send a check. 100% funds are given to our friends in Kenya for food, medicine and needed supplies.
Gift art and or handcrafts for our upcoming auction. You can add your donation here. Gift through prayer and/or thought/intention/belief by praying and imagining rains to safely bless our friends and all those in the world who depend on rain for food.

Please get in touch with me with any questions or ideas for how we may continue to bless these humans. It is my greatest intention to honor these people, provide gifts for food and basic needs while honoring their way of life and empowering them to find ways to reduce their poverty. Patrick has dreams of raising chickens as a means of supporting his family by selling eggs, and also has ideas about the beautiful baskets the women make being sold in the US. For now, I am focused and devoted to finding money each week for them for food. ~becky
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July 23, 2020

Hello Dear Ones,

I thought I’d steal a few minutes to write some updates outside of my facebook page to share a few stories from this past month, to do with our friendships in Kenya. It was a difficult month, especially in light of Winny’s sister passing, and Winny becoming ill with malaria. And yet we have continued on, venturing into new parts of our heart and honoring our interconnectedness.

This past month we found two volunteers (high school students: one a former student of mine from Creative Girl, and another, the son of an old friend I went to HS with). They are helping us to research how we might find a computer for Patrick, and also another Pollination Project Grant recipient who is in great need. (You might imagine that as I have posted what we are doing in Kenya for these families so many other in Kenya and actually across Africa have reached out to me for our support of their good work and their desperate needs too. All of them are TPP grant recipients with proven track records, equally deserving of such kindnesses.  I anticipated this would happen, and have not allowed it to hijack my heartmind too much, but to pray for each and every one I have “met” and connected with, and to ask how my advocacy through Joyfuel and my other work might be a blessing to others in need. That is how Joyfuel’s Joy Corp was born, to animate storytellers for kindness from all around the world, and to potentially gift to them financially.) Anyway, we are making progress towards finding solutions that I hope will NOT require additional fundraising, but perhaps another grant application. I met someone through World UNITY Week who runs a NFP in Kenya (but based in the US) and he might be the strongest lead, as he seems to understand the nuances of Kenyan computer needs (i.e. electric supply cords and internet). I actually met a few people through WUW who have offered ideas or connections that may prove promising as we continue to research this possibility, including a professor at my local UNC Chapel Hill, a Fulbright Scholar who work has been dedicated to generating computers preloaded with content designed to offset poverty and some of the issues faced by people living in drought conditions. I have sent several letters and await their response to more fully engage our high school volunteers so they can continue their research and understanding. I’m so grateful for these students and their kindness and interest because I am involved in so many other things right now, it wouldn’t be possible without them.

I still am unable to send the sewing package we put together over a month ago.  Even though lockdown has “lifted” in Kenya, the USPS web site states unable to deliver to Kenya due to lack of transportation. I found out I could send using FedEx but it would be over $120 and I cannot justify that right now, as we are still trying to support them with food ration money.

Two weeks ago (after lockdown lifted) I had to have a very difficult correspondence with Patrick about how we are unable to continue to send funds each week. I was hoping to encourage them and give them strong reason to resume some of their livelihood and not become “dependent” on the funds we have been sending weekly. This was gutwrenching thing to do, but it felt like the only thing I can do as I myself do not have funds to contribute and I do not feel right continuing to ask for these gifts from all of my kind friends. I told them we would stop and it was very disruptive. Patrick and our friends have never complained about anything, even this news that felt to them potentially like they might no longer have money for food, they expressed gratitude for what we have done. Many prayers have been written over FB messenger between Patrick and I. I cried for days after telling them this, but noticed that our beautiful contributors were continuing to gift small amounts of money enabling us to gift 2 weeks beyond their lockdown lifting.

Today was probably the “last” weekly gift we will give, but I know they still would be blessed to receive something next week, even if it was half as much.

Many of the women have found small farm jobs that will take them away from children all day, but would bring some food for them. They begin on Monday so I will be writing a letter for Patrick to share with them, about how best to maintain safety and hygiene while working in the fields.

