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The cornerstone has been laid - our land !


Outside work....

The gutters have been connected...
The gutters have been connected...

On it goes...
Last week the work continued. The Plumber has connected the gutter to the house. If now the rainy season starts, we can already store the water from the main house. The Guesthouse is to be connected this week. The corn is harvested. The field is now being prepared for the new sowing. The walkway around the house has been finished and now gets its fine cut. The wall at the entrance is also bricked.
This week a boy will enrich our house. Infos about this in the course of this week.
Before I forget it, you can see me on Ash Wednesday on TV at the Landesschau Rhineland-Palatinate at 6:45 pm representing Home of Smile. I'm really looking forward to it...
Have a nice start into the new week

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Kenyan TV report...

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Undescribable...

Sven and Siggi... my fellow campaigner... Tina was here for the first 14 days...
Sven and Siggi... my fellow campaigner... Tina was here for the first 14 days...

Undescribable...

I'm sitting here and read your comments on my post on Facebook from this morning. I am moved to tears. I like to accept the congratulations. However, without you, it would have remained a dream. With your help, the dream became the beginning of a new reality...
Special thanks to both my colleagues Siggi and Sven. I am so proud that Sven has allowed me to post a picture of him. Sven has worked 7 weeks in the background, with all the German thoroughness. He has been able to bear my whims all the 7 weeks without a comment, which I would have liked to hear in one place or another. But to hear him saying Swabian curses was also always a highlight for me.
I often lacked the understanding why Siggi and Sven do not see things as I do. They were always deeply relaxed, which drove me crazy if it had not worked again. But they were right, I was not able to change the situation.
Thank you both for the time together, for the common goal with the most different approach...
I'm able to learn...

 

You both are a huge gift for the world... with your commitment to the weakest in another continent with a different culture and we had not known each other before.

Chapeau to you both... very few would have done what you did.

 

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Official opening of Home of Smile...

The Governor of Embu County Sir Martin N. Wambora...
The Governor of Embu County Sir Martin N. Wambora...

A dream comes true...

 

Today we had our official opening represented by the Governor of Embu County Sir Martin N. Wambora.
It was a very very touching day for me.
The gift he brought with him helps us and many people in our area: The road that leads past our orphanage will be renewed next month....
Despite his very tight schedule, as this year's elections are coming, he made time to come and open our Home of Smile personally.
He planted a tree, severed the ribbon to the entrance, made the memorial plaque viewable, cut the cake with the children and entered our guestbook.
Thanks again, Mr. Governor Martin N. Wambora.
Apart from the Governor, many more important guests had come to open Home of Smile.
The Catholic priest has spoken the prayer and then made the blessing.
Finally, the buffet was opened so that no one had to go home hungry or thirsty. There were about 100 guests present who were very impressed by the new Home of Smile in your community.
Thanks to all the contributors for this wonderful opening ceremony.
After 3 years, a dream becomes reality...
Thanks to all of you who have dreamed this dream with me.
You all helped children get a chance for a better future.
 

Thanks Siggi for the wonderful pictures...

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Only a few days left...

The new gate. A great result of the painting work of Siggi...
The new gate. A great result of the painting work of Siggi...

1.5 days left...

Our time here is getting less and less. Today, everyone has helped with all of their power again so that everything will shine in a special glow tomorrow. Why??
Tomorrow we have our official opening. Our launch...
At 10 o'clock it starts until about 1 pm. Work will continue after the launch.
It looks better every day.
Today the roofers came to fix the gutter. 5 men have paved the later playground. The masons have embellished the entrance area. Three double decker beds were delivered. An additional cabinetmaker was hired to build the kitchen cabinets.
Siggi and Sven finished the cabinets in the rooms and even embellished the courtyard. Looks simply great. The Plumber is also there and connected the water tank, which was erected on Monday.
The Governor has announced himself and some celebrities. A Catholic priest will bless the house...
I hope I have not forgotten anything.
Then only the Thursday is left and on Firday we will have to go back to Germany again...
To all of you have a nice valentine's evening...

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Nice compliment...

