Views of Kamloops

A week ago Monday, I was visiting my mom at the local hospital. If you'd like to, you can read about it here.  I had to walk up this hill to get to the hospital. I thought you might like to see some views along the way. It was a statutory holiday here in my province that day so the streets were rather quiet.

The big  building in the middle at the end of the street is the hospital. On the right is the red brick Catholic Church.

In the distance you can see an old brick school on the left side just beyond the parking lot. In the distance you can see the mountains. The city of Kamloops is located in a narrow valley and has been built up around the junction of the North and South Thompson Rivers.

A quiet street  facing the front of the old brick school house in the previous photo. In the Summer, this street is the location of a farmer's market where you can purchase wonderful produce and baked goods. On market days this street is lively, colourful and lots of fun.
A building housing many of the city's doctors and a pharmacy.  See the reflections in the glass!

A long shot of the same building.

A view of a long standing hotel chain in the city. In the background the "mountains".

Here is a close up of the school which I reference in the photo near the top of this post.

A view back toward the city as I continue up the hill.

I do hope you've enjoyed the photos. More photos of this walk (to hospital and town) will be posted later.

Skywatch Friday, September 16, 2010

I snapped these photos rather hurriedly yesterday as I saw my bus rounding the corner to pick me up. I was trying to capture the vivid sunlight through the cloudy sky. It was a rather warm day, despite how it looks.

Join the Skywatch Friday gang here and see some wonderful photos of skies all over the world.

My World Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Hi friends,

I  am so blessed to bring you this guest post from my friend Pastor Jonah who writes to share the excitement of locating the well water in Marigat, Kenya! It really blesses my heart. If you haven't read the background to this project, you may do so here.

Otherwise read on about this huge blessing of God.

We have located the water in Marigat, Kenya.  I am so excited!

The engineer in charge, Bernard, informed me that we have enough water. More than we need. What a joy this is! For those who study water, Bernard talked of 10 cubic meters. Apparently when drilling water they often get 2 or 3 cubic meters. So we are truly blessed. Bernard is so excited. That is the excitement that comes with getting water for indeed water is life.
By Friday we will have test pumping for 24 hours just to check if the machines measured well. What an excitement this is.

The villagers here have done their part. We have had enough food for the hard working men. The chairman of the project has donated a big big goat for them, and the chief will do so too. This was all done yesterday at the sight of water. Earlier I had bought some food too for the group just to get us started.

We look forward to the celebrations of 'officially' getting this gift of water from the donors, the Is There Not a Cause team from Trinidad. We are looking forward to that great day. Already gifts of goats and sheep have been given for that 'Big day' which we hope will be maybe October, November or December. Whenever it is, I look forward to it.

In the other pictures, you can see us trying to cross over the River Perkerra. The water was down and we thought we could go and purchase some food in Marigat town. For me it was a tough choice and I had to be courageous to cross this river.

For a peek into what other people are doing on Tuesdays click here.

Photo of the Day

I love the sky and the vapour trail.

It's been raining a lot this week but the past few days the sun has come out after the rain. It makes for lovely days though they are a bit "coolish". How is the weather wherever you are?

Scenic Sunday, September 12, 2010

 I like the effect of the photo taken through a window screen.

Join others from around the world for Scenic Sunday

The Gift of Water

The water situation or the access to clean drinking water is a problem of major proportions for many Kenyans.  In 2007, I travelled to a very hot part of  Kenya to a community called Marigat, located north of Nakuru. There I was introduced to a missionary, a Kenyan national, who was hoping to build a church for the people and bring water to them as well.

I could not raise the funds myself to build a proper well in the community.  Neither did I know anyone or any organization that could bring water to the people. I did what I always do in this situation. I prayed and I scoured the internet for anyone that could help the people I had met; whether it was regarding water or any of the many other needs required in the villages I had visited.

One day, one such group I wrote to was located in Trinidad and Tobago. The group is called Is There Not a Cause. With very little information, the Executive Director, said that her group would visit my friend, Pastor Jonah and his people in Kenya.  While she couldn't be specific about the kind of help her group could provide, she promised to do something.

Many months later, this group did indeed visit Kenya. You can read more about their arrival in Kenya here . I was so happy to hear that they made it to Kenya.  In fact, I was overjoyed!  You see it had been my experience up to that point in time to have many people promise to do something for these Kenyan friends of mine.  In the end those who made promises failed to follow through.

This group indeed made good on their promise. They did many things while in Kenya and brought much relief to the people. You can read the series on their missions trip by clicking here.  On the trip to the community of Marigat in August 2009, one of the young people on that trip  felt touched to help the community get a well and the gift of clean water. You can read about their visit to Marigat here.  After the team returned home to Trinidad they raised the funds needed to dig the well and slowly the work of putting the well in place began.