Two weeks ago Patrick’s uncle and brother left their village to seek work in Nairobi. Patrick asked me if we could use $5 each for their bus fare, meaning they would have less for food for the other families. I suggested we might  provide each man with $15 so they would have something for when they arrived in Nairobi. And they were so grateful. I was super grateful for gifts that were given that week that meant we could give $30 more. Now there are 48 people in Patrick’s family homes.

I wrote this letter to Patrick’s uncle and brother, wishing them safety and self care that it seems so many in America have neglected. (At time of this writing over 141,000 have died in the US due to Covid). Dear Gabriel and Charles  I feel so much love for these people and concern fo their safety. They have many names for me, but I truly feel like their sister, more than their call me Mamma. I know they are not my responsibility but I do feel so very much love and compassion for them, as if they were my own brothers and sisters, nieces and nephews. How could I NOT take actions to help improve their situation a little, when so much is stacked against their survival, and so much is stacked FOR my own. I love them and even as we are reducing our weekly commitment to them, I am thinking about how we might bless them in months to come in some small way, be it through a penpal program, or Christmastime program.

We sent our letters to the local Catholic Church here in Wake Forest. I expressed their situation along with the board of Patrick’s Catholic church, and their dyre needs. We have not had a response yet, but I am hopetimistic. (That is Patrick’s word… I LOVE… as it sounds more like a verb to me, the very ACTION of holding hope and optimism simultaneously.)

Well, I’m not sure if anyone is reading this page anymore, but wanted to share these updates from my heart, from a month that was full of so many pains, joys, triumphs and possibilities. Patrick and Winny will be adopting Dorcas’ young daughters soon, which means their family of 4 children will grow to six. I told Patrick that in saying yes to things that frighten us,  we grow to deepen our love and compassion for each other, we become more fully human… and that I am grateful to watch the ways they step into their God abilities as humans. They are such wonderful people, and I pray we can continue to find ways to bless them, their ways of life and culture, not to disrupt or cause any harm, but to somehow reduce unnecessary suffering and pain of their situation and their place in the world–a place burdened by drought and poverty.

This past month I discovered some of the disturbing British history (my birthland) and what was done to the people of Kenya. I carry so much guilt just for being a white person, feeling complicit somehow by the color of my own skin… this despite my activism and active commitment and actions towards equality and justice. And now to discover even more human pain caused by other humans.

Because of my commitment and connection to World UNITY Week, I recently had a wonderful conversation with a man, an elder, who was sharing how the very notion of “race” was a human created construct designed to control and enslave people. And in understanding this, not only with my heart but also my mind, I am convinced that I can continue to take actions that do not identify people by the color of our skin, but rather that honor the very fact that our energy as human beings is the same. I am convinced there are infinite ways we are connected and similar, boundless more ways than the few things we go to war over, or have caused inconceivable harm over. Now is the time for the great Love to come through us. We as a species have to ability to hold all these horrendous facts and truths and to reconcile them by baring witness the sadness and pain we have collectively caused and felt. Now is the time to create safe spaces to honor our collective oppressive sadnesses and to seek and make ways to move forward truly together, as one species on one planet, to address the collective suffering our species has caused our entire earth, and to use our brains and our hearts towards actions that will work with the earth to heal and love every bit of it and us. I am so grateful for the tiny Becky-sized role I get to play towards this.

I know that together we have made a tremendous impact on these 50 humans lives, for the better of their lives, towards blessing our lives and for our world. Love is always possible if we let go of fear of failure. Years ago when I was sick I was convinced I was going to die, and that I would go out fighting for my life. But something shifted and changed in me and I gave in to this very fact that one day I wll die, and that instead of fighting I wanted to go out loving. That when life takes itself out of me, when I pop my clogs, meet our maker, turn to dust… that I will truly do all I can to go out loving. And that is how I feel nearly every day, trying to live each day as if it were my last, in service to love so much bigger than me, but  alove that I am part of. Damn I am so grateful for the big beautiful messed up world, and the possibilities it holds in humanity getting over our seeming separateness, and differences, and towards excepting how very interrelated and interdependent… how very much i am you we are.

i am you we are.
i am you we are.
i am you we are.

If I had allowed my fear to act and rule my heart that would have denied what was possible for our friends in Kenya, some of them may have literally died. If I didn’t find the courage to ask for your support and expression of love through money, we would have missed a tremendous opportunity for love. But because we chose a much harder path, the path of saying yes to love, because YOU said yes, and gave what you could…. we are connected in brotherly and sisterly love, and we all are changed and bound by and for love.