The cup (picture) was purchased together with others for the orphanage www.homeofsmile.com. Today lunch was served in it, fruit salad (passion fruit, mango and banana). And then I discovered the spell.
This could have been a reason why Achim started building an orphanage. After seeing how important such a home is for the orphans in their own home country. And he only wanted to know how the orphan lives, for whom he took over a sponsorship and what was financed with this money.
He didn't wonder "how he could do that", but rather "it has to happen somthing".
And he has started without knowing what would happen. That was about 3 years ago.
Today, three days before the official inauguration of the orphanage, two children have already moved in. At the beginning, two female employees, Suzie and Milisan, will be there for 24 h, 7 days a week, 52 weeks a year for the probably soon increasing number of children. The farm is managed by the young Ben for 6 days the week. As the number increases, more helpers will be needed.
His dream is now reality. He tried and it happened!
Tina, Sven and I were allowed to accompany him a little bit of his way. And we were able to see how children feel, who were sleeping in a bed for the first time at the age of six, ate up brimful filled plates, cleaned their teeth, and were happy about clothes, which were brought. ...as I said, everything for the first time!
We need to support people like Achim Fuchs and his Home Of Smile. So please share this post with your Facebook friends so that many people can be reached. Ultimately, with the desire and request for financial support.
All information can be accessed via www.homeofsmile.com. Your financial means arrive directly and without detours where they are needed. On site!
Tax-deductible donation certificates are issued.
And when you, your friends and their friends, etc., donate so much that the bank account needs to be expanded, do not worry. Achim will open up a second one smoothly. He knows now that and how it goes on...!
Oh yes... still a small emotional contribution. Taken out of context, but the statement of little Brenda, today on the third day, speaks for itself:
"Why didn't you take me here earlier?"
And now please send it to your friends.
Thank you!

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Our last Sunday...

Siggi at this Sunday workt... building a filling cabinet...
Siggi at this Sunday workt... building a filling cabinet...

...for this stay it was our last Sunday today.

Wich was as follows:

As always at 6 am I get up, eat breakfast. The children are to be made ready for the church. One of the two girls has mumps and has to be taken to the hospital. She's called Frieda. Milisan, our new caretaker, takes care of this. Siggi and Sven stay here, while I go with Susan, Brenda (the other girl) and Elizabeth, she is 2.5 years old and the daughter of Milisan to church. Brenda on my back and Elisabeth on Susan 's back. We have to walk for about 3 km. It is our first visit at the Catholic Church here and we were able to introduce ourselves and were greeted warmly. Meanwhile Siggi and Sven were working at the closet and at the filling cabinet. After church the dinner was being prepared. Milisan and Frieda got back from the hospital. Frieda was given penicillin and some pills. After dinner, the two big boys took a siesta and I painted two toilett doors. So I had done my part for painting. Siggi has finished the filling closet. Then we got a visit from the church council. We have been drinking coffee together and we showed them our new Home of Smile...
Afterwards, I have spread the gravel a bit...
End of work on Sunday in Kenya.
In the middle of the week there is still something special, but more about that later.
I am slowly able to enjoy more and more what we have created together. And when I watch the children at dinner and see their happy children's eyes, then I know why we have built all that. The three of them feel already at home now. Never before they have had such a home with all the normal things like bed, toilets, regular meals etc. What have these young children had to experience in their short life...
I can not thank you enough for all your support.
It is indescribably beautiful...

 

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Only one more night...

Then the time has come....


It is only less than a week left to get a few things done.
Sven will probably finish painting the kitchen tomorrow. Then he has reached his self-imposed goal.
I only want to say thank you. What Sven has done and worked in the past 6 weeks is unbelievable. He then spent a total of 7 weeks here in Kenya to create a colorful Home of Smile and left thereby his own company behind. This is absolutely brilliant.
A heartfelt thanks to Svens family, who have supported him, otherwise it would not have been possible.
Siggi has finished painting the gate. He is now a furniture maker. He is making the cabinets for the children's rooms.
It is amazing how versatile this man is.
A big compliment and a heartfelt thanks to you Siggi. You are now here for 5 weeks already and have helped with everything. You have done all kind of work, whether beautiful or unsightly. 5 weeks of unusual physical work to do in unfamiliar attitude but always with a smile... I can learn a lot from you.
Also a very dear and heartfelt thanks to you dear family Bauer, who missed out for 6 weeks on your father and dear husband, so that he can help to create a beautiful Home of Smile.


Dear Tina, also thank you for the 2 weeks you have joined us here. You freed windows and doors from the fixed cement from morning till evening everyday for one week, which was not really an exciting work. You always took it with humor and just like Sven and Siggi, you endure my whims when it did not go as I imagined... and that was often the case... :) A heartfelt thanks...

 

Since 2.5 days we are without electricity and master the challenges with bravura.The tank is here, the tower finished, the entrance gate is set. In the inside all rooms are ready for occupancy. At the outside people are still working hard so the land looks beautiful. Everything has to be made equal and gravel has to be spread.
And tomorrow........
Tomorrow the first two children will move in.

 

A dream (a vision) comes true.