In November 2009, a water survey was done and the geologist found water in Marigat. This was a huge blessing. Please read the story here.  In February 2010, preparatory work was still on going. You can read about some of this background here.

Well you can see that it has taken just over a year.  But at last the other day, Pastor Jonah sent me a message to say that the drilling trucks were on there way to Marigat to begin drilling the well>  Jonah also said that he was on the way to meet the lorries and the drillers and also the community members of Marigat. You can imagine the excitement and surprise I had. I can also imagine that the villagers in Marigat were even more excited than I was as they have literally been waiting for years and years to get clean water!!!

Here are a few photos of the lorries and the scenes in Marigat this past few days.

The lorry convoy makes it's way from Nairobi to Marigat.

A close up of one of several lorries on the way to Marigat, Kenya to dig the new well.

A drilling lorrie gets stuck in the mud. The irony is that this area doesn't get a lot of rain or water to make mud on the roads.
Here the people are praying before the digging begins.
This is a typical village hut in Marigat. A mother and her child who will benefit from the community well stand in front of their home.
Representatives from Life Water International meet with the beneficiaries of the well. Life Water has been contracted to over see the drilling of the well.

I hope you enjoyed this post. If you or any of your friends would like to help some of the Kenyan villagers, please read more about the Missions of Hope, here and here.

Went for a Visit to the Hospital

I went to visit mom at the hospital Monday. It is a statutory holiday here so it was rather quiet around the town. I will post photos of the city later.

A view of the City of Kamloops toward the north shore from the hospital grounds.
A view to the hospital from my walk up the hill.
A view from the hospital window. See the Kamloops River in the background.

Mom is doing well but very eager to get out of the hospital. She feels uncomfortable in there because it isn't set up for her like her apartment. At home she not only has the comfort of home, but she also has a special lift chair, and many other aids for mobility and independent living.

In the hospital room they don't even put a sheet on the bed. I have no idea why because they cover most of the mattress with pads and small blankets so they might as well put sheets down. It makes no sense. When she has asked about it they tell her the mattress is covered (which is it) and it is like having sheets on it (which is isn't).

The mattress does have some kind of fabric on it which is very slippery so it is hard for her to get comfortable as she slides around on it. Also she finds the mattress fabric irritating to her skin.

Here is a look at her leg. It had cellulitis and she has been in the hospital bed for 3 weeks waiting for it to get better. You can read more about cellulitis here

 Can you see how the dead skin has just peeled off?
Leg with cellulitis and dead skin peeling off. As you can see the leg is still very inflammed.
Her left leg used to look like this too but now there is absolutely no redness and previous wounds have healed. I think the heavy duty antibiotics she was receiving intravenously for a week really helped.
Mom is really anxious to get out of hospital. She says it is too difficult to keep the leg from getting reinjured in there when they insist on her having physiotherapy while there and that she do everything herself. Given all the equipment lying close by it is easy to see how the leg can be injured as it is quite fragile when red like this.
Once she gets home, (today is supposed to be discharge day), she can rest her leg.

My brother washed the carpets when he was here over the weekend. I have also been making the apartment ready by putting everything that was moved during carpet cleaning, back in place. I also washed dishes, floors and the bathroom and packed some clothes for the discharge girl. That was how I spent my statutory holiday. In my travels to and from the hospital, I saw a lot of hub=bub on the city buses. The high school students were out in full force doing last minute school shopping and hanging out with their friends sharing excitment about back to school which commences Tuesday.

Family Matters

Hi friends and fellow bloggers,

I will be away visiting and helping an elderly family member for the next several weeks. I will be busy sorting, purging and packing for a move. If I find something of interest to blog about in my sorting and packing or in my visit, I will pop in again. Otherwise, I expect it may be a bit quiet for me on the blogging front for awhile.

In the meantime, I encourage you to search around my blog as there are many different subjects covered within it's almost 300 posts. If you have time please also check out Missions of Hope website and blog here.

While I am away I hope to have more time for study of God's Word and meditating on it. I've been somewhat lax in that area of late.

I hope that each of you finds something of joy and usefulness to do with your hands or your mind or both as we transition into a new season weatherwise. All the best until I read you or hear from you.

Jiko Stove Project - Phase 2, Final Installment

The second phase of the Jiko Stove Project in Rift Valley Kenya is nearing completion.  We are making stoves in the villages of Chepkurbet, Anamoi, Kapcheptoror (5 miles from Kericho Town) and Kimilot which is inside the tea estate about 20 miles from Kericho Town.