I will never turn my heart away from Kenya and I pray to continue to find the strength and creativity and ideas we need to bless our friends there, and so many other people in the world who have been overlooked, neglected, forgotten or are unknowable. Every day I seek ways to push my edges and to grow my very own limited beliefs. And for this I am deeply humbled and grateful.

becky

p.s. if by some oddly chance you made it this far, god and goddess bless you. this is NOT edited or proofread… but it was completely heart led. Forgive me. The world is on fire and I’m choosing to focus my attention to details that truly matter. As much as I love me some editing and wordsmithing, I ask you love and forgive me my typos, run on sentences, dangling participles and imperfections.) i love you.

July 18, 2020 Hello dear Friends, This is a photo of our friend W. Sadly she became very unwell this week with headache and severe vomiting. She was taken to hospital by a taxi that we thankfully were able to pay for (otherwise they would have had to walk 2 hours to hospital), where she was diagnosed and began treatment for malaria. She is home now getting stronger everyday. (Photo: W beginning to learn sewing and now has begun making the reusable feminine supplies for their women and girls, that we hope to fully fund with our August art auction.)

Kenya’s lockdown has lifted and our friends are attempting to resume some of their ways of livelihood towards getting food and money in their community, while practicing social distancing. Kenya–like most countries–is seeing rise in Covid cases.
Your money gifts have continued to provide basic food rations to our friends. P’s uncles have left the village to Nairobi in search of work. I wrote them a letter advising how best to stay safe, that P gave to them before they left.
We hope they will recover their livelihood that they will no longer need our gifts to support them and are taking steps towards this.
Three things you can do, if it would feel good to you:

❤ Thank you all for your caring, prayers and gifts. We remain in deep gratitude. ❤


July 8, 2020 lockdown has officially lifted in Kenya. Please gift if you can to help our friends with empowering projects to help ease the burdens caused by lack of rain. We still seek $80 to purchase several stacks of wood to build a chicken coop. Grateful for any amount… no gift too small. Thank you for your kindness ❤

July 5, 2020 ❤️🙏 sending gratitude, love and blessings to everyone contributing energy including money, prayers and intention for our friends in Kenya. We invite your beautiful caring heart to bless our commitment to our friends in Kenya.

Since March we have been providing for food during lockdown that is feeding 29 children and 21 adults) in Machakos Kenya.
This week $230 will procure corn maize, beans, rice for their families food needs, and hopefully purchase wood to build a coop for chickens they hope to have in the future.
One photo shows the growth of the baby kales they planted last month, and a scarecrow they made and placed to dissuade the naughty porcupines in the area. The other photo is the wood.
Please gift however much would feel good to you.
Please pray for rains to gently bless our friends in Kenya and all over the earth, where humans live that depend on water for their food to grow.

Please and thank you. Thank you for all the ways so many of my friends have cared and supported this expression of love and kindness. I am deeply grateful and our friends in Machakos thank you too.

June 29, 2020  Dear Friends, It would be such a blessing to our friends in Kenya if we could find a way to get a computer to them in Machakos. Everything P and I do together is through text messenger, email through his old phone which is now not able to take photos. 🙁

