Wednesday, 13 March 2013

The Kenyan Election + much more

The Kenyan elections were peaceful and all is almost back to normal here in Nairobi. The CORD candidate Raila Odinga is challenging the elections but peacefully in court. The president elect Uhuru Kenyatta could face challenges as he faces charges at the International Criminal Court coming in the next months. This past week the entire country of Kenya was stopped as the results slowly came out and the winner was announced finally after five days of waiting in front of the TV. Kenyatta needed more than 50% of the vote and came out with 50.07% just making the cut. It seemed like everyone in Kenya was glued to the television last week- busses did not run, stores were closed etc. Everyone was anxiously waiting to see what would conclude the final announcement. Many were fearful of a repeat of the 2008 election where hundreds of people were killed in post election violence. Thankfully through the constant peace preached in church, and many media reminders and the determination of Kenyans peace prevailed.

I have been living with Phyllis’ husband and Will while she has been back in the US finding new YAVs and stuff. He has told me multiple times that he is not responsible if I blow away by the wind because I am so small. He thinks that I don’t eat enough and is always at the dinner table telling me to take thirds and fourths during meals. He has been testing me this past week to see if I can run an African home also and has said that I pass so that’s encouraging.

These past few weeks I have spent a lot of time writing articles and hanging out with my friends here who are great. I love it here so much! I am trying to find excuses to stay longer because my friends and I are trying to cram all kinds of things in. I have so many more families to meet here and places to visit.

Aside from that I have been going to multiple churches because all my friends want me to visit their churches. So far I consider my two home churches St. Andrews PCEA and Christco Central Church. I have really enjoyed both places and feel much at home at both. I am also working with Christco which is near Kibera (the largest informal settlement in Nairobi) to get a children’s home set up in that area. This will be to help empower street children who have lost their family members to provide them with quality education and skills necessary to survive in Nairobi. I hope that somehow I can manage to help this cause.
 Slums of Kibera A picture of Kibera. Kibera, BBC

I have also been helping a young girl named Blessing who is four years old. She was burnt badly with third degree burns on her face when she was two. She was at the point where she did not have eye lids and faced blindness because of infection. We were able to get her treatment at a hospital in Uganda which provides low cost treatment. They were able to perform reconstructive surgery for this little girl and since I have been arranging and escorting her to the hospital here to get her stitches out and go for checkups. Blessing is doing much healthier now that she can close her eyes, she also now can eat food by herself and her nose is in better shape than it was previously.  It is nice to be able to help make a difference in this young girls life and ensure she has a future.

I have also felt a bit discouraged from my church home. I do not really feel supported by them and rarely hear from them. I know that without their financial support I would not be here but it is also nice to have some encouragement especially since I am representing them.  


  1. Catherine please don't feel discouraged about your home church. We support you completely and are very proud of you. Now that I have figured out how to get here and how to prove that I am human and not a robot (???) I will try to share this knowledge with our fellow church members. It isn't easy but it pales in comparison to what you are doing. Thank you very much for all that you do for First Presbyterian Church Oxford, MS!

  2. Catherine,
    I hope that you will not feel discouraged for long. We were talking about you in church this morning at the 8:30 service. What you are doing is awesome. Not only your parents, but we are all very proud of you!
    Bill Mayo