Thursday, August 16, 2007

Want More??? Click this link for more Photos

As the media and PR representative for WCA, it was my job to compile notes for our trip and report them to the public. So have a look at more photos below and at the link to this post (

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Here We Go

Click the title of this post to read some of the poetry that was inspired by the people.

A Day in Church was also a day with the children of Machakos. Aundre, Rev. William, and others were greeted with alot of interest. And De'Angelo stood up to make a bid on sugar cane during the service. The local farmers brought fresh produce to make their tithes. Worshipers and visitors were able to purchase items during an auction that made the Sunday service quite exhilarating.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Hakuna Matata

An African saying that followed us on this trip was Hakuna Matata (don't worry about it). It was a refrain on dealing with the challenges of life, how people survive and find happiness when there are few resources. I think it taught those of us who have most of our material needs met that true humanity, grace, and friendship is what we really seek. I carried this copy of "Vanity Fair" magazine with me to remind me of the politics that can either help or hinder the effort to bring Africans out of misery... and of what we have done in the U.S. to focus attention on it.

What the gift of water means to a child, a family, a village, cannot be summed up with any quick review. An account of how often we are able to access it, for our cars, hands, hair, pets, lawns, dishes, clothes, plants, meals, is the difference in how we survive. Click on the link to this post for more about this method of bringing water to the villages of Africa

Efforts to deliver the tanks, medicines, and the school supplies is on-going. Above, are scenes from the Gospel Brunch held in March. Congresswoman Dianne Watson and Della Reese officiated at the concert held in B.B. King's Blues Restaurant in Universal City. There were also barbeque dinners, seminars, and medical drives. A letter campaign and church meetings made this enormous grassroots fundraising effort an experience, the lesson that we can make a difference. Students from my University campus and from area highschools participated.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Making History in Africa

Making educational videos has come to be my way of teaching where a new generation absorbs and access media. Sooo... I took my cameras, with the prospect of finishing a video on the important work that WCA is doing in the next few months. Some of my previous DVDs on diversity can be accessed by clicking the title of this post and in the mean time, this blog has become a fascinating way of compiling notes and photos of some of what went on.

Among the best experiences was seeing USIU Nairobi, the private University my aunt Lillian spent 18 years helping to build. The Library named in her honor is part of hundreds of acres of land, and now boasts 37,000 students. Standing in the Head Librarian's office with Dr. Sophia Kaane made the visit very memorable.

There were numerous highlights, too immense to be counted and yet the whole experience has made me feel small and humble in God's world of diverse and amazing people.

Above is a monument to President Jomo Kenyatta, a photo of a "clean water" truck, two of our guides, Mike and Richard. There's Me and Aundre at breakfast in Mombasa; and three WCA members in their T-shirts: Reverend Anthony Hughes, his wife Rev. Dee, and Aundre.

Water For Children Africa

The WCA site can be reached by clicking the title of this post. From June 19-July 4, the WCA shared more than just time and effort.

There were many friends we made in Africa: Elliot, the security guard at our first hotel showed me on a map just where the heck I was in the scheme of things. Fred was my escort and sentry when it came to navigating the downtown streets of Nairobi, and Nora befriended me at dinner and agreed to eat Ostrich if I would.

Here is Vickie, the executive director and below, me with some of the teachers of Machakos.

Some of the highlights of our adventure:
* Seeing the Rift Valley and Naivasha Lake; Storks in the city that were bigger than most dogs; crossing the border into Uganda where we thought we might have to stay a while to explain ourselfes; check points on the road where police in uniforms (sometimes with smiles) stopped us to inspect the van; filling out more forms when both leaving or entering any country including Amsterdam and the U.S. (with the same info on our passports), women carrying bananas on their crowns.

Springs of Hope Children's Center

Click on the title of this post to see more of Springs of Hope Children's Centre. This is not their website, and they can be reached by email at or info

Here is Mrs. Gunder holding Faith, and one of the staff with a young boy at Springs of Hope

Photos of Comfort and the other children at this blog site. Including the center Director, Mary Musyoka

Monday, July 16, 2007

Karibu! (Welcome)

Treated to elaborate meals, I was impressed by how much I recognized the food. Their chapati was like our tortillas; rice both white and brown, and a version of reddish beef stew that kept me very happy.

We unloaded boxes of supplies at the Hospice in Uganda. After the first week and a half, we took in sites of the city, shopped in Kampala, lounged on the beach at Mombasa, dined in restaurants where the cats greeted us (this reminded me of Paris), and were treated to ceremonies in the forest country of our hosts. A time of great joy.

Probably, one of the most important highlights of the trip was when our director, Vickie Butcher was made a Queen Mother. Her dedication of years of bringing clean water to the villages and children of Africa was well deserved.
Having Vickie's grandsons and nephews (wearing blue T-shirts) De'Angelo, Raymond, and Garrett help with some of the heavy lifting meant a lot to the other travelers. Along with our team guide, Richard.

There was also a dress shop owner named Anne, who was so glad to have us visit (and Rev. Dee's fervent prayers), that she gave me two outfits! We made a donation to an HIV/AIDs Hospice in her name.

Photo Gallery #3

Everything was red. Except one of the aerial views of the village, the earth and the air was tinged by the minerals of the land. Even the satellite view of Uganda was red.