I would love for us to send them a computer… laptop… or some device that would support their community building, be able to help the children with learning and use of computer, and ultimately give access to blessings that a computer would bring his families. He is a servant leader, seeking always ways to reduce his families’ and community burdens. Giving this to them would be an incredible blessing.
How can we get this to them? Are laptops universal? What about power cords? Could we send an old one from the US or UKE and it would be compatible in Kenya?
Please let me know ANY thoughts on this topic and my questions. Thank you for all the ways you help support me and these families in their difficult situation.
ETA: I see some friends have added excellent resources. If any one would like to research these for relevancy to our goal here, that would be a huge help. Comment below and let’s talk by phone before you begin research. Would be a HUGE help to me right now as I’ve got a lot of plates spinning.
I don’t know when lockdown will lift in Kenya but as Covid has hit them with tragic loss of W’s sister, I’d love us to open our heartminds and imaginations about how we might address this need.
Thank you. ❤
June 28, 2020 Dear Friends, This past week was a time of adjustment for our friends in Machakos. After the death of their beloved sister due to Covid last week, through YOUR gifts we were able to send a little extra money so they could create and share a special meal to celebrate Dorcas’ life. Stories were shared and they remembered and celebrated her life. They are beginning to heal from the trauma of having a covid-related burial. 🙁
Your gifts enabled this meal AND provided this week’s beans, rice and maize that sustain these amazing fifty humans–so far away. It is not a lot we send, and they must ration, but it has been enough, so they are deeply grateful.
This week when I offered the World UNITY Week vigil, they burned a candle in honor of their sister. It touched my heart to know that the space we were holding globally for grief and loss was also supporting my friend directly despite the fact they don’t have full access to content on FB due to cost of streaming.
Thank you so much to for your continued support.
I found out our friends will take into care their sister’s two beloved young daughters, to raise them, so their immediate family of four children will go to six.
Heartbreaking, and yet… the kindness you demonstrate each week, offering any gift you can affirms so much about our shared humanity.
❤ Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. ❤
Please continue to pray/intend/believe in our friends safety and wellness, and for blessing of weekly rain to grow their food.

And if you can give any amount, know 100% goes to them.

June 19, 2020 I have a very sad update from our friends in Kenya. Sadly my friend’s sister-in-law died 2 days ago. We sent funds so they could take a 5 hour taxi to attend the funeral, and get their mother too. It cost $100 for the taxi ride.

In Kenya the law is when a person dies right now, they must be put in the ground within 48 hours of the person’s death.

Beyond the sadness of the loss of their beloved sister–Mwende–which means loved one, they endured much more sadness due to the ways of the burial.

P shared photos and a brief video of the burial which are too heartbreaking to share here. A group gravesite and many government officials dressed like space astronauts dousing the casket with chemicals. I don’t have words… except to say it took me over a week to bring myself to open the photos, for fear of knowing what P, W and W’s mother endured to attend the burial. I had to work through a lot of guilt, which in my heart I know it was not a fault of mine–but because of my haste to provide money for the taxi, they witnessed such sadness… whereas if I had not provided the money they would have be spared this experience. I don’t know what would have been “better” for them. (Isn’t it so very human of me to contemplate regret, and wonder about the road not taken? I forgive myself my own humanness in this situation.)

❤ Please pray for this family as they endure this loss and find ways to cope with their grief. She died due to Covid.
Thank you for all the ways you extend your kindness through me to this family deserving of our love, grace and kindness, in Kenya.

June 7, 2020 I put together a package of supplies for Winny and their women’s menstrual product sewing project. She has taught Patrick and some of hte brothers to sew pads, which I think is just amazing!
Here is the PDF of the Washable-Pad-Pattern-Instructions she is using. And a video that also gives good ideas how to make them.winnysewing

I found supplies for them: pinking scissors are hard to come by these days due to so many folks making masks but I found a nice new pair and light, and put them with $30 of heavy duty sewing machine needs, some oddments from my own sewing supply stash, and a few small gifts for Winny’s children. I attempted to mail this package on Friday only to discover the US post office has not been mailing packages to Kenya since our lockdown began in March. Sadly I cannot mail this to them unless I spend $200 to send using FedEx. I cannot justify that right now, as we are still focusing all money going towards food each week. In the beginning we were giving about $250 a week, and now it’s $150 every 6 days. I’ve mostly send using worldremit but had to find another company as sometimes we have problems with it not going through. This may be the banks… or I don’t know what, but it is frustrating.padsample

We have about 26 people who have gifted money and art auction items and so many others praying. Many people are gifting small amounts like $10 or $15 and a few have given $100 or more, but basically the flow is continuing and has meant we have never run out each week, which is such a huge blessing. I try not to allow myself to worry about running out, and instead to conitue to hold topen to let things flow that come.

week ten  (june 4 2020)

Dear Kindness Warriors. It has been ten weeks since we began pooling together our hearts, prayers and resources in support of 10 families in Machakos, Kenya.

