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Saturday, October 31, 2015

Hallowe'en

I've long noticed (and heard on the news) that Hallowe'en has moved up several spots in the retailer bonanza. This means the day is no longer just for children.  In fact, I daresay that adults have virtually taken over the day from the children and use it as an occasion for dress up and partying.

As each year that goes by the restaurants and retail stores also get caught up in the day because they are trying to entice the adults to spend.  In my small sample of photos, I saw several restaurants using the Hallowe'en theme to decorate and offering themed food and drinks.  These days I think small business owners have to work very hard to stay in business so they get creative.  I even saw one high end consignment shop trying to induce shoppers with the creative use of clothes for elegant costumes.

I took these photos as I was doing errands late this afternoon.

I don't celebrate Hallowe'en. I  gave that up when I was twelve but I do understand that little children find the day fun.  It is also a time when a lot of parents bond with their children over preparing the costume for the evening and going out together to get the treats. I see the children holding hands with moms and dads in the neighbourhood. They always bring a smile to my face. But I actually see more adults in costume than children and today was no exception.

Not to be a party pooper but I abhore all the money being spent on decor and costumes for grownups. There just is so much need in the world and even here at home that I wish people would save the money and give it to charity. There are people going hungry and dying for lack of medical care in many places around the world. Even in Canada, individuals and families go hungry & go without homes.  Many that still have homes and jobs have taken on a level of household debt never seen before.  Looking for party excuses is perhaps one way to blow off steam and avoid dealing with the family finances.


Right now I hear firecrackers going off. It will likely be like that until 3 or 4 in the morning. 

On the news yesterday there was a report of one old wooden house burned down due to firecrackers. 
Some residents want the firecrackers banned altogether. Especially those that live in a very old house. 

 Whether you celebrate Halloween or not, stay safe.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Saturday's Critters ~ October 30, 2015

A collection of  critter photos taken down at the beach recently.



I don't know what all the commotion was but there were swarms of birds in the sky.
There were more than this but I didn't have a chance to capture them. they were moving too quickly for me.


This nice dog had lots of fun watching the water and digging a hole in the sand for his ball. His owner was relaxing with a book.


This was a smaller swarm of black birds. I think they are crows.  The black colour looks so nice against such a beautiful blue sky.



The birds perched atop a few trees before flying off again a few minutes later. 
Boy did they make a racket as they called to one another as they flew off.
I often wonder what it is they are telling one another. 
Since they made racket in their landing and their leaving, I assume they were
cawing about where to land and when to leave.


Joining in with host Eileen

Yesterdays' Skywatch Friday pics.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Thursday, October 29, 2015

An Afternoon at the Seawall






I'm glad I took these photos while the sun was shining because this week it has been raining and overcast.


I went to see the new movie, "Truth" today.  The events depicted in the movie are those responsible for the resignation of Dan Rather and the firing of producer, Mary Mapes from "60 Minutes".  The movie is a bit long and draggy in parts but is worthwhile going to see for the excellent performances of  Robert Redford, Cate Blanchett, Dennis Quaid & Topher Grace. I don't remember this particular story that gripped the American press so it was a good insight into some of the history of the times.

I've also added two more books to my reading pile. One, Moonstone (written by Wilkie Collins), was recommended by blogger  Frugal in France.

 The other I got from a woman in the movie line up tonight.  She was reading Girl in the Woods by Aspen Matis.  When she and I discussed the book I thought  it sounded like a very interesting read. Both books are now on hold through my local library and I should have them soon.  This time there isn't a long wait list for either of them.




Joining in with Skywatch Friday
&
Friday Foto Friends.

Thanks to Yogi, Sandy, Sylvia & Deb for hosting these fun memes!

Wishing all of you a fabulous weekend.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

A Tuesday in Late October

Oh my, the time is going quickly, so quickly. I know I've said that before. Before you know it Christmas will be here!

