Africa – Kenya Part 5 Coming Home

July 25, 2008 at 3:58 pm (Uncategorized)

My parents have been in Africa for almost two full weeks helping take care of many orphaned African boys and girls. They are leaving soon and coming back to their very regular lives on Saturday. I am sure they will be exhausted and hopefully they will be changed people too. How great it is to serve others. My mother’s final email from Africa:

Our trip is ending. We had to say goodbye to the children tonight.We have become especially attached to a group of 10 adolescent boys who have had 2 different mamas since they have arrived at Rafiki (as well as being abandoned by their birth mother). One child watched while his dad murdered his mom, others have had deep emotional and sexual abuse. The oldest boy Kevin (around 14…no one really knows how old they are) asks ‘why do I never have a visitor?’
(no one has come to see him since he came over 10 years ago)

We have about 14 older students who have come from the outside the Village to attend school during the day. Due to the increase in numbers for lunch, we ran out of food the other day. It costs around $200/month to feed each child. Our refrigerator is pretty bare in our cottage too. We have all become clever at devising new things to eat.

We were able to go with our Village director last night and a drive into town for some business she needed to do. The roads were crazy with goats crossing, people walking everywhere, and dust. We finally got something decent to eat and we were all grateful for a break.

The children are very good at memorizing things. They have difficulty in making decisions on their own, working in groups and creative thinking. They look and act much younger than they are. I do think they can sing every song in the Hymnal and are great with their Bible knowledge.

I am looking forward to coming home. it was an encouragement to hear from some of you during our 2 weeks. We appreciate the support and prayers.

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Africa – Kenya Part 4

July 25, 2008 at 3:45 pm (Uncategorized)

A continuation of my parent’s experiences in Africa working with orphaned children:

I sit with amazement at my husband, who 4 months ago did not want to venture on a Mission trip because he thought ‘a teetsie fly’ might get him. The bug bit him, but not the one he thought. He has been so wonderful in teaching the children. There are so few male role models in a Village like this. He has spent countless hours instructing them in music as well as talking with them personally as a father. He plays for them prior to every meal and leads them in a study every evening. Naturally he brought many small toys (Curious George on the high wire etc.) that have allowed the children to laugh. It is great to see the delight in their eyes.

We don’t talk much about our jobs, condo, church, or checkbook, just daily planning for each class we are to instruct. My favorite thing today was the health/sex/HIV class I taught the girls. I had them place their questions in a bag without their names. They had many concerns I was able to address. I also love teaching spelling and grammar, even after misspelling ‘Ostrich’ yesterday in my email.

Kennedy, the man who travels 2 1/2 hours one way, spoke at a church on Sunday to 1000 people.

I am amazed at our director, who is up at 4AM praying, teaching, and directing all the problems and issues in running the Village. Her hard work and diligent attitude make this place work. My life seems so easy in comparison.

If I can stay up late enough to send a picture. I will. Bed looks good by 9PM

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Africa – Kenya part 3

July 23, 2008 at 6:34 pm (Uncategorized)

My parents are currently serving in Kenya with a group of orphaned children:

I left off with our walk to Joyce’s home to see how a Kenyan family lives. The 30 minute walk to her home was filled with some of the worst poverty I have seen. Children playing on mounds of garbage, dust, pollution from fires, chickens and animals in the streets. Shacks of cardboard formed houses.

Joyce’s home was considered ‘middle class’ by standards here. It did have a clean entry, but was so small, perhaps 500 feet, that all 6 of us could not enter the house at the same time without one of us standing. The main room not only had a couch but a set of bunk beds – 2 people slept in this room. There was a tiny bedroom where Joyce and her hubby and baby sleep. No refrigerator, no bathroom, every inch of space used. She was so proud and happy for us to come to her home. We were all humbled.

The safari trip took us 2 hours to get to the plane due to intense traffic and chaotic driving conditions. No traffic lights and cars everywhere, huge lines at gas stations with honking and yelling. Bicycles riding between cars on the roads trying to sell you newspapers. There was no one riding alone in the cars or vans. 8 to 12 Kenyans were shoved into each vehicle.

The safari itself was breathtaking…we saw lions, rhinoceros, cheetahs etc. everything BUT a leopard wouldn’t you know! The most spectacular sight was mating ostriches. Now there is a story I will share some other time. We stayed in tents but they were the kind Adele has always wanted us to use, showers, toilets, and soft beds with monkeys in the trees [or was that Jon running around?}

Back to the Village. We have an intense week of teaching. We start the day with Bible study and singing as a group, then Jon teaches music all day. I am teaching two classes of Bible Study on Numbers 7 to 12 (there is a cheery bit of scripture that I have tried to make interesting and applicable to their lives). Tomorrow I begin HIV classes and Sex and personal health for the girls.

A drunk driver running a fork lift from the rock quarry knocked down 30 feet of our Rafiki wall on Monday morning. The police are investigating and we have extra guards on duty to keep those out that would harm us or the Village children.