Of the ten, these past two weeks have been the most profound. I had to explain to our friends in Kenya what is happening in America, while assuring them we will continue to find ways to support them during lockdown (while not knowing how I would do this), amidst this additional crisis. As I shared the news and my friend discovered many more layers of American sadness in Kenyan news, my friend wrote to me and said they had a special family meeting to discuss how they would stretch the little food they had left this week. They recognized funds may be slower getting to them this week because of the situation in Raleigh and across our country.

And yet, here is the profundity: so many of you have quietly continued to send checks, paypal, venmo gifts–some of you for a second time–without me even asking this week. You have been giving because you care and you know we are making an impact on this small and beautiful group of people. You have moved me to tears–our collective kindness makes me weep–and sometimes my friend writes that he and their families cry about our connection although we can’t quite explain where all of our tears are coming from.

peacedovepatrickCo-creating a bridge of kindness between our two “groups”– those of us who have a little extra to give, and those friends in Kenya in need and open to receive–has affirmed so much about the goodness of humanity and the special energy that flows when we STOP accepting and living by the automatic voices in our head that say “no, it can’t be done” and open instead to the possibilities of LOVE.

I pray we can let LOVE be our new default setting, that we can learn to listen and be present to all of the suffering, sadness and grief, to listen without having specific answers, to trust that answers will come if we allow ourselves to accept how very interconnected we are and to continue to listen even when we have fear and so much uncertainty. This collaboration is an example of this. When I said “Yes” to

may 30 3may 30 4may30

help I had NO idea how to continue, I had so much fear and uncertainty but because I invited you into the story, and provided a gateway to channel a possible solution–money and gifts for food– you stepped in and said yes… and all of the uncertainty was absolved. Our small constant acts of kindness have made a difference… a difference that would NOT have happened if I honored all the doubting uncertain fearful voices in my head.

I chose Love, and so did you.

We did this together and We are forever changed for the better, for love.

Thank you for the collective beautiful kindness we share. We have been able to uplift and support these 50 humans with needed food and supplies. Witnessing their gratitude–and sometimes disbelief–that people so physically far away from them care has been heart expansive.

I am deeply moved each day and feel privileged to be connected to this project. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. And from our friends in Kenya, Ahsante.
becky

In honor of so many things (joys and sorrows) so many of us are holding right now, and in honor of my daughter Emma’s high school graduation tonight, I share this letter I just wrote to our friends in Kenya.

“In the US normally we have big graduation celebration in churches and schools, but tonight instead we will go to an outdoor space in our cars and watch a movie on a big screen (with all the other families, safely in our cars… safe distancing) to watch speeches to celebrate the graduates. The Class of 2020.

We have JOY! And gratitude to the teachers for all they have done these past 13 years AND to create such a special evening for our families and graduates.

I feel so grateful… I am crying.

I feel so overwhelmed. So much sadness for the global loss of lives from covid. So much sadness for the loss of lives–black and white–because of racism. So much gratitude for all the ways we are stepping into love to open to heal our problems. So much joy for human achievements… especially internet, that you and your families have become part of my family. I am so grateful dear friends.”

And then he responded with photos of food they were able to purchase today…. because of our collective kindness and money gifts.

becky

 

villagelady2

May 2020 This is a lady from their village who came to them because she heard they had food, so they shared some with her. She has only one eye. As our friends became whole with food they have been sneaking some food to others in their community. It is illegal for people to leave their properties because of lockdown. Patrick is a certified volunteer (with a license) so thankfully he is able to navigate and travel to the town to purchase food about once a week. Her purchases dried beans, rice and maize and then grinds the maize separately as it is much more cost effective that way. Patrick and Winny seaparate all the food into 10 bundles to distribute to all the families within their family.

 

May 27 2020
Look what kindness and love does

We are in need of contributions to feed our ten families in Machakos. (ETA: Through the word ‘our’ I intend to celebrate our belongingness to each other, and honor our connection through kindness and love.) They are doing ok thanks (profound gratitude) to the gifts of so many friends… kindness warriors. We hope to continue to purchase food for them until lockdown in Kenya lifts. We also will fundraise to purchase supplies for their women and girls to make reusable menstrual care products.