In the meantime, I've got a lot to catch up on; including reading. I'm still about 13 books short of meeting this year's reading goal of 45 books. It is a goal easy enough to reach but not if you've gone months without reading and are busy with many other things. I'm doing my best to catch up but it won't be the end of the world if I do not meet the goal. I will simply shift some books to next year.

This week I've finished reading the following books:


This was an easy read and had some good tips;  especially for retirees in USA.



This is interesting because it gives insight into how a poor Puerto Rican rose to become a US Supreme Court Justice.




This book gives insight into the traditional spiritual ways of Lakota people.
~~~~~~

I enjoyed all three of these books for different reasons and if you are looking for some different kinds of reading material I think all three books qualify for different reasons. Please note if you are interested in reading Black Elk, this is not the book of a similar name, Black Elk Speaks.  The book I read is written by a Native American scholar as told to him by a spiritual elder of the Lakota people. The book is not for anyone who rigidly adheres to grammar and finds it difficult to follow stories that are not told in a linear way. You need to be more open and flexible to reading and learning the contents of this book and I've read in reviews that some people just find it too frustrating.

I have a lot of reading material right now that I want to make progress on. Much of it is financial related (debt, estate planning, finance for women, that kind of thing). I also have a few books on  my Kindle and my Kobo readers that have been suggested to me by various bloggers (more about that in a future post). I also came across some new to me Kenyan authors that I would like to read. However these books are not in my library system so I probably will have to purchase them down the line.

Here are the two books and on line descriptions of them. You will notice that both of them are set in the same area in Kenya. I'm interested in them because I enjoy all things Kenyan but I also enjoy learning more about those the white expatriates who went to live in Kenya.

The Ghosts of Happy Valley, Juliet Barnes
 This is one of the write ups I found about the story line.
The Ghosts of Happy Valley: The Biography
‘Happy Valley’ was the name given to the region of Kenya’s Central Highlands where a community of affluent, hedonistic white expatriates settled between the wars. Including the writer Karen Blixen (Isak Dinesen), the pioneering aviator Beryl Markham and the troubled socialite Idina Sackville whose life was told in Frances Osborne’s bestselling The Bolter, the Happy Valley set’s notoriety was sealed in 1931 with the sensational – and still unsolved - murder of the Earl of Errol, the investigation of which laid bare the extent of the set’s decadence and irresponsibility, and made for another bestselling book in James Fox’s White Mischief. But what is left now? Juliet Barnes, who has lived in Kenya for many years, has set out to explore Happy Valley in a remarkable and indefatigable archaeological quest to find the homes and haunts of this extraordinary and vanished set of people – grand residences like Clouds up in the hills that once hosted opulent and scandalous parties. With the help of African guides, and guided by the memories of elderly expats she tracks down to the Muthiaga old enough to have first-hand memories of the likes of Idina and Lord Errol and the lives they led, what she finds - ruins reclaimed by luxuriant bush, tumbledown dwellings in which an African family ekes a subsistence living, or even a modest school – is a revelation of the state of modern Africa that makes the gilded era of the Happy Valley set seem even more fantastic. A book to set alongside such singular evocations of Africa and its strange colonial history as The Africa House, Happy Valley: The Biography is a mesmerising blend of travel narrative, social history and personal quest.


The second book is called The Temptress: The Scandalous Life of Alice de Janze and the Mysterious Death of Lord Erroll

A glamorous American multi-millionairess, Alice de JanzĂ© scandalized 1920's Paris when she left her aristocratic French husband for an English lover—whom she later tried to kill in a failed murder-suicide in the Gare du Nord. Abandoning Paris for the moneyed British colonial society known as Kenya's Happy Valley, she became the lover of the handsome womanizer, Joss Hay, Lord Erroll. In 1941, Erroll was shot in his car on an isolated road. A cuckolded husband was brought to trial and acquitted, and the crime remained tantalizingly unsolved.

Paul Spicer, whose mother was a confidante of Alice's, used personal letters and his own extensive research to piece together what really happened that fateful evening. He brings to life an era of unimaginable wealth and indulgence, where people changed bed partners as easily as they would order a cocktail, and where jealousy and hidden passions brewed. At the heart of The Temptress is Alice, whose seductive charms no man could resist, and whose unfulfilled quest for love ended in her own suicide at age forty-two.  




