Kitchens, Beds, and Baths of Kenya

When we arrived in Nairobi it was late and dark. We were taken to the Presbyterian Guest House and told not to use the water...after 48 hours of travel and 22 of it in the air. 

You can see sleeping nets above the bed. Those are to prevent malaria. When mosquitoes bite they deposit parasite eggs in the blood which hatch at different times according to when the bites occurred. We took malaria medicine a week before we left, while we were there and 4 weeks after we got back to kill every hatch.

When we woke up that first morning I could smell smoke and my first thought was, “Oh no, our building is on fire and I don't know where the exits are!” I looked out the door expecting to see frantic people running but I heard people visiting so went back and looked out the window....to see people cooking their breakfast a few yards away.
This was the source of the smoke. This family was cooking breakfast outside. We could smell cooking fires all over Kenya the entire time we were there.


Orphan Education

You can support an orphan educationally for only $120 per year.  Administration is all volunteer so every cent goes to education, mandatory uniforms and school supplies.

Orphan Education

Orphan Education-The youth on the left tried to express his appreciation for his education.  I could sense his frustration because he didn't think I understood the importance to him and his future.


Vacation Bible School-Cowboy Style

One layer of our mission work was a Vacation Bible School for 200 children.

Bible story telling with Ruth.
Mary does an object lesson with Life Savers. The children really didn't know what to think of the sweet Life Savers.


Mission team members visited rural schools to mentor the youth. The purpose was to elevate low self esteem, encourage the youth to stay in school, discuss career choices and AID’s prevention.


Medical Mission

These people were waiting at the mission site when we arrived at 7:30 in the morning to set up. That was because they had had along distance to travel to get there. Some had walked 10-20 miles. Hmmm...have you ever walked that far to see your doctor when you were sick? It was cold and cloudy (70 degrees F.) and we were told we would have a better turn out when it warmed up and the sun came out, and that turned out to be true.
Our crowd control mission volunteers kept everyone in neat lines as they waited patiently for registration. From there the adults had their blood pressure and temperature taken. Children were weighed.
Then people waited patiently to see our one dentist from our Grand Junction, CO delegation and our three doctors from the Meru Government Hospital. They want to help with medical mission when ever they can because they can help a lot of people in a short time and prevent further overcrowding of the government hospital.
The next stop was our pharmacy where prescriptions written by the doctors were filled by our 12 volunteers and dispensed by registered pharmacists.
The last and most popular stop was the health kits. We gave 600 kits with soap, toothbrushes and tooth paste and other items to improve local community hygiene .


Public School Assembly

Students danced for us in traditional African fashion...thrilling us with the athletic motion, costumes, chants, and......musical rhythm made by simple drums and a pop bottle and stick.
We gave the appreciative Kenyan children pencils and bears.

The teachers were given a fluorescent orange bag containing teaching supplies.

Uniformed Kenyan School Children Assemble Outdoors

This school has 400 students plus 32 preschoolers. There is a shortage of teachers so this school is supposed to have 14 teachers and it has 9 teachers. Teacher/pupil ratio is supposed to be 1/45 but in most schools it is more like 1/60. It costs families $120 per year per student to attend school. Most of these rural families live on less than $1.00 a day...so many have to decide WHICH if ANY of their children can attend school. Students are thirsty for knowledge and appreciate their education. The children at this assembly didn't squirm, poke each other, or talk and their eyes were on the speaker.
English is the national language so students are taught English.
This is the condition of all the books I saw in this school. This classroom had 3 books.
This shows the condition of the blackboards, the only visual tool teachers have.
This is a typical classroom. The teachers and children clean once a week. They had just cleaned when we got there. They pour water on the floor and sweep it out the door.


I'm watching you, and you're watching me.

Public Schools in Kenya have colorful wall displays and maps.

Typical Public School Building


Genuine Thanks

Jennifer thanked me for teaching her new skills and how to use new equipment with such sincerity. She said that she knows she will be able to make things better for her children. Nancy and Jennifer's photo by Karen Osborn

Women with a Mission

These ladies had their own "mission". They were on a mission to learn all they could. These "students" were easier to teach than any I've ever had.
The quilters had never had lessons in art elements and design and fabric selection before, and it was difficult to translate into equivalent vocabulary in their language. They were not about to give up or give in to frustration.
We introduced the efficiency and accuracy of rotary cutters to replace scissors and were rewarded with a collective "AHHHH!" when they were demonstrated. Our concern was to make sure they understood the importance of safe use of the razor sharp tools, but fear not! They understood that better than we did.

Unpacking the New Sewing Machines

Unpacking new sewing machines...photo by Karen Osborn

Putting them together and making sure they work...

We purchased 5 electric machines and 5 treadle machines. Electricity is not always available. Women learned to layer the quilt top, batting and backing and quilt by hand.

Learning to Sew with Machines and Quilt by Hand

Bryon is getting the new machines ready to sew and watchful eyes are taking it all in.
Quilters learned to hand quilt.

These special ladies appreciated learning to use machines instead of hand piecing all their work.
Rebecca is hand quilting.


Quilt Frame

A simple quilt frame was constructed so the quilters can hand quilt and finish larger projects.

Quilting Projects

Strip Quilted 9 Patch Projects

Proud Quilters


Completed Quilting Projects

By the end of the mission week the quilters had completed a small project, learned to use a rotary cutter, iron seams, make uniform seam width and make points and corners come together perfectly.


Julie presented Charles with a silver cross at the commissioning of the building. She brought it all the way from Nebraska, not without difficulty I might add. A "heavy metal object" is objectionable to airport security.

From my observations Kenyans work hard with limited resources.



A reception at the Emmanuel Methodist Church compound followed the commission of the multipurpose building. Kenya tea, cookies and fruit were served. This is one of the many cultural customs we found to be universal.

Socializing Following Commissioning of Multipurpose Building

Charity is on the left. She is one of our hard working quilting ladies, a foster parent AND the former primary teacher of these two young men. Both the men in the middle were among the very skilled, athletic, hard working construction workers that built the Multipurpose building. The woman on the right is so proud of her son standing beside her. The building is in the background.


Macadamia Tree Planted During Commissioning of Multipurpose Building

A macadamia tree was planted at the building site, representing the growth of something great in Christ.

The produce from the tree and the two sugar cane plants, also planted at the commissioning of the building, will be used to help support MWAKI children and their foster families. “Mwaki” is the acronym for “Mwana Wetu” Adopt a Kid Initiative. Mwaki is the Meru word for a builder. You are invited to become a builder by financially and morally supporting an orphaned child. $ 120.00 per year will provide school tuition, uniform, books and food to an orphaned child. Click on the title above to learn more or go to http://fowcuskenya.net.

Planting of Sugar Cane at Commissioning of Multipurpose Building

In a beautiful African tradition two sugar cane plants and a macadamia tree were planted at the site of the multipurpose building. The plantings signify the beginning of something great that will grow in Christ.