I have seen how this food is blessing them, especially the 30 children of their families.

may 19 2020
Thank so much dear friends! Your donations have meant we have been able to send deliverymayfunds weekly to purchase food, medicine and other very basic supplies for our friends in Kenya. They are still completely in lockdown, unsure when things will ease up. farmingmaygilbert

Because their livelihood has been completely shutdown due to lockdown, the women had a great challenge this month during their menstrual moontime. Typically they use disposable menstrual supplies but because money is going to purchase food they had some issues. I’m really grateful for my friend’s sensitivity and concern for his wife and the women in his family, and his kindness in sharing the situation.

We are putting together an art auction to help raise funds not only to purchase food, but also sewing supplies for the women to make their own re-usuable pads. Right now they are experimenting with a pattern. HUGE THANKS to Rachael Crow at Moontimes in the UK for your inspiring work and sharing wonderful ideas on how we might help them. Soon we will determine how much material they need to make enough supplies for their women and girls to have what they need in the months to come. This is quite a wonderful miracle and an inspiring project to witness.

More information about the auction coming soon.

Please consider gifting money to purchase food for our friends. There are 30 children and 20 adults that had we not intervened and provided this immediate response, well… I shudder to think what they would be dealing with right now, if it were not for my friends and your beautiful kindnesses. Thank you so much. And our friends in Kenya thank you too.

may 14 2020
Pray, hope, imagine, envision rain for Machakos, Kenya and all other places in need of rain on earth for food growth. They are on the cusp… and need it so much.
weather

 

 

 

 

may 16 2020 It is now raining in Machakos. Thank you for everyone who is praying/intending/hoping/envisioning rain blessing places on earth so that people can have food.
may 2, 2020

TIMG_20200424_203753hese are my Kenyan friend’s hands. These are hands that built a well for 2,000 people in his village, that were trained by USAID and CAFOD through the Catholic church where he learned rural community empowerment practices for organic farming, new farming technologies, rain water harvesting, resource mobilization and crop production.

The rains predict whether or not they will eat.

These are hands that prayed with his wife and four children for help for his family and all his brothers’ families (30 children and 20 adults who were starving), that somehow found me and us… and our network of friends.

Last week I thought it would be fun to share a photo of my little garden. I was all proud of myself as I had spent many days digging out the weeds, prepping the soil, and growing plants from seeds. I thought perhaps my friend would be impressed. HA! Within five minutes he responded with a list of things I needed to do to fix my garden.

You see, our friends in Kenya know a lot about food security from the ground. He

suggested how I fix the soil, safeguarding with adequate holes in case of drought. My friend has incredible gifts and understanding of how to work with the land. And he has a servant’s heart and wants to use his abilities to help others.

He asks many days, “How is it with your farm?” So now I call my backyard my farm. I once referred to my farm as being small, and he corrected me, saying it is not small. He is giving me new perspectives of my privileges that I am grateful for.

While I was on my farm, reworking the soil to my friend’s instructions, a light bulb went off!

My friend is an expert farmer. He has gifts to give YOU with YOUR backyard farm.

If you would like to receive instructions for how to support productivity of your garden, send a photo of your farm to me, detail the plants and locations. I will forward to my friend in Kenya… he has asked to help you. And he will give you advice on how to make your garden flourish. creativegirlnet@gmail.com

This is open to anyone who would like this support. You can be blessed by our Kenyan friend without gifting money to our food fund, although we are grateful for your money gifts.

and p.s. please pray for the rains to safely and abundantly bless Africa.

 

The Beginning: around March 23, 2020
week one
We were able to provide an initial $101 USD (10,440 KES) that our friends were very creative in using. Instead of buying flour they bought corn maize, and took it to a mill to be ground, which saved money. They also purchased cooking oil, potatoes, tomatoes, onions, and bars of soap to help promote sanitization against Covid. Patrick said they have 20 adults including his father and grandmother (in her 90s) and 30 children.

Here are photos
I too bought 30 liters of cooking oil for 3600ksh. I bought 25 kgs of rice too for 2000 and tomatoes , onions and potatoes
. I bought grain maize 100 kg for 3800ksh. I took it to a grinding machine for 500ksh and converted it to floor.

   
Thursday at midnight Patrick and I were messaging. He told me if we hadn’t sent money they may have had to bury a child or even an adult this week. This was sombering. I am so grateful we are helping them.