There is a new movie coming out with Robert Redford, Cate Blanchett and Topher Grace. Its a 2015 American political docudrama film written and directed by James Vanderbilt. It is based on American journalist and television news producer Mary Mapes' memoir Truth and Duty: The Press, the President and the Privilege of Power. The film focuses on the Killian documents controversy and the last days of news anchor Dan Rather and producer Mary Mapes at CBS News. It premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival and I understand is currently in limited release in Canadian cities and possibly cities in the USA.  It should be more widely available at the end of October in North America and Australia.



We had not a bad day weather-wise here though I definitely feel the chill in the air at night. At least I have some scenic eye candy to help me through the next few months. I took these photos a few days ago down at Vancouver's waterfront area.



The water was very choppy but there were a lot of vessels out at sea, many of them pleasure craft.


There were also a lot of sail boats out for the day. The sun was shining brightly on the water.

This man had the right idea and sat and watched the waterfront for quite some time.


Joining up with Our World Tuesday today.
Thanks for visiting.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

A Full Week

Hello friends, 

It has been a busy week. 

Several days a week, I have been trying to devote time to the study Spanish.  I've also been scouring used book shops for good dictionaries and phrase books.

I purchased this small phrase book of Latin American Spanish, a book of verbs and a small dictionary.  If I continue to spend time in self learning I will expand the Spanish language resources I have.

My Spanish teacher is from Mexico.
Thoughts and prayers are with the people of Mexico right now.
They have just experienced one of the strongest hurricanes on record on the Pacific Coast. Many of us have thankfully never had to experience a hurricane and I can only imagine the horror of it all.
For some of you this will hit closer to home if you have friends visiting the country or family living there.



I've said before that Fall/Autumn season is my favourite time of year. Each year I try to get some photos of the Fall/Autumn colours but it has been so very busy this past 6 weeks and I missed many of our beautiful sunny days and photo opportunities.


Believe it or not, I spent many of the earlier sunny Fall days decluttering and organizing. I did a significant amount of work then got busy with other things. Once the weather gets rainy again, I will get back to my decluttering and re-organizing exercise and finish what I started.



The two photos (above and below) of Fall/Autumn leaves were taken one rainy day earlier in the week.

I love all the variations of red and orange in the leaves.


Mid-week I had the pleasure of hosting the members of the Kenyan Boys Choir to dinner at Simba's Grill in Vancouver.

I thought they might be homesick for some African food as they have been on the road for more than a month and are only part way through their tour.
The choir was performing at the annual WeDay Conference here as well as at many schools and other venues around the city.
The young men are always a big sensation.
The choir members are ALL wonderful ambassadors for the country of Kenya.

Each singer has his own style and strengths and together they blend and harmonize in one terrific sound.

If you get a chance to hear them you will find out what I mean.
They work incredibly hard each and every day to give the best possible performance to a wide variety of audiences.

If you haven't heard them yet, please do check them out on YouTube and support their work and mission when they come to a city near you.

You can also follow them on Twitter and Facebook or purchase their music on ITunes.


Mid-week, my brother and I spent some time together going to a movie. We seldom spend time together outside of family meals and duties but it was his birthday earlier this week.  We went to the advance screening of the newest movie starring Bill Murray and Kate Hudson. It may not appeal to everyone but I found it entertaining. I won't give away the story.  If you like Bill Murray or Kate Hudson you can check out the movie trailer here.

To close out the week, I had a foot care appointment.  The nurse noted an improvement in the way my nails are growing and that is welcome news as it has taken about a year of specialized foot care to get to this point.

After my appointment, I went downtown to English Bay with my camera in hand as it was a beautiful, sunny day.

I took a lot of photos along the waterfront.

I missed so many photo opportunities earlier in the season so I was making up for it.
  It really was such a perfect afternoon.

