Christmas was yesterday but I though it would be fun to tell about my Christmas 4 years ago in Kitale Kenya. It is one I like to remember most of all, making a nice kitchen for the Rescue Center Orphanage.
A project for two of us going on the trip was to build a kitchen for the orphanage. Just simple shelving and Rubbermaid tubs with screw on lids to store the Ugali flour and sugar. Naomi was the house mother who took care of everything from cooking to watching and loving the twenty kids. The first day we were there, I looked at her ‘kitchen’ (a shed off to the side) and there was a big fire with two 4 gallon size pots, boiling something for dinner. Those two utensils and a large butcher knife (with no handle) was all I saw. The kids ate out of disposable plates which she washed and they used every day. I asked Charles Masinde, who ran the orphanage to make a list of things they needed for the kitchen. His wife wrote up a long list and the next day we went into Kitale to Transmat, something like Wal Mart Super Store but bigger. I told him we only wanted heavy duty pots and first quality things, the same things I would want in my own kitchen.
An hour later, we had baskets filled with stainless steel pots, mixing bowls, butcher knives, paring knives, a chief’s knife, cutting board, large serving spoons, ladles, cheese grater, huge tea kettle, then stainless steel spoons and forks, nice unbreakable cream colored dinner plates and matching rimmed soup bowls and mugs. We went to the plastic ware department and bought dish pans, tubs, laundry baskets, and the buckets with screw on lids for the staples.
I had seen Naomi sweeping the area where the kids ate and studied, using a straw switch thing with no handle so I bought a broom. I was so happy with this purchase, no woman could manage without a real broom. The last thing I got were the sacks of Ugali flour, sugar and loaves of bread. I had told Charles I could only spend 20,000 shillings and the total bill came to just over that or $264. (the price of one kitchen appliance back home). This was one of those good days I will always remember. A real kitchen shower for Naomi. We never got the shelves built but that is something the men from the church can do later. Paul had another project in mind.
He hired electricians in town to come and put electricity in the orphanage, he told them to put light in every room and in the dinning/study hall and when they were finished he wanted to just flip a switch and have it all light up. It happened! I like to remember this Christmas time from 4 years ago.