Our morning in Kisumu started with a breakfast consisting of eggs, bacon, sausage (or something similar looking), cereal, fruit and coffee. Shem, the founder of Homes for Help; a Kenyan NGO with a focus on building homes for widows and the elderly, joined us along with his close friend Tiana, who just so happens to be running for the governor of the Kisumu district.
Following some great conversation, the team boarded Raphael Airlines and went to check out one of Kisumu’s shopping districts. It didn’t take long before we became overwhelmed by the intense pressure the local vendors used to sell their wares. “Looking is free!” and “Brother, Sister, come in, all the way in!” were the cries pouring out from the shops trying to grab our attention as we passed the many stalls filled with souvenirs and knickknacks catering to foreigners like us. After pumping some tourism revenue into Kenya’s economy, we headed back to Duke’s Breeze, where we had planned on our lunch rendezvous with Mike.
While the team was dealing with the shopping district chaos, Mike and Shem drove to a community just outside of Kisumu called Ahero. This was just one of the locations where Homes for Help has transformed many lives via their home building projects and, because the need is so great in the area, they hope to transform many more. For only 400 US dollars Homes for Help is able to build a house in one day and change the lives of women living in broken down huts with collapsing walls and ceilings. It’s hard to imagine how a single mother or elderly person could live under such conditions. The fact is that many do.
Parting ways with Shem, and hoping to work together in some capacity in the near future, Mike met up with the team for lunch.
Returning back to the Harambee guest house later that evening, the girl’s watched a chick flick on Hannah’s computer.. and there may have been some guys who watched, but only because there was nothing else on. As the team winded down the day, they drifted off to bed, we all agreed; returning to Sigomre felt like returning home.
(The team became less a member as David had to take his flight out of Kenya today – with pressing business back in the U.S., he will be missed by his fellow teammates.)