Although the water was very choppy there was a lot of  traffic on the water (more on that in a future post).  There were plenty of people walking or sitting along the waterfront areas: soaking up the sunshine, people watching and enjoying the sound of the surf. I easily spent a few hours enjoying myself and taking photos.



The first photo looks north west toward the West End.  The famous Stanley Park is beyond the highrises.

The next two photos feature an Inuksuk.

The houses on the hillside are part of British Properties neighbourhood, an exclusive part of the city.

An Inuksuk is a landmark made of stones and built by the Inuit people of the far north to help them find their way over the vast and flat tundra.


This Inuksuk has graced the beachfront of Vancouver since the Winter Olympics of 2010.

The first bridge in the photo is Burrard St., beyond it is Granville St. bridge and the Fairview Slopes neighbourhood.

While I was taking photos of the waterfront I heard a lot of commotion in the air.

I looked up and saw a swarm, or rather several swarms of birds. It was quite the sight to see. and hear. I can't share all the photos today so there will be more in a future post.





Another most important activity this week has been praying for, and liaising with, the Missions of Hope in Kenya.

In an earlier post, I shared that the team went to western Kenya to deliver food aid to the Pokot people and to evangelize.

While they were there they were called upon to rush a young woman in delivery distress to the nearest hospital.

The closest hospital was in a small town just over an hour away.  The journey was tense as the woman's water had already broken before the journey commenced and time was of the essence.

  This medical  mission was not part of the plan or budget but it was very important to the community that the mission team help this young mother to be and she needed urgent help.

The team drove the young woman to the hospital and she delivered a healthy baby.
However, the young mom had been circumcised causing problems in delivery.

She needed more urgent care and ended up having to be transported by ambulance to a larger city centre (Eldoret) for surgery.
Doctors there saw that she had lost a lot of blood.  She has been in hospital all week getting and recovering from surgery, getting blood transfusions and being treated for infection.

Church service in Western Kenya

The newborn baby had to go with her and so a young missionary woman from the community escorted both mom and newborn. She is helping with translation between mother and medical staff and also looking after the baby.  She didn't have time to prepare for the trip to hospital because the decision to transfer the young mother was made very quickly. Basically she just took a change of clothing and they have already been at hospital for a week.

It  has been an incredibly challenging week for everyone involved, especially the missionary, the young mom and Jonah from the Missions of Hope.


The missionary woman is a single woman and has never had to look after children let alone a newborn.

The young mom, the baby and the missionary are all far from home and it has been difficult living in the hospital accommodation all week with no fresh air, no familiarities of home and inadequate clothing and hygiene supplies.  My friend Jonah has also felt the added responsibilities of trying to help the young mom get the help that she needs and medical care in Kenya is expensive.

To conclude, the woman is ready to be discharged from hospital.
She can be discharged once the bill is fully paid.

Only this financial expense was not anticipated. 

We covet your prayers and any help you might give.
Don't feel pressure or discomfort in reading these words.
I am simply sharing the needs and the realities of real people in another land.
Some of you will know as a result of travels to Kenya yourself. For many more of you, all this kind of thing is very new.

We wait to hear from anyone who feels a leading to assist.


Linking today with

&

Thank you to all the hosts of these great memes!

Sending my readers lots of love, laughter and wishes for a great weekend.
Be kind to one another and to yourself.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

FMG & Fistula

Yesterday I wrote about the young mother from Pokot area of western  Kenya who had to be rushed to hospital to deliver  her baby who was in a breech position.

Like many young girls and women in Kenya, this mother has had female circumcision done, better known by some as female genital mutilation (FMG) and medically as clitoridectomy.

The mother was rushed to a clinic at Kacheliba which is a great distance away from her home (45 kilometres one way).   Her child was born successfully with the help of medical intervention.  The mother lived too but is not doing well.  She is ruptured down below and needs surgery.  I believe this problem is called "fistula".  The surgery to repair cannot be done at the little clinic where the mother and child are currently admitted.


