Kenya…

I know you are hearing about the pain Kenya is expressing. I have heard from people back home asking if I am safe, so I write about the situation briefly here to share about how what you may be hearing and seeing on TV is being felt where I am. Firstly, I feel very safe. If that changes for me and I feel guided to leave, I will do so immediately. I am grateful to be able to say I have met some very caring friends here who are watching over me and most willing to help me in any way I need, at any moment. Secondly, I know you know, please allow me to remind you… the sound bites you hear, the footage you see…I’d say chances may be high it is likely the most ‘saleable stuff available on the market…’ Thirdly, as for the politics of the moment…it feels quite out of my realm…I am reflecting however on what I learned and shared in an earlier posting about community empowerment …

’’Honesty’ has revealed itself to be the foundation necessary to support the emergence and growth of an empowered community…’

Kenya is the neighboring country to the east of Uganda, referred to here as Uganda’s gateway to the sea. From where I am in the east of Uganda, the western Kenyan border is over the nearby mountain range that is home to Sipi Falls and Mt. Elgon. I am told if I left where I stay right now I could reach that border by vehicle in around 1 to 2 hours from Mbale and arrive in Nairobi, Kenya’s capital city in a total of about 8 to 10 hours or so. Of course, I have NO plans to do that just now.

As a result of Kenya’s current situation the most immediate and ‘tangible’ effect felt here on the ground in Mbale has been the jump in fuel prices (I understand most fuel in this country normally comes by tanker truck from Kenya and although recently there were a few days when no fuel trucks crossed the border, they are now being escorted by military and moving safely into Uganda once again. I further understand, as back up, at present there is fuel being shipped here from Tanzania by way of Lake Victoria)…in some cases a litre of gas is up over 300% which has started to spill over as a rise in the price of goods delivered and services available by ground transportation throughout Uganda. I think domestic flights have been temporarily cancelled in the short term because of the fuel situation.

I witness people here in Mbale praying for Kenyan’s. Most seem to know all too well the potential extent of the deep and often fatal wounds on every level of life caused by violent aggression and war. Every adult I meet can speak of days they remember not so long ago when life here was full of brutality, fear and sorrow and they all seem joined in the awareness that Peace initiated and supported by an atmosphere of willingness, patience and dialogue is the only way forward when conflict and disagreement arise. There is a quiet feeling in the air here, people are watching and listening, very compassionate towards and concerned with the number of lives that are being affected by the violence in Kenya. Of the people I have met in Mbale several are from Kenya and so have family there. Cell phones being very common, there are many calls to Kenya presently and everyone I have spoken with here has said their families and friends there are staying indoors and are safe.

I join with you and ALL, with Kenyan’s and Ugandan’s alike, in prayer…
Trust Assures… Peace, Joy and Love Prevail…Cath xoxo

Ps…On Monday I will be delivering surprises to both the families of Gideon and Betty…a bicycle for each family, enrollment in a tailoring course for Betty, shoes for all the members of that family along with supplies to show the boys how to make a ball for play out of local available materials, some health care news for Rose that will help baby Stella, books and school fees for Gideon along with back packs for him, Naume and Martha…Happy New Year Indeed!!!

Pss…Much appreciation to you for the ‘Love Gifts’ you have sent that Pippin informed me about yesterday…
Truly, Deeply, Thank You With All Of My Heart 🙂

About Catherine Koch

Founder and President of Love Is The Answer, a Canadian registered charity serving orphaned children in Africa.
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