I would like to thank all of you who have supported me and Home of Smile, who have contributed me and my vision, no matter in which way.
Without each one of you, Home of Smile would have never become reality.
All of you help to give children from another continent, thousands of miles away from your home, a home. This gives children the chance, we have had, to grow up in love and security, with food, clothing, school education and medical care.
You all are role models for quite a few people...
You all are a huge gift for the world...

 

THANK YOU   THANK YOU   THANK YOU   THANK YOU   THANK YOU   THANK YOU   THANK YOU   THANK YOU

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No boredom...

After 4 weeks of painting it is difficult to stand up straight...
After 4 weeks of painting it is difficult to stand up straight...
It remains exciting...

The last week was rough. Just when I thought everything is good now and wanted to take a deep breath, the next challenge was already waiting for me. Often I didn't know what to do.
I didn't found an answer to my question what am I doing wrong or what should I change...
Doesn't matter, keep going, it has to go on somehow. At the end of this week the first children would like to move in.
Altogether, we still have 1.5 weeks to work. The rooms are ready. The biggest challenge still remains the plumber. He has promised that everything will work...
Hope dies last...
The tower for the water tank is ready concreted so that we can put up the tank at the end of the week.
The rain gutter is to be installed on Tuesday or Wednesday.
The first beds have arrived as well as a large table and 4 chairs...
Starting on Monday we will start working at the outdoor area. The gate will be set, the wall will be bricked and a walkway will be paved around the house...
Inside are still doors to paint (my part) and many small things to accomplish.
In the shower the water still runs through the whole bathroom into the hall. So we also have to find a solution...
In any case it won't get boring...
Today we had a small excursion. I was there too...
You all have a powerful start into the new week...
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Half-time...

Half-time...

Yesterday Sven and I had half-time. And just like climbing a mountain it always goes up and down until you reach the top, this is how we feel too. One day everything is going well, the next days are not so good again :). Sometimes it can be really desperate. At least the new roofer has arrived and has started his work. The carpenter has also arrived to adjust the inner doors and the tiler was also there again. The ceiling troop is missing though. The well driller works only a few hours a day, and the plumber also leaves us hanging.
Sven and Siggi are tireless painting. Today we received 12,000 ltr. water by truck and paid 100 euros. Since the 15th December, there has been no more water from the pipeline and till the end of April no more water will come. The rainy season does not begin before the end of March. Water remains our biggest challenge.
The large entrance gate has also come and is waiting for his painting. What color is it going to get? :)
We have already achieved a lot and one side will definitely be finished. The children are already waiting ...

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A successful day...

The small water puddle is already visible...
The small water puddle is already visible...

Yesterday was a successful day...

After a drought fertile comes back again...
Yesterday morning I was shopping with Sven paint and other things. It was just unbelievable. Where else are huge queues, with Sven by my side everything was free. We were back in a record time of 4 hours and managed everything. Sven has a very special aura. I already told him that he needs to join all our meetings and errands.
Back at the construction site, we discovered the Ceiling troop while working, just like the tiler. Also the well driller was at his work. Wow!
Sven was very pleased with the colors and the "wall car filler" we had purchased and he could return to his work. The result is simply awesome. Unfortunately, you can not see that on the pictures as well as it really is. In any case, it looks amazing and now I can imagine how good it will look when everything is finished.
The tilers have also made progress in the bathroom.

The one ceiling in the entrance area as well as in the office are finished. While digging the well we found water. However, a rock is now in the way. Hopefully he is not so big and he can remove him with hammer and chisel.
At the end of this successful day, Siggi and I have actually been able to drink 2 bottles of cold Tusker per Pikki Pikki delivery service.
It was a good day in Kenya on the construction site near Ugweri of Home of Smile...

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Reliance...

The still not finished roof...
The still not finished roof...
Reliance..., to be left....

The only one to rely on is the team from Germany, Siggi and Sven, and the 4 Kenyan plasterers and, of course, the sun. Siggi diligently paints the doors no matter whether standing, lying, sitting or kneeling. Thank you Siggi for your assignment, which is the remote from your usual or normal work in Germany. Sven prepares the walls for painting. Sven always tries to deliver German quality work, but this often fails due to the lack of materials. I can feel with him how it feels when the work you do does not meet your expectations. Then he will sometimes curse in Swabian... Sven has already prepared one side, which means 2 rooms and the hall, ready to paint.

Sven, a super fat compliment for your tireless assignment here on site.