On Friday April 17 we sent $151 USD (15500 KES). They plan to buy more soap to wash hands and clothing, antibiotic medicine for his grandmother, and more food.

I told him we would try to send $250 until they could go back to their work. I also said I was not sure how much funding I could get but I would do whateverI can to help them. I told them we are one family.

 

week two
have very many problems with money transfers going through. there are US sanctions preventing some funds from leaving us banks to go to other countries. i had no idea i would have to deal with city hall on top of trying to tell a story of people I cannot disclose the identity of… AND raise funds. AND launch Joyfuel to educate other third world countries on how to use social media to tell their stories to employ kindness to help them too. (of course sharing our campaign is bringing many other legitimate people from pollination project forward to me, as if i could help them somehow too???) This is immense. Some nights I sleep ok. Most I do not. I hear my name spoken in my sleep, by the children. Patrick says his Grandmother calls me Betty.

I’m coming to know more of Patrick’s immediate family. They are hardworking people 2 days ago they planted kale seeds. they’ve had rains thankfully, as they hadn’t for a long time.

i am tring to humanize these beautiful humans, without disclosing their identiteis on social media. so many people are criticizing and scruitinizing me because of all the legit scams out there. people love me and are afraid for me. they don’t want me getting exploited. unfortunately these needs are real and true. and we have a way to help them as long as I can keep problem solving. I realize it is easier in our hearts to accept the scary African man trying to exploit Americans, than it is to accept our brothers and sisters were truly starving last week.

i also know that people who have taken the time to reach out and understand my vetting and my connection, now understand the severity of the situation.

i also know i have many people who want to give and support them…. more so than not. in the weeks to come i know people will hold me and them. i am supported by my family, and so many friends. i am so grateful for their faith in my by giving me money to give to them.

patrick prays with his family every day. he says all his brothers and their famiies are praying for me and my family. i need prayers. my day feels like living inside a longgggg prayer.

this is the hardest most complex thing I have ever been connected to. if i fail to employ the hearts of others in my storytellling  (and if I can’t find a way to get them the money we are raising) people may starve. wtf!

one day at a time. one problem at a time. i know i am supported by angels, my own and Patrick’s and his families. and our ancestors. for every way African people were exploited in the making of America’s greatness, I promise to lovingly find a way to lift these families.

I told Patrick to tell his wife that their children are mine. And my children are theirs. We belong to each other. I believe this with all of me.

Beautiufl friends are making and gifting art for our raffle. We are calling our project Kindness Kenya. I don’t think it is part of Joyfuel, b/c Joyfuel is not a company that raises money for causes, but tells stories of kindness. so for now, I privately telll stories, seek a way to raise funds without using Joyfuel, but using Joyfuel to educate others in third world countries about how best to tell theirstories to open others’ hearts up to explore more of their story, perhaps for those people who are begging me too, to get assistance from the abundance in America and other countries with loads of cash.

Swahili word for kindness is ukarimu. it means generosity, hospitality, mankind

my heart is simultaneously breaking and remaking each day. i am so grateful for my heart to say “I can do something” even though I don’t know what saying yes will mean in a few days. this is what holding hands with suffering looks like.

i have shared this page with a few very close friends and family. this really is more a placeholder just for me, but because my time is so limited I needed a way to share things wtih you all too. forgive how clumsy this is. it’s not my style, but it’s good enough for now.

a place for photos and my feelings and problems, so i can reflect on this when we get through it all. i barely have time to write poems in my head (like I used to do) than to actually write.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

the Joyfuel launch is underway although I have NO idea what it will be exactly. I designed a logo. opened inviation to people to email me, set up a survey to capture all their info, next week I will give them 90 minute video call with basic marketing info, my outline so far. This will be my response for all those others asking me for money and help. Pollination Project are very suppportive of my helping Patrick and this reinvention of Joyfue and the Joy Corps. I’m so gratefu for my crazy, monkey mind and ability to create new ideas and take actions rapidly.

90-min call intends to educate participants on:
how to tell a story visually, with few words
using and creating hashtags
what to post for engagement
how to submit a post for consideration as a Joy Corps Correspondent
brainstorming for other collaborative ideas
open general Q & A about marketing and social media.

