Thursday, 18 August 2011


Well, we hit the ground in Kisumu/Kadawa with a soft thud and were relatively inactive for the first week.  Actually, not inactive, for it takes several days to get settled in to our surroundings.  The first two days here were spent in a guest house, until our normal accommodations were available.  As it turned out we could move in two days early, which made life a bit simpler.  Then we spent time getting groceries and various supplies (it's almost like setting up house) and re-visiting places in Kisumutown where we have established relationships.

The Klines at the Equator
 Then, our friends, the Kline family, came - Charlie, Heidi, Clarissa, Philip, Cory and Jeremy. Charlie and Heidi pastor a uniquely active church in Myerstown, Pennsylvania - The Fireplace - which faithfully supports the ministry at Kadawa.  When we were there in 2010 young Cory - about 8 or 9 at the time - took his savings account of $300, which he had been saving for a certain goal, and donated it to provide a year's supply of water for destitute widows in Kadawa.  Life became exciting as the Klines came into the Kadawa village to see first-hand what they are sowing into as a church and a family.

First, we visited 3 elderly widows who receive water weekly.  They were delighted to meet the Klines.  When we told them the story of what Cory had done they were well pleased and thanked him very much.  A couple of them explained that because of their age they no longer have the strength to go get water and carry it home on their head.  Each widow we visited adopted Cory as their grandson. 

Cory with Alice
In each home one or more of the children prayed for the widows and laid hands on the ones who said they weren't well, praying for their healing.  It was profoundly touching, and a wonderful, weepy time was had by all.  It certainly was a life-changing experience for these youngsters. (Might have been for the adults as well).

Harvesting the Maize
We want to emphasize that the drought in Kenya remains horrifically intense.  Here in Kadawa the lack of rain hasn't been as bad as in other parts.  The planting is done according to the "long" rains and the "short" rains.  This is the time for the short rains, but they are lasting longer than usual, whereas the long rains were shorter than usual. This has cause a lot of confusion about when to plant.  Many of the crops have been very poor, including the small crops on the villagers' land. This is due to the unusual rain- patterns and drought in between. The strange weather patterns are being attributed to El Nino. 

However, as you have seen in our previous photos, our land and the church land has prospered.  The Lord has truly blessed our fields and that, along with good managing techniques that He has taught us - proper fertilizer, weeding, and managing the water when the rain does come, has resulted in a crop that far surpasses the first one we did.  God has truly taken care of his widows and orphans with this particular crop. 

We bought this gadget for "shelling" the maize.  It's a corn thresher - or maize sheller as they call it here.  We bought this hand operated one ($35), had a stand made for it out of steel ($15) and we tried it out..  One of the widows - our neighbour, Florence - came over on some business.   We invited her into the store/barn to see what we had bought.  You see; traditionally the maize is all stripped off the cobs by hand and it takes a whole bunch of people a long time to do it.  It is a great fun time - all sitting on the mat on the ground, or on the floor chattering and laughing and, of course, having a meal because it is an all day (sometimes all week or several weeks) event.  We didn't want to interfere with the camaraderie, but also DID want to speed up the process.  Well, this one-man machine, which is actually an Amish contraption, isn't going to break up that kind of thing, but it will help speed the process up.  You put the cob in the top, turn the handle as fast as you can, and the cob spins around, the teeth force the kernels off the cob, and the when the cob is clean,the machine  turns it and spits it out the back.  Pretty slick!!  Back to the neighbor:  she speaks very little English, but when she saw it and watched John operate it she was grinning from ear to ear and then said "I must do this work".  Translated that means "Oh boy!  Let me have a crack at this!" She caught on right away - recognizing when the tension needed adjusting and was turning the various wing nuts and bolts.  

The maize extends down the 15 ft. wall and around trhe other corner!
 The two of us began the shelling the maize on Monday.  Then found the stand for the "thresher" needed some modification.  So John and Charles - the pastor who helps on the farm - went into Holo Market - the market place at the entrance to the village - and had a welder do the modifications.  Removing a steel bar, putting a longer one on a bit lower down, cost less than $1 (60pence).  Then we worked in earnest all day Tuesday.  We found out a few more modifications to be made to the stand, but can continue to go right along in the work.  It is hard and still takes a long time, but it was just the two of us.  On Wed. Florence came by again and she stepped right up to help us.  With 3 people working at it the task went much faster, and we really got a system going.  Each bucket holds 14 kilograms (about 31 lbs.)  We spread the shelled maize on tarpaulins to dry - it takes two days in the sun - and then we bag it. (We need to winnow it - the old-fashioned way) and then will add some preservative to protect it from weevils.  In three days we have done nearly 1000 lbs. - the two of us on Mon. and Tues. and the with Florence on Wed.  We haven't done even half of the harvest yet.  It is hard work - especially hauling in the maize after it has been drying awhile - but it is a great source of satisfaction at the end of the day.  And BOY are we learning a lot.  For instance Florence showed Marty how to tell by feeling a hand full of maize if it is dry enough to be bagged.  John has found out how to go about modifying the stand and finding the right people to do the job.  We have both learned how to sort and shell and winnow, and how much to pay for tarpaulin material, and that chickens and cows can eat any maize that can't be used and the cobs are coveted fire wood. 

We will write more within a couple of weeks.
NYASAYE OGWEDHI (nia sah eay o gway dee)  - GOD BLESS YOU!

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