I was glad to have finished writing a few letters and post cards to my sponsored boys in Kenya and Ethiopia which I put in the post today. I am prepared for Christmas for them. Though I didn't send funds for Christmas gifts for the children, I opted to send family gifts so that the boy's families could have a nice Christmas without financial stresses. Christmas is the time in Kenya where the families like to try and get a new set of clothing and also have a meal that includes meat or fish rather than just starch and veggies. I hope that they will be able to also get a few other food stuffs they need since inflation is rampant in Kenya right now. I am not quite sure what the situation is in Ethiopia but I know the people are very poor so they will be able to benefit from a family gift. I was also able to get some post cards and note cards in the mail to other friends. I don't prepare much snail mail anymore and so it felt good to get these off in the post.
When I checked my post box at the post office today I had a wonderful surprise. A dear friend from Colorado sent me a cheque because she read my post here about the woman in Kenya who had fistula due to female genital mutilation (FGM). She has to be rushed to hospital to deliver her child and after that rushed to a larger city center for proper medical treatment. It's been a challenging time to get the funds together to take care of the hospital bills for this woman. Somehow through prayers and the grace of God we've managed to pay the medical bill so the woman, her baby and the lady missionary are now all on their way home. Initially, the plan was to send them to stay with friends in Kericho (which is even farther south from the mom's home) because we felt the young mom needed to rebuild her strength and recover from surgery. We were a bit concerned that she wasn't quite ready to go home due to blood in the breast milk. Though the hospital was prepared to release her we knew it wouldn't be easy to get her back to a major hospital again if it turned out that she needed more help.
In the end, the new mom stayed in hospital for several days longer due to inability to cover the medical fees. That meant she was a little stronger and we felt she could travel by the time I was able to get the funds together. The mother, her child and missionary were finally on their way home two days ago. They were planning to rest for one or two days at a relative's house in a small town called Kapenguria (near the Kenya-Uganda border). They would make the final leg the journey to Itibet (not on the map) over a rough road after their rest. You might remember that the woman just had surgery not even two weeks ago to repair fistula damage and is recovering from child birth too. So the travel is not easy. Thank goodness she has relatives along the way that can house her for a bit of rest.
If you look to the west on the map, you can find Eldoret. This is the larger city center where mom was in hospital for surgery. It is not the city where people from her area are supposed to go. They are supposed to be taken by ambulance to Kitale. But the young missionary woman that escorted her and the baby, had the foresight to tell the ambulance drivers to take her to Eldoret where the medical hospital is much better. Of course this added to the cost. But when you think that someone can lose a life or go to a better place and be sure to get good medical help then you must do what you can to get the best medical help.
From Eldoret, you travel north to Kapenguria. This is a much smaller town and where the travel party stayed with relatives for a night or two before journeying home. Their ultimate destination is not on the map but is very near the border of Uganda. In Kenya distances can be short but travel time is much longer than in Canada or the USA due to weather and road conditions.
The donation I received today and another recent donation from a blogging friend in England, really made us feel supported and helped alleviate some financial stress. It will be put to good use in helping the impoverished woman to purchase baby formula and pampers. Cloth diapers might be more cost effective and environmentally friendly but very impractical. It is a dry and dusty land where they live. There is little water for drinking let alone to have a regular bath and do laundry. That makes cloth diapers out of the question. We would like to provide this mom with assistance to buy formula and pampers until the baby is past the milk and pamper stage. If anyone would like to help with this need please feel free to get in touch.
Now on to a few other things.
In a recent post I shared with you that I was going to attend a book launch and a ballet performance. These occurred on Wednesday and Thursday and both were fantastic. This was very frugal entertainment for me because the book launch was free. The ballet performance I attended only cost me one dollar (Canadian). I got in on a deal with a group I belong to and that is why the cost was so minuscule. A regular ticket would have been $81.50 plus service charges.
I didn't get photos of the ballet performance as photos are not permitted for performances of any kind at most of the venues in the city. I think it is like that all over North America and Europe. In the ballet, the first half of the performance was set to the live choral music of Chor Leoni, a local men's choral group. The music added a lot of depth, power and beauty to the performance. I'm very glad I had a chance to experience it. The book launch was also a unique experience and I did get a few photos there too but wasn't permitted to take audience photos (more on the launch in another post).