As I mentioned in  my last post here, we have not had to supervise Emily and Regina who are making the stoves.  Yet these two women have gone beyond the call of duty, making beautiful stoves and even teaching the other women how to take care of their jikos.

Now the rest of these  photos below will show you the latter phases of the work.  Some of the pictures were taken at night so they are a bit dark but they will more than give you an idea about how well this project has gone.

This is a new stove that is in the process of curing (drying and being readied for baking).
Another angle of the stove.

The majority of stoves were made in Chepkurbet for the village women there and last time I checked in, Emily and Regina were on their third day of stove making for the widows in Anamoi. The balance of stoves will be made in the other villages and altogether this part of the project will see 35 stoves completed. In the first phase of the project which occurred about one and a half years ago, we were able to make 11 jiko stoves.  If you like, you can read more about that here.

A small child who will benefit from the reduced smoke emissions of this stove.
All the children in this household who will benefit from reduced smoke and reduced labour to collect firewood.

We are now able to get to more women and families with the jiko stoves. Not all of the women recipients of the stove are widows. Some of them have husbands. The thing they all have in common is that they need a new stove to help them with the environmental and health risks associated with the three stone fires they had been using. Read more about that here. For humble villagers like these to put in such a stove would be quite costly and also viewed as a luxury item.  While it might be financially doable for some it is likely at the expense or risk of not providing food and education for the children and other family members. Food is a necessity for people who often only get one meal a day and education would be considered far more valuable than a jiko stove.

Here is the mother. Just think how much better her daily cooking experience will be. Thank you God!
A fire is lit.
Another family benefits from the jiko.
A mother and her child with the new jiko.
This is an older type of jiko stove that at least one village woman had. You can see that it is an improvement over a stone fire but it is not energy efficient. Smoke and heat still escapes from the top. In a new jiko model the smoke is funnelled to the outside of the home and the stove would need less wood to keep a fire going due to energy efficiency.

I want to say one thing about the husbands also. Generally in Kenya, the men do not associate themselves so much with the concerns of the kitchen or the hardships of cooking. These areas of home life fall under the responsibility of women.  Consequently, I was very happy to hear how as a result of this project, some of the husbands are actively engaged and supportive of these new stoves and that they value them as an advantage for their wives and their households. You will see one of the husbands posing in the photos. You can see he is smiling and proud to have a new jiko stove.

One husband who so appreciates the stove for his family.
This concludes my series on Phase 2 of the Jiko Stove Project. Phase 3 will happen when I get to Kenya. You can read about that in the weeks to come.

Chepkurbet Jiko Stove Project Continues (Part 3)

Hello readers and friends,

I began telling you about the Jiko Stove Project awhile back. If you would like to read more please look here and here.

You will remember perhaps that my friend Pastor Jonah hired two local women, Emily and Regina to make the jiko stoves. These women are so passionate about making the stoves and they do it with a lot of joy and gusto. They have to be strong to make these stoves but they are also very creative and I am so pleased and happy that they have been able to help us out in making this project come to life. 

Emily and Regina are working very hard on behalf of all the women in the villages.  They have worked so tirelessly and they have worked with gusto despite not being supervised. They have also taken it upon themselves to teach the other women how to care for these stoves. It is a true pleasure to have them working on this project and to see them take on the making of the stoves as their own project. The widow woman in the top photo wearing the blue t-shirt is Mrs. Irene Songony, the recipient of this particular stove.

Here you see the two ladies pounding the soil that will ultimately become the new stove.

Here the ladies are smoothing out what will become the bottom end of the new stove.
Here is a look at one of the new stoves. See how the ladies have made some decorative edges all around. they have also created shelves at the back of the stove.

A clearer view of the stove.

Here is a close up of the stove. You can see the spaces for the firewood and also see that the stove top has two holes for cooking pots. Both holes need to be covered even if you are only using one. Chances are you need two pots to boil water. One for tea and one for cooking the food.

The Jiko Stove project continues. We have a few stoves to make in a handful of villages but most of them will be made in Chepkurbet. I pray these stoves would be a wonderful blessing to the women and their families.  I praise God we can help widows through this project. May God abundantly bless them and help all the widows we are helping so that their life can be as God intended for them.  I hope to share some final pictures with you soon and a few words about the impact of this project on the husbands, in my next and final instalment in this series on the Jiko Stove Project.

I hope you are enjoying this project as much as I've enjoyed sharing about it. Please pray for these women who are building the stoves. Pray that they would be blessed beyond measure and that the recipients of the stoves will also feel a great blessing from God.

Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, [and] to keep himself unspotted from the world. James 1:27

Friday Sky Just Before Friday Sunrise & A Missions Report

  We are officially into the Fall season and the weather is much cooler than it was a few short weeks ago. We have been having a lot of rain...