Out of Africa

Day 5
Today was a long awaited day. We started with a visit to Kazuri Beads, and got a full tour and explanation of the project that provides opportunities for women, single mothers, and the community. We were given an explanation of the making process of the beads from the beginning where the clay is taken from huge clumps before it is even washed and drained. Our guide from Kazuir let me touch touch the clay because I was standing right in the front where I took my picture!

The next step is where the clay is rinsed, and the water is drained for hours at a time; this made the clay cleaner and ready to be used to make the beads and pottery inside.

After the clay is ready to be used for pottery and jewelry it is taken inside in sizable amounts for the women to use. Each person has a job to make different shapes and sizes for specific items that are going to be painted and sold.

After our tour we had a business professor from Baylor give a business presentation to the women making beads. He gave an extraordinary speech on their work, and the poster of Jesus on their wall. They had never heard the meaning of that poster before. It was incredible to see them look at the picture and look at him and take in the words he was saying. Those women come there every day to work hard, and are so thankful for that opportunity because most of them have had no education or have gone their because it was opportunity. It was good to see the women learning something incredible and invaluable.

I sat with women at a table making necklaces for the entire speech. I sat next to a woman named Francis.
She was so sweet, had children, and all she wanted to know was more about me, what I was doing in Kenya, where I had visited, and if I was coming back to see her. She had such hospitality towards me. The great part was I asked her to put me to work. She looked at me for a second, and then taught me how to use the beads like her with a huge smile. I made two necklaces next to her during our great conversation, and had a hard time leaving my great Kazuri friend. I said bye to Francis, and she made sure to ask me when I was coming back next time again, and I will never forget her telling me that she will miss me. It made me so sad to tell her that our team would not be back until next May. However, we helped in more ways supporting the women by also purchasing from them in their shop.

After I had to say goodbye to Francis, I went to the stock room, and created a bracelet for myself, and one for my mom as a gift. The stock room is full of “imperfect beads” that you have to go through yourself. I picked out ones I liked, and created 2 bracelets. Creating two bracelets of my own meant so much to me.
After we left Kazuri, we went to Tamambo Gardens, which is a restaurant settled on the former coffee grounds of Karen Blixen’s farm!We had some time to enjoy each other, and reflect on the trip some. We wanted a relaxing lunch on our Kenya trip to not talk about business. I also bought a wonderful painting from this lunch, and met the painter as well! One thing is for sure is that it is hard to get paintings back here!

Next was Karen Blixen’s actual house. I was so excited after watching Out of Africa before this mission trip that I could hardly wait to reach her real home. We had a guided tour through the home, and saw each room, the outside, and just spent some time there. It just made everyone happy to be there. We walked around the land outside the home and just pretended like we were Karen for an afternoon.

Karen’s house meant a lot because we spent time learning about her from her movie, and spent time learning from her life story. I was able to see things like her dresse, and armoire inside her home. I couldn’t believe they were actually hers. I just was kind of pretending I was as amazing as Karen for that small amount of time. (without killing all those lion; she was such a strong woman.)

When I got back to the hotel with my team I saw tables outside decorated, and knew this was the party night! We hurried into our rooms, and got dressed for dinner outside, but I had no idea what to expect. There was amazing dancing, and real Afrian food for dinner! Then about 30 minutes into it, it started raining. Some people went back to their rooms, but I stayed outside, ate my dinner, and enjoyed the rain from under our huge umbrella table with our team. What everyone thought was a rained out party turned into a huge African rain dance party! We danced until late in the rain, and it was a memory I will never forget! Some friends from Kenya said “it was raining like never before!” It was so much fun, and an ending to such a wonderful day!

Here is the video we made about today!

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