It requires her travelling to another larger center (Kitale or Eldoret) and so a lot of resources are required for the travel, the surgery and care while she is away  from home. I'm not certain of all the details because there is also the issue of her young baby and what to do with the child.

This is a complicated situation and requires prayerful intervention. We need some miracles here. Please pray for the missions team that is there now and for the young mother and her child and family.

I give thanks for the prayers offered over the past two days. The baby was born in good health despite the very tenuous start. Let us hope the baby continues in good health and that the mother can be rehabilitated through surgery soon and that there will be no complications.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Skies Over the Pokot

 My friends who live in the highlands near Kericho, Kenya are once
again on a humanitarian mission and have sent me some photos to share.

The first few photos show the beautiful, blue sky with wisps of cloud.
I have been to some Pokot communities but not nearly as far north as my friends often travel.

They travel to different areas of Pokot country in Kenya every month, or every other month,  whenever they can get enough donations to to buy food-aid and petrol.  The vehicle they drive is borrowed from the church but if something happens that requires repair they must repair the car before they return it to the church.

Considering these believers from Kericho are not wealthy, they take on great responsibility to make sure they minister to those that are less fortunate. The people they minister to are called the Pokot and I've written about them before.

The northern and western areas of Kenya, where the Pokot people tend to live is very arid and the people are going hungry on a regular basis.  The evangelistic and humanitarian team are zealous in their care and concern for the Pokot.
They remind me of the scriptures which say:

"But we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word."
Acts 6:4
"A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. "By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another." 
 John 13: 34-35


 My friend Jonah always travels with several others volunteers from his church. They often go on a 2-3 day journey but this trip is a bit longer.

In the photos above, Jonah is standing by a granary or the storehouse where food is kept.
Right now the store houses are empty.


Can you see the camel in the shade of the tree?
Camels can survive without water for a long time in the desert heat.
Humans cannot.


The man in the photo eagerly drinks the bottled water that has been provided because the water is clean and he won't get sick from drinking it.

 Water is a luxury in many places of Kenya; especially clean and pure water which does not carry disease.


In these far flung places the people do not own cars.

If  a person wants a ride they generally hire a boda boda which is a motorcycle taxi. In a larger centre you can ride a matatu (shared van taxi).

It is not uncommon to find huge loads on a boda boda. You can also find up to 5 and 6 people riding on a boda boda in addition to the driver. Generally they are not wearing helmets.


These are interesting picture because you can see how useful a boda boda can be. In these case, they are transporting chairs.


The chairs are being delivered to the church without walls where the people are gathering to worship and to receive a blessing.   Many will have to stand as there are not enough chairs.



I love to see the looks on the faces of the children wherever my friends minister in Kenya.

These young and innocent faces express all kinds of emotions.
I often wonder what these young eyes have seen.



A bit of a dicey situation arose late Thursday night (Kenyan time).

The ministry team was summoned by the midwives to help an expectant young mom in distress.
Her water had broken and the baby was in a breech position.

My friends rushed her to clinic in the 4 x4 just in the nick of time.  The clinic is 47 kilometres away so it took awhile to get there and the situation was tense.

Can you imagine what would happen if there was no vehicle?

My guess is that in desperation, they would have tried to get the woman to hospital on a boda boda.
Fortunately my friends were there.  Otherwise I shudder to think what would have happened to the young mom and her unborn child.

Jonah and the team have now returned to the community where they will be ministering until Sunday.

The young mom was left behind at the clinic.
She will be kept under observation and given care to ensure that complications like fistula do not develop.

The missions team is giving thanks that they were able to play a practical role and a spiritual one in saving at least two lives.

As always we covet your prayers for the missions to alleviate the suffering of the Pokot people.

Joining with with Skywatch Friday

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Thankful


It is Thanksgiving here in Canada and I want to wish my Canadian readers a Happy Thanksgiving.

