Saturday, 27 August 2016

Friday: rounding things off

Our third early start was still not rewarded with a sighting of elephants. The Rangers assured us that they were in the park in good numbers, but we were left in doubt of this. Numbers of elephants have been severely affected by poaching, and it was mentioned that an elephant was found caught in a snare inside the park this week. Ronnie and I felt that there were probably fewer elephants around. Add to this the challenge of a vast park with large tracts of forest, and there are plenty of areas where they can remain hidden, if this is what they choose.

We reluctantly left Shimba Hills Lodge, with hopes of returning. I exchanged email addresses with the owner; she may be interested in stocking animals made by the Noah's Ark ladies, and I have said I will send her photos of these.

We enjoyed our journey back - there were lots of interesting sights, and good conversation with Patrick. He and his family live in Bamburi, which adjoins Utange, and I told him of my project. He in turn is going to tell his wife, who was trained as a salonist.  The hope is that she and a group of women may form their own Sacco, which I in turn will be able to support.  I asked Patrick about cashew farming in the area and he told me that there are not many cashew trees around Bamburi.  However, in Kilifi, where he comes from and has relatives, he told me there are forests full of cashew trees.  One of my original ideas (which I believe was given by God) was to help develop cashew farming as a means for people to grow a cash crop.  However, the cashew nut grows inside a hard shell and is encased by acid, which makes extracting the nuts both difficult and dangerous.  If Patrick can enthuse a group to form in Kilifi, I may be able to help them in the future by buying a cashew processing machine.  This could be a very good cooperative venture for the area.

Back at Severin, it was a rather protracted process to get access to both of our rooms. However, I filled the time in a most enjoyable fashion by having a long and very relaxing massage. While talking with Rehema, the masseur, I explained what I had been doing.  She told me that she had been the treasurer for a group of women who were saving together to start up a poultry business in Shanzu - another of the neighbouring towns and part of Utange sub-county.  However, she said, the group folded as the women were reluctant to save regularly.  I gave her my contact details and encouraged her to look at starting up a new group and registering as a Sacco; this may be yet another group which I can help.

Then it was time for a last meeting with Juma; I gave him the money for Gladys' chickens and for the materials for his family to build their own chicken shed. Hopefully the money will extend to a few more chickens as well.
Patrick came to pass on business cards and we had another farewell photo:

After an emotional parting, Ronnie and I went to do our final present shopping in the hotel shops.  In this we were both successful; I also indulged in another picture (sorry, Will!) which is beautiful.  It looks like marquetry but is in fact made from banana leaves.  I chatted with Hassan, the owner of the shop, for some time about his support of local artisans and crafts people, and told him of the work I have been doing with the Noah's Ark ladies.  He too may be prepared to stock some of their toys for sale.

The day ended with our final Severin dinner.  I went to sleep feeling that today was filled with God-given meetings which have encouraged me about the future of my work in this area.


  1. The end is just the beginning. Many seeds have been planted and now left to grow. Can't wait to be back in this amazing country to see the fruits of all your hard work Caroline. God really delights in your obedience and perserverence and will nurture these projects in your absence.x

  2. Such a successful trip Caroline, you must be so thrilled. God certainly went before you to prepare the way. I know was even more than you ever hoped or imagined. It was a joy to see so many ladies empowered. Thank you for the sewing machine for Casuarina and for all your support for the children these past 6 years.....£25,000 raised...WOW quite amazing! You're a star! Love and thanks sent Paul and Debbie x