I like to join in with hostess, Eileen at Saturday's Critters whenever I have time to shoot a new bird or other critter photos. This week I managed to get a few bird photos on 2 different days. The first one is a sea gull flying around the high towers of the city. The other bird is a black crow. We seem to have plenty of both in this city.
|This was the dark sky on the night of the book launch.|
|This bird was high up in the tree. I wouldn't have found him but for the zoom lens.|
|I captured this black bird on a beautiful sunny day.|
I also used one beautiful, sunny day to go out and get more photos of fall foliage. It seems one can never get enough of those.
|Lovely red maple leafs against the green grass.|
|I spotted this human critter across the street from where the bird was perched.|
Some of you read about the movies I was watching in my recent post here. I've been enjoying watching movies on DVD so much that I borrowed 3 more DVDs from the library:
- Gravity with Sandra Bullock and George Clooney
- Frost-Nixon with Frank Langella (as President Richard Nixon) and Michael Sheen (as David Frost)
- Heaven is for Real with Greg Kinnear.
My favourite movie out of the three is Heaven is For Real. Greg Kinnear played pastor and father to 4 year son, Colton Burpo, played by Connor Corum. These two actors gave outstanding performances and the entire supporting cast were terrific. In case you are unfamiliar with the film, it is about a small-town father (played by Greg Kinnear) who must find the courage and conviction to share with the world his son's life-changing experience of going to Heaven. Understandably it was not so easy for the father to believe that his 4 year old could have gone to Heaven. But a few things the young boy saw and experienced there and later relayed to his family, ultimately led the father to believe his young son. The story is about what happens as a result of the young boy's experience.
Of course all these DVDs were free to borrow from the library so it has been very frugal entertainment. My local library seems to be expanding it's DVD offerings. I will gladly make use of this service again in 2016. I've discovered that even though DVD loans are only for 1 week rather than 3 weeks like books, you can renew the DVDs even if someone has it on hold. Renewing books that are on hold doesn't work in my library system but it does work for DVDs. I'm not sure why but it works for me!
Playing in theaters right now is another great film if you are into spy films., the latest 007 movie "Spectre". I won't give anything away but I did see the film on Friday. It is a quintessential James Bond movie with thrills from beginning to end. The only thing I did not enjoy was the steep price of the movie ticket ($12.55 Canadian). My friend and I went to the matinee thinking we would get a cheaper entrance that way only to discover the theater is newly renovated. It now has a bar and lounge area and let's movie goers select their own seats prior to paying. For these benefits you pay a premium price whether you use the bar or not. It is just one way that movie theaters are now trying to attract or compete with restaurants and bar and other forms of entertainment.
Are you still with me? If you've hung in there all the way to this point in the post, I thank you. I wonder how many of you have heard of Movember? It is a global charitable cause set up to raise funds for prostate cancer, testicular cancer and men's mental health. The idea is that men grow mustaches in the month of November and also try to raise funds for the fight against these men's diseases. If you have ever had prostate cancer, testicular cancer or mental issues yourself, or, you have a loved one who has, you may be touched by these efforts. My friends in the Kenyan Boys Choir have been moved to grow mustaches and do their part to raise funds for the cause.They have set a modest goal of $500 and need your help to make the goal a reality. Please contribute here if you are able. You can also make anonymous contributions if you prefer. (I believe this beautiful photo below was taken by professional photographer for the Kenyan Boys Choir).
The members of the Kenyan Boys Choir who are touring in 2015. Only half of them are touring. The others are in Kenya.
This week I will be busy preparing things for a soon visit to my mom. As always I will be sewing a few things for her and getting all her food and medicines together and that requires time. I'm also looking forward to a visit from an out of town friend who is making an impromptu trip to the city. It will be nice to have some time to catch up on all the news. I might also have yet another movie to see in theaters. This one is a Christmas comedy with Diane Keaton, John Goodman and Olivia Wilde. It is an advance screening and I will get double passes for free.
I hope your week is an enjoyable one. Thank you for stopping by. As always I try to make a return visit to you too!