Arriving At Ikowa

We arrived this morning and were greeted by the women in the village.  Ruth, Moses’wife, and I got out to join them in the singing walk to the village.  Tally had not yet been introduced, so she remained in the car with the others.  For me, it felt like a lovely homecoming.

The first stop was at the home of the Priest where we had chapatis and tea. I took some photos of the women cooking the tea in the kitchen behind the house.  We have become used to the milky, sweet tea and it is always deliciously hot! Will show photos of that when we return.  The next photo is of my new outfit.  Lest you think this is all about me, Tally had to wait until after she preached and then the women changed her from her vestments into her village outfit.

While Tally was getting ready with the clergy, I was dancing with the women to their music of singing and drumming.

Tally preaching, Moses translatingBicycles for the women

After the service, everyone came back into the church and we had the meeting with the women (men and children were there as well) where we discussed the micro-lending/pig program.  In addition, three bikes were given to the women to fetch water.  They have a very long walk for water, and if they need to get to the nearest shop (duka) it is an 18 mile walk – round trip.  So, bikes are a real blessing.  There are nine groups of women in the pig project, Tally suggested that each group take a day (I realise that there only 7 days in a week, but heck they can sort that out). At least it helps for them to know ahead of time when it is their turn.  We are going to try and get a couple more bikes as well as the jerry cans for them to carry water in.

The piglets cost $18.50 each, and each group will buy three.  They will pay back their loan at the end of a year.  The groups can choose to sell all their pigs, keep some for breeding or both.  But the loan must be repaid.  They will also save a small percentage of their profits for future projects.  Their “banker” will be The Rev.Hilda, an ordained minister who teaches at Msalato and can do the bookwork. The women will give Hilda the receipts – she will keep track.  They know they are a test-case and that if this project works, it can spread to other women in the village as well as in the Diocese. Let’s hear it for the women!!!  Moses said the money will belong to the women, but the men will benefit as the women buy food and things to benefit the family.  More later…about the bicycles, and other things about this lovely day.  J.