The plan was to take bunch of dancers and spend a few weeks over Christmas going wild on Forró in Itaunas and anywhere else in Brazil. But when I returned from my first trip to Kenya at the end of August the world was not the same anymore. I searched for flights to Brazil, but I felt my excitement was kind of fake. Don’t get me wrong, I still get high on Forró and love it with my whole heart. But even two months after my return, my heart was missing my Kenyan family, the dusty streets and endless savanas more than anything else. When I discovered that flights are way more reasonable to Kenya than to Brazil, I was sold.
Not even my Kenyan gang belived me when I said I was coming back in December, but here I am typing these words at the old desk of Fountain Youth offices. It’s my Day 3.
SO WHAT’S THE PLAN?
Are you asking, what I am doing here this time? A lot and not enough. Together with Fountain we’ve done a lot of work last time I was here, and many of the projects are ongoing, require follow up or they are gearing up for the second round.
The biggest part of my visit will be consumed by a trip to Busia, a poor rural area close to the Ugandan border, where Fountain also operates. Do you remember my fundraising efforts with which many of you helped BIG TIMES? Me and the Fountain team are heading to Busia to distribute school uniforms, books, shoes and stationery to needy children who qualified for the Back to School project.
I am really happy that I can be part of the trip, not only to see with my own eyes, where the money you contributed with go, but also to bring you back some cheerful evidence in pics and vids. It will be quite a trip, but who would not want to spend 10 hours in a car with 5 loud Kenyans, right? 😉
INUKA MICROFINANCE IS GROWING
We are doing our best to follow up on the needs of the Fountain’s microfinance project. The INUKA Microstart has a tremendous potential and many interested lenders. Yet, as the project grows, we now need to establish a better fully automatized database for the project and a good professional accounting system for the whole organization. Upon consultation with Patrick of the Department of Microfinance at ULB, I brought a software to Fountain that we will be testing in the coming days. This is quite a challenge for a person who hates setting up IT systems, so keep fingers crossed that we figure it out!
WE HAVE A HOUSE!
I am super proud for the progress made on construction of new offices and classrooms. Before I left in August, we closed a loan deal so that the organization can move to their own premises, cut administrative cost by one third and more importantly serve larger amount of women and youth thanks to bigger classrooms. The rough construction has been completed and is just a few steps from being fully finished. Next time I show up in summer, we will be under our own roof!
SALOME IS DOING GREAT
Last but not least, I will get to see s aw my girl Salome, who is undergoing special tuition to improve her performance and have a chance to better secondary and thus tertiary education. We will meet tomorrow have met earlier today and spent some time catching up. The tuition is working well for her and I am looking forward to see her results once the school year starts in January.
Oh and btw, Happy belated birthday, Salome!
HOLIDAYS FOR PETRA
Although the 25 degrees and bright sun do not remind me of Christmas at all, Kenyans celebrate as well. The organization will be closed until 2 January to celebrate this joyful time of the year. For me it means some well deserved time off. Cannot wait to reunite with Tony, who I haven’t seen since we left school in 2010.
This country is too beautiful to avoid travel. I am again grateful to Marie who is arranging safari time in Samburu and around. We all need to charge our bateries and doing so while spotting wild animals, breathing the special air of savanahs and spending time with amazing people is in my view the best option.
Thanks a lot for reading. Please, come back for more!