I will record and transcribe this call for those unable to access it.

4/22/20 love…. is there anything else?

becky

 

week three
it is calmer in my heartmind now. I am grateful. i have understanding of what i might do to help, not only my friends in Kenya but all the other people who are in need of support. i have clarity and conviction, and i have a plan.

kindness warriors are gifting small and manageable money gifts sowe will be able to send needed funds this week to help our friends secure food for them.

Patrick has helped me in my garden and in doing so given us the idea he can help others perhaps those who have contributed to funds/art raffle) in their gardens too. I sent him a photo of my garden and he gave me several things I needed to do to improve the productivity and stability of my garden. He was trained by the NGO USAID and is a very good farmer and teacher. This week I will share a photo of his capable and caring hands, and offer his gardening abilities through email.

His family is doing well. He shared a few pictures on Sunday lunch time. He reported a problem that his elder uncle wanted to leave their family to move to the city, but they were able to convince him to stay. Leaving their area would cause great concern for his safety, not only because of covid risk, but because their lockdown does not let anyone travel to anywhere unless they have proper documents.

 

This week we will have raffle of my aunt and uncles creations to thank people. Holding all these ideas and questions has taken a lot of personal energy, so this week I dedicate to getting some things done while being kind and gentle with myself. I am grateful to dear friends for their loving reminders of this. In retrospect, getting to this place of understanding and connecting my heart, hands and mind in alignment around all of these questions and matters, was a large process. In normal circumstances, it would have taken perhaps months, but I felt compelled to understand and align in just 2 weeks, and I am grateful to have calmer understanding, and shorter “task list”.

 

week four

good things: how far the little funds we send are helping our friends. women so happy to have food for their families. they were dancing when they heard patrick had gone to pick up this food for them to share. there are 10 families being fed by $250 a week.

worrisome and sad things. over the weekend a child took ill and Patrick (being the government approved volunteer) is approached by locals to help with their problems. parent went to him to seek advice about whether to take daughter to hospital. patrick made them face masks and advised them how to walk 5 km (3 miles) to get them to hospital. they saw her quickly, diagnosed her with malaria and gave her medicine and she was able to go home the same day. her name is Mercy. She is continuing to get stronger. That was Saturday. Today is Monday.

Update from Patrick today, a friend of his from the village died in Nairobi, of an accident. he had to arrange for his friend’s body to be transported from Nairobi to Machakos, and now he is trying to organize some type of funeral or burial. i don’t think his friend is connected to his Catholic church. i will pray for Dominic (he friend who died).  how do they do this without money? patrick has not spoken of cost for such things. heartbreaking.

i had an idea over the weekend for Patrick to ask his priest to write to Catholic churches near me, to speak of the suffering of the 100 families in his church and perhaps invite support from NC-based church to help them. i am overwhelmed to find $250 a week to send to 10 families, but I pray people will keep helping do this together.

this past weekend patrick also shared a problem the women were facing. they have their menstrual time and do not have any supplies. they have bled on their clothes.

i connected with another pollination grant recipienct in Uganda, and asked for her ideas to help these 12 women. (other girls will be coming of age soon.) I hope to find a way to either make or order safe and reusable supplies for every girl and women, so they need not have th emoney expense each month.

I announced Patrick’s offer to help in gardens. No one has taken us up on the offer, but I will remind people.

This week is a very big week for my work for Joy Corps. I doubt Patrick will be able to join the call live because he only has a cell phone and his service is not very strong. They really are in desperate need of a computer, a laptop. I hope one will manifest that we can send to them. perhaps a used one. he said if he gets one he can teach the children to use it.

Emma and Betty (his daughter) have started a penpalship. It’s hard right now because Emma is graduating soon and overwhelmed by lots of things to finish before graduation. All his children want to write to my children, and we take photos of the letters instead of mailing them. (costs $2 to send a letter from Kenya to US).

last week my heart broke over so many other people in Africa suffering due to lockdown. there is a woman in a war-torn country in africa. she asked me for nothing, but i messaged with her as she shared of the atrocities she has witnessed. all i could do was write to her and affirm how wrong it was for those things to happen. to affirm she was doing such good work to be there to help her people. i sent her a poem by wendell berry: the peace of wild things.


When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.