I'm grateful to have an officially sanctioned time each year to to pause the ordinary course of events and reflect on the goodness of God and the blessings in my life.

Of course one doesn't need to wait and give thanks only once per year. I try to do that on a frequent basis but it is still nice to have one holiday called Thanksgiving. Even more so if one knows the purpose of the holiday.

Life comes with it's share of sorrows, trials and tribulations and it can make some people very bitter.

But there are also times of  joy and happy moments. Daily too there are little things that give our lives added beauty, joy and meaning and put a smile on our faces if we let them..  As a person with an abiding faith I also hold on to the scripture that says 

"And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose." Romans 8:28

No matter what happens I feel that God will work it out in the end if I just trust Him.
Things always happen for a reason and sometimes we do not know what those reasons are in the moment.
Only later can we look back with greater clarity and understanding.

That is the Burrard Street Bridge in background and on the right is the beginning of the West End (Downtown).

I am grateful for so many things, large and small.
Sometimes I just need to stop and think hard about what those things are. Sometimes we lose sight of the goodness and the blessings when everything is not going the way it should or the way we would like.  Those are the times when it is even more important to consider how blessed we really are.

The bridge above is Granville Street Bridge. The highrises in back are Fairview Slopes area.

I'm grateful for living in a beautiful city and having beautiful places to visit, either alone or with friends.
On the day of these photos, my friend invited me to Granville Island after stopping a very nice place for coffee in another part of town. But on other days, I have visited alone and still have a wonderful time having coffee or lunch, buying fruits and vegetables and people watching.

Another view of Burrard Street Bridge.

I'm always awestruck by the beautiful scenery at the waterfront no matter what part of the waterfront I happen to be visiting in this city.

This day it was rather quiet at Granville Island. It is a long weekend, Thanksgiving weekend.  I  suspect many people have left the City to be with family and loved ones.


I am grateful I have family and loved ones too.

Though my family is small, I love them dearly.
I am grateful that though my elderly mom is sick she is still here and I can talk to her each day.
I pray daily for her many needs:  for compassionate and helpful caregivers and that God would help her memory which is starting to fade, relieve her pain and help her in every way.

I am also grateful that this Thanksgiving, I have loved ones who will join me for Thanksgiving Dinner and that I can still make the odd large meal though I don't cook one nearly so often.   Even if I couldn't we would still gather and dine on rotisserie chicken and other fixings. 
The important thing is just to be together.


On the day I visited Granville Island there was a break in the weather and the sun came out. That may seem like a small thing too.  But it is the little things that add up to make pleasant days and beautiful weeks and months and years if we take the time to appreciate them.

We will have a few sunny days this week. I'm grateful for that too because it won't be too long before the winter rains come.

Bridges is a very popular restaurant on the Island. They have large deck on the other side where you can sit and enjoy the view.

There are so many more things for which I am grateful but I won't enumerate them all.
Mainly I wanted to share these photos that I took a few days ago.

They depict a very small part of Granville Island.
If you are interested, I've posted several other times about Granville Island and in more detail.
If you would like to read them you can find them here.

Thank you for stopping by.
Have a great week!

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Seagulls on the Island

Seagull at Granville Island in Vancouver
Granville Island Public Market in Vancouver is a destination for tourists and locals alike. There is a lot to look at and admire on the waterfront and the atmosphere is very peaceful and enjoyable even when there are hordes of people around. At least, I find it so, but I don't get to this place too often anymore. I may get there at least once, perhaps twice a year. 

This time I was with a friend who likes to go there and it was probably the quietest I have ever seen it. It looks like the group of ladies in the background were enjoying shopping and picture taking. I think they may have been waiting for one of the Aqua buses that goes from one end of the Island to downtown Vancouver.

I found these seagulls just in time for Saturday's Critters with Eileen. 

Have a great weekend everyone!

If you missed my post from Thursday please see it here. Especially if you are the praying kind. 

Thanks so much!