Enough for now…I have a class in Spelling and English I need to teach.

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Africa – Kenya Part 2

July 17, 2008 at 12:37 pm (Uncategorized)

Mom and Dad have been working all week with the children, here is an update:
(I will post pictures from their trip when they return)

Our Rafiki Village is surrounded by a wall. We have 3 armed guards at night that watch the gated entrance. It is a 12 hour shift in a small closed in observatory and we have one guard during the day. Gunshots were fired the night prior to our arrival, we are surrounded by slums and a quarry.

Kennedy is an assistant to the director and he travels by public transportation for 2 1/2 hours one way and then walks 15 minutes to and from the bus…then he works here all day, oftentimes over 8 hours, he has a family with a daughter who is 3 who needs to wait up for him until at least 10pm so he can see her. He is such a kind dedicated man

Joyce, walks 30 minutes each way to work in the maintenance dept here. Her husband has work only on occasion and she has 3 children. We are walking to her home today to see how a Kenyan family lives.

The children are delightful, cute, great warm smiles, wanting hugs and loves calling out Mrs. Pugh Mrs. Pugh! They love your dad who makes things, and plays with them as well as playing and teaching music. He is very wonderful and the boys especially hang on him.

Most of the children were found abandoned, some in ditches. Many make paper houses to shield themselves from the weather. They cover their bodies with oil from cars to prevent the mosquitoes from biting them. They learn to sniff glue at an early age so they mentally are able to tolerate their living conditions.

The children live in their homes in Rafiki with a Kenyan mom who raises all 10 children. She has to be a widow or single woman and devote her life to the children. It is a daunting task and they are truly amazing women.

We have 2 gardens on the premises, which help supply food for the children. The children are incredible eaters, they never complain about the food and they help set up and clean up the tables. They even cart their laundry to and from the area it is done. There is a sense of responsibility and thankfulness in their lives.

I have treated numerous children and moms for various illnesses.

Our home here is a place called Wageni which means ‘guest’ in Swahili. We are currently living with 11 people, we have our own room and bath.

Tomorrow we fly to Tanzania on a small plane and then go on a 2 day Safari. We will return Sunday and teach non stop for 5 days next week.

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July 16, 2008 at 4:28 pm (Uncategorized)

My folks are currently on the continent of Africa working with a group called Rafiki which helps orphaned children by giving them families they can count on. So far it has been a good trip for them. They have been sending me updates which I will post below:

Today we were up at 5:30, dad opened the morning staff prayer and Bible study by playing his cornet…it was a beautiful sight.

Our director of the Village is a dynamic Chinese woman who has worked for the Singapore government for 20 years. She graduated from Stanford as an attorney. She is a very sharp woman.

We taught all morning, music – dad was great, the kids love his ideas and humor.

At night we are assigned one of the houses [they have 10 children and a momma] to attend and share stories and evening devotions. We have been given the boys house [older children] whose momma up and left them about 1 month ago. They are having problems with some of the boys acting out and of course they are feeling abandoned since another significant person in their life has left. We had a lot of fun with them last evening and are going back in a few minutes for a Muggy Wump story. (This is a character my dad made up and would tell us stories about when we were kids)

I have seen 6 children with illness today and started some on medicine.

Joyce, who is a maintenance worker here, walks 30 minutes to and from the Village, has 2 children of her own to care for when she gets home, and an activity with church every evening. She has an incredible attitude (talk about busy). She is taking us to her home on Thursday so we can see life outside the Village walls.

gotta go

loves to all


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July 1, 2008 at 7:17 pm (Uncategorized)

Sorry for the delay, it is like I have been wrapped up in life and work for a little while. Of course we had a 4-year old staying with us for about a week so that took up a lot of my time. It was also really fun to be a dad for a little while to my nephew Kip. He is really cool and at a neat stage where he can do just about everything by himself, but he has an attention span of zero. He picks up something and plays with it for a few moments and then is on to something else like lightning. We learned quickly that trying to entertain him was futile. But when we left him alone, he would figure out something to play with by himself. That was super. Of course he was also always wanting to play the Wii as well, he liked to play the shooting game on Wii Play where you hit targets, clay pigeons and of course – ducks. He has a great name for it which is hilarious!

Me: “Kip what do you want to play?”
Kip: “Duck Hunk”
Me: “Duck Hunk?”
Kip: “Yes”


Over the weekend we had our eldest nephew Christian with us who is always fun to hang out with. We played games and lounged around on Saturday on account of the buckets of rain we were getting YET again. We ended up going to see Wall-E which I highly recommend. It was smart and fun, it is a big kid movie disguised as a kids cartoon. Also the opening cartoon that Pixar does is hilarious! It is about a magician and his rabbit, who is very, very, hungry.

Well I hope I will be on here a little bit more, but it is almost the 4th of July so I will be planning my fireworks strategy very soon. I love fireworks!

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