On my last day in Kenya, the boys escort me along the path back to my hotel. It's Monday, and they're not in school, one because his uniform is worn out and they won't let him attend until he has a new one.
I wired a little money
to Salma after I got home; she took him to the shop for a new uniform,
black shoes, and book materials. She called excitedly to tell me it was
all resolved, and he got on the phone to say thanks, with everybody
celebrating and laughing a lot in the background. His name is Tomas, and he wants to be a
There are six children in the extended family.
The costs associated
with keeping them in school are difficult for families to manage.
They do their best with their little kiosk where they resell vegetables
and dried fish, and they're building a chicken coop. Mostly, the income
goes to feeding the family. Medical care is inexpensive, but medicines
can cost half the family's income when malaria flares up in one or
A little help goes a long way in Kenya.
Salma and the family struggle to
keep a straight face for a photo (right). I didn't help matters by
making faces while they tried to look serious.
With my buddy Anderson (left), the family and I sit and
talk about the practical matters of work and school and future goals.
Anderson battles with malaria.
They're doing their best. Salma's
brother Joseph works as a safari guide when he can get the opportunity
and in construction when jobs are available. In his early 20's, Joseph
is an impressive gentleman. Big voice, big heart, good, hardworking
fellow. Salma manages the chickens and the kiosk and the kids at home.
Salma and Joseph and I are trying
to pull together a plan to keep the family healthy and ensure the six
get to stay in school.
Wanna join in the fun? Ask me.