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Fall is All Around

These are current scenes of Fall/Autumn where I live. 
The first set of photos were snapped early evening just as sun was setting today on Tuesday .

You can see the sky is very dark and cloudy.  But we've had lovely sunshine and warmish temperatures for several weeks, interspersed with light rain for a day or two before the rain started this week.







I haven't done any gardening since about the middle of August. 

I need to make time to clean it up a bit before the winter comes around.



Many of the trees have lost their leaves due to wind and rain but there are still some lovely colours all around.

I snapped the next few photos when I went out for errands today.

It was quite wet!





These next shots will show October in a small Kenyan town in the highlands and were sent to me by a Kenyan friend there.
 My friends in the highlands have already started experiencing heavy rains.
It is expected to go on until December.

Residents in different parts of Kenya are being warned to evacuate but many have stayed put saying they have no where to go and no money to get there.


Besides being bad for people, especially the very poor, the bad weather makes it difficult for me to finalize travel plans to Kenya.

The wettest months are usually April and May.
The second rainiest season is October and November.
I would like to see or hear of a break in the expected El Nino rains and to determine how bad things are going to get weather-wise in the next month or so before I plan travels.

Nairobi (where I would spend considerable time) has already had very heavy rains and flash floods over the past several months. It has led to loss of buildings and even loss of life. Narok which is very close to Maasai Mara, one of the premier safari parks has also experienced flash flooding.


County governments have been clamoring for funds from the Treasury.  They need to prepare for the expected bad weather and potential dangers to people and property, especially in the low lying areas of Kenya. I don't know if they were successful in getting the needed funds.

I do know there is a lot of pressure on the national treasury at the moment.   Teachers have just ended a strike and medical personnel are constantly threatening to strike or are on strike.

The government says it has no money to pay the teachers.  To the governments credit, they have been doing some very good things which also cost a lot of money.  For example, these are the initiatives that come to mind: free education for many who used to pay; new hospitals; better equipping hospitals, digitizing a lot of government services and making them accessible on line; giving youth employment; improving highways; reducing cost of electricity hookup for those that live off the grid & expanding National Health Insurance at much reduced rates. Perhaps there is more they have done but this is the list that easily comes to mind.

Given all these good things, it is hard to stretch the national budget further.  Especially when so much is lost to corrupt practices.
Who can blame teachers and doctors for going on strike when corruption reaches the highest levels in the country and appears to be rampant amongst high ranking  politicians, business people and public officials.
Corruption is something thing that Kenyans want their government to end pronto.
I suspect that if they could really stop the corruption there would be a lot more money in the coffers to pay the teachers.

Kenyans have a lot to bear.
Life is not easy there at all for those that are trying to make an honest living.
It is a pity because the country has a lot to offer and the people are some of the most hospitable people I have met.




 PRAYER REQUEST

My thoughts right now are with a friend's relative and his family. A man named Edmond has a form of terminal cancer called Myelofibrosis. It is an uncommon cancer which affects the ability of the bone marrow to make red blood cells. He has had this cancer for long and is currently suffering much more than ever before.

Please pray for him and his family.  They are of very humble means and the emotional, spiritual, physical and financial stresses are overwhelming.  Not to mention the stress of how the family will survive when the head of the household is gone.

In African cultures, and for sure in Kenya, they do not like to speak of death.  So it is difficult to know how much longer this man has left to live. For now, he is in hospital and requires copious blood transfusions daily.

As I mentioned, Edmond appears to be suffering worse than ever before.
Pray too that the hospital will be able to provide the blood and medicines needed to keep him comfortable.
Kenyans lack so much of what we take for granted in health care.
Every week I read of drugs supplies that have run out or basic equipment that is not available.
Even though the government is doing a lot, there is still a long way to go to meet the needs.

Linking up with Skywatch Friday this week.

African Music & Happenings