The four Kenyans also make a TOP JOB. They work quietly, and I hardly need to look after them. It makes fun working with the guys.
The others do not appear. The plumber is not there the second day, just like the ceiling troop. The tilers had to take a 3-day break because the plumber did not move forward.
We hired another well driller. He has previously found the water vein with the dowsing rod and is now digging a fountain about 12 m deep with his hand. It is then our last hope to get water. The last time we got water from the pipeline was on 15th of December.
At the moment there comes one challenge after another...
Both bathrooms are still building site. The roof is not finished yet too, the kitchen is still a construction site and so on...
At least the weather is wonderful here and nice warm...
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An exciting week comes to its end...

The storage room under the 10.000 ltr tank is almost finished...
The storage room under the 10.000 ltr tank is almost finished...

Two weeks are already over...

It was a really exciting week in every sense... :-)
First of all, Tina left us after two weeks and returned well to Germany.
This week we have made a huge step forward. So far everything is tiled except for the two bathrooms. The borders around the floor tiles have to be partly installed but otherwise they're finished. In three rooms the ceilings are already finished. The roof is still not finished. The kitchen has yet to be finished. On Monday we can start with the preparatory work for the painting. So far we are very well on schedule. Yesterday and today there was a power failure. The installer still needs some time. I hope that we will finally have a working toilet and shower by the end of this week.
Also, we are the first to have a storage space under the earth. The foundation for the 10,000 ltr. tank is used for this purpose. Normally they wanted to close the hole with earth again. Then I came to the idea that we can lay bricks 2.5 m x 2.5 m and use this area. Our Kenyan construction workers have smiled while doing this work, but created a fantastic space.
Siggi and I went for a morning pint around noon. Afterwards, we enjoyed the sun while relaxing and watched the stars in the sky this evening. On time for dinner we had electricity again. Susan had already prepared the food on the gas cooker.
We wish you a wonderful start to the new week ....
Thanks to Tina for the 14 days help here in Kenya
A special applause for Sven, who was really hard working... :)
An advance compliment to Siggi, who has supported us already for one week and has integrated super into the team... :)
Sven and Siggi are working and I am driving around the area...
This is called task distribution .... :)

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An exciting week starts...

Mr. Mutugi hands Susan the two wool blankets...
Mr. Mutugi hands Susan the two wool blankets...

A successful start in an exciting week...

Yesterday, surprisingly, very much worked out. The tilers came and did a super job. They have already finished almost two rooms. The plumber was here with his team. We still have no toilet or laundry in the house, but it is worked hard on it :)
Another team has dug the foundation for a stand for the 10,000 ltr. tank. They have already bricked half of the opening between the roof and the wall around the house.

Yesterday we received the first donation from Kenya.
Mr. Mutugi has donated 2 wool blankets for the beds.
Many thanks to our chairman of Home of Smile Kenya...
Today is safari day for our three "Muzungus". They were picked up at 6 o'clock and headed to the national park to Nairobi and got their own guided tour with a jeep and a scout. Also a heartfelt thanks to Mr. Mutugi, who has made this possible.
I stay here to make sure that everything goes ahead at our home...

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We will be complete...

Church going...
Church going...

Sunday... relxaing day... or
the calm before the storm....
the storm of volunteers ...

 

So the "Muzungu team" is complete now. Siggi (Siegbert Bauer) landed today and moved into our "jungle camp"  :)
Susan and I went to the church next door this morning for a visit and we were welcomed very friendly. After 2.5 hours we left the church after the sacrifice. Children have brought us some big mangoes.
The material for tomorrow has arrived... We will see who will come to help us tomorrow...
I wish you a nice start in the new week.

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A week...

The first windows already shine...
The first windows already shine...

Hello my dears,
we have been here for a week now.
The New Year has begun as the old one ended. The first windows already shine...
Tina and Sven were very diligent all week. Tina freed the windows and doors from plastering and cement. Sven has meticulously cleaned the walls. I've been busy the whole week with meetings, planning the next weeks, working on past debts from last year and driving around to organize material...
Tomorrow we will gain reinforcement, Siegbert comes, and will support us for the next 6 weeks.
Next week starts for me with a meeting again. However, workers will start on Monday. The water installer is already at work. Also the tilers come, a group will stuff the last holes between the roof and the walls and a frame will be concreted for another 10,000 ltr. tank, which is responsible for the water supply in the house.
It will definitely be very stressful and exciting 6 weeks.
Tina has already posted pictures....
May you all have a nice Sunday
We will definitely be sitting in the shade tomorrow and enjoy this warm weather with sun from morning to night :)

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Short report...

The house with the open roof. The water storage in the foreground...
The house with the open roof. The water storage in the foreground...

State of affairs...
Today I give you an interim report.
The roof is still not closed, but there will be worked on still this week.
Plastering is finished inside and outside, the electrics and parts of the water installation are done, septic tank and water tank are finished. The farm is sown with corn and beans. Cabbage will follow. The mango trees hang full.
I hope now that the roof and the rain gutters will be done this week.

