Starting a new school from scratch has a lot of logistical issues. Teachers, books, desks etc. Not least deciding the School colors. We have not yet officially opened the school with a ceremony as the neighborhood wishes, but we have opened the doors to the classrooms and started classes last month. Here is a shot from that opening day. Big impact; this village now has a Public Primary School!
Happy Birthday, lucky number 7, to Ian Ricker! Here's Ian's birthday party; the kids are making Lego men. Thank you so much Ian for dedicating your 7th birthday to helping build a children's hospital for the less fortunate kids of East Africa. A nice touch is later this year Ian's parents will be in Eldoret. He's our hero of the week - thanks Ian.
birthday party. The kids are holding up little Lego guys they made
We live in amazing times; truly. Look at what I am doing; couldn't do it without the web, and I could not do it without the amazing people I never get to meet but get involved, get connected, stand up and do the right things from the heart. Thank you Mr. Mead. He is going out of his way to collect shoes, tracksuits, bundle them up, box them up, hump them to the post office and send them off to Kenya.
It is random acts of kindness like this that inspire me and keep me believing in a world when I often have my doubts. Gurpreet, I am guessing, has never been to Iten where these goods will be handed out, he'll never the see the ladies smiles as they receive these 'prizes' and motivations... yet he cares.
I know we tend to get over involved often in our own world of charities, what moves us, and being on the inside I might be a tad too critical often - I see so much abuse in the names of not-for-profits, I see so many little charities not getting the help they should and I see people like Mr. Gurpreet standing up and inspiring the goodness to continue! Thanks! [His shoes are below]
Short, to the point... is tough for a charity that is as diverse as we are; but our vision is clear. If the world shares its wealth then we'll heal the world!
Every child will not suffer from a lack of public healthcare
In a world where we spend trillions of dollars on Space exploration and Wars it seems contrite that billions are starving from the want of basic foods and hundreds of millions are lacking simple healthcare. The relationship of life that is togetherness is often skipped over as we hurry toward a better, brighter future. Or is it?
As proven in the 9/11 phone transcripts the very last messages, the most important messages always related to love & relationship. All the technologies work towards relationships and one can not live without being connected to another. In our rush we have, in some ways, forgotten the very element of life's founding principles. How can we leave people behind who are sick, hungry, or afraid?
I read a blogpost, "What is your big dream and what are you doing about it?" Imagine if everyone set themselves a goal to help the less fortunate. Already so many are, but what if EVERY body set about the task... think of the united positivity. So when someone asks, "What do you do?" The world does not answer with a career, it speaks about the relationship.
My personal dream, my big dream, is to do all I possibly can to improve Health & Education for kids in Kenya. If I finish this project I have now started, and build East Africa's first public children's hospital, i will dream well.
So six weeks in Kenya just raced by, in a flash. I am sitting in a coffee shop in Nairobi following a great meeting with CROWN PAINTS and we are working together to hopefully form a partnership where they will come in to support the painting of the hospital, and will paint the hospital with their amazing paint designed specifically for hospitals/medical centers. All good stuff. Phase two, which I have now moved onto, is going to be a time of forging new relationships and I have a good list of companies who are 'the right people' to approach. So I am really happy that this first meeting with Crown Paints has gone so well. Onward as President Obama says (and today is his second inauguration day).
And thank you to the New York Road Runners for giving us some publicity (Always very grateful) by the picture on their Homepage - Give meaning to your miles. This was certainly a decision for me about ten years ago when I decided that running 'just for me' was okay but if I could use the power of running to do something good that would be even better. I know the percentage of people who will run for a charitable cause will increase year by year where I hope in the future everyone running a race like the New York Marathon will be raising at least the same amount of their entry fee (if not more) for a cause.
Very nice of Kathrine; she sent me HER birthday gift to help with the hospital,
"It's my birthday, so I'd rather this be my 'treat' than some frivolous thing that does nothing for anybody. Thanks for all you do! Cheers and Happy New Year again, xoxo Kathrine"
On the 31st of December, in a small ceremony of just the hospital staff from the Moi Referral, Nancy Jebet (An Olympic Gold 1500m medallist known as Nancy Lagat), and myself it was finally time to start the project that was kicked off on St Patrick's day 2008 yet motivated very much by an event on January 1st 2008... we have done it, started work to build East Africa's very first public children's hospital.
A big thank you if you have donated shoes, money or time to this cause. From the bottom of my heart, thank you... you have helped something amazing happen. Even now, a few days after, I am still buzzing. Ground breaking was on the 31st, then on the first day of the year I spent the day with the Moi's Director as we relaxed out at his rural home, then today I was back at the site discussing with the Project manager the steps of defining the plan... the work is certainly far from being finished, yet I feel we are off to a flying start!
It has been a long, long journey but I feel that this is something momentous!
The race was a sterling success; a fun run with many smiles. I took many photos as the runners ran by and all ladies were beaming. A big, big thanks to Lisa & Gavin, Ryan Manon, Real Vermette, Donna Labounty, Minora Ishida, Marian polacek, Fred Ruffin, Mikihito Suzuki, Frank Carolalf (spchk), Will McKechnie, D. Stems, Helen Livingston, Amy Strunk, Kim K Anderson, Olshan, Wright, Shoes from Poland and more names for sending these wonderful shoes - you really made the ladies so so happy:
photo coming soon!
I also visited the two schools we'll be opening soon; either in January or at the latest in March (depends if I am still here when they are ready). Three weeks and sally's should be ready, one week for Moses school.
The internet here is not allowing me to upload photos! (sigh)
London Marathon Champion, Olympic Bronze, Wilson Kipsang comes to register Doreen, his wife.
Wilson will sound the horn on Monday.
We opened registration this morning for the 8th Shoe4Africa ladies race and 3.5hrs later we had 1,100 entrants. The race is run on Christmas Eve in Iten and starts and finishes outside the High Altitude Training Centre. Thanks to Susan, William, and Charles Agumba and Gavin and Lisa from Microsoft, USA for helping. Early in the morning I tied ten yellow T shirts onto the roof rack and we drove round town with a megaphone.
Hilda Kibet & Hugo come to pick the bottles of water for the race - two more good friends and (long time) helpers.