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I will return to Germany...

Now the time has come...
I am sitting at the airport of Nairobi and waiting for my return flight.

Tears come up, I do not know if I should be happy or cry. It's a weird feeling...
Yes I want back... no, I want to stay here... it's an uncanny feeling which overwhelms me, hardly to describe. The last 3 months a lot has happened in my life. I was allowed to do so many experiences, good and less good. It was often an up and down and sometimes I thought I could not make it. I discussed all night long with Susan some time, asked me again and again what is this situation for. Often found no answer.Very often pushed me to my limits and sometimes beyond them.
The result can be shown, even if I have not achieved what I wanted. Until this noon, I was on the construction site. The roof is not yet closed, the glazier wants to start his work tomorrow, gables still have to be walled, doors set and much more. Who knows me knows, that does not really satisfy me, but I can not change it.
Overall, I think we have come very far.
All this was only possible with your help.
For that I would like to thank you again.

Now a lot of work is waiting for me in Germany, so that I can return to Kenya as soon as possible to finish everything so the children can come.
3 months Kenya have left their traces... I am trapped, captured by the country with its infinite diversity, with this deep gratitude that has been brought to me everywhere here, the mindfulness with which the people meet each other, if you are open for them, the many opposites, this serenity, the steadfast faith, to show only a few aspects. Gerhard and Rita who continue their trip today also said that nobody would believe what happens here anyway. True. You must have experienced it.
I was lucky enough to make these experiences.
For this I am deeply grateful.
In 13 hours I will be back in another world.
With the distance then it will be more bearable for me ...

Thanks to all who have supported me and Home of Smile and hopefully continue to do so, no matter in what form.

Asanti sana
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Time is running out...

The gable is still not closed...the roof is not finished yet...
The gable is still not closed...the roof is not finished yet...

Only two and a half days left....

On Saturday morning it was already a hustle on the construction site before eight o'clock. It was the first time in those almost three months that the worker started to work before eight in the morning. I was enormous pleased.
Then I had a normal day: checked water, but we still didn't received any water. So I had to call, they promised, call again, they still promised and so on... By now it is Saturday night and still no water, today we had none either. The workers did some more plastering and set up the sheets from the roof, the paver also started his work. Rita and Gerhard started to paint the windows....
At noon we were invited to lunch, so quickly changed clothes and on we went for lunch. Late afternoon we returned to the site to pay the guys and see how far the work has progressed. Along the way, we were caught up by a traffic jam in Embu for more than an hour, because a politician gave his speech on a car and blocked the whole road. No getting through.
We reached the site after 5 pm. The most thing I worry about is the roof, because it is still not closed.
This morning we first went to the construction site again. Rita and Gerhard painted further windows. Four workers have come to plaster and set up doors. As we are about to leave at 11 am, the paver arrived.
For me today is a special afternoon...
Susan invited me to her parents home for lunch. The whole family or the greater part of them will be there to meet me. How did that happen?
Susan will get married. She had invited me to her "trousseau party". In this festival the bride's parents meet the groom's parents for the first time. Traditionally the dowry was negotiated at this meeting. More than 300 guests, so the whole village, is invited. They waited with this party until I would be in Kenya. The plan was to have it earlier but I only arrived in July. Unfortunately, I just had to leave Kenya in this week and go back to Germany for the well known reasons.
For this reason she held this family reunion especially for me today. I can tell you, it was a wonderful afternoon with very kind people who have accepted me into their family.
I was very happy and had a lot of fun.
Tomorrow I will only have 2.5 days left here in Kenya. I do not know where to start. It will again be a busy one, with the hope that the roof will be closed on Wednesday afternoon.
I wish all of you a fantastic start to the new week. Some of you I'll see in Erlangen, which I look forward  to...

 

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Roofing ceremony...

Everyone is helping to get everything clean...
Everyone is helping to get everything clean...

Roofing ceremony...


Today was our big day.
No one at the site knew except our comitee. At 7:15 am we already arrived at the construction site.  The chairs should already be delivered, but of course this was not the case.
So I had to do my all morning ritual: to make phone calls. In the meantime, we informed the workers that we will make a little party here today and.... that the great prominence and television and newspapers will be there. Suddenly everyone has begun to swirl around. The hall had to be cleaned and tidied up, others have started their work. It is fun to see everybody do their work like ants. It is 8:30 and the chairs arrive... dirt. So we had to clean them. The first guests were suppose to arrive at 10 o'clock... On the guest list there are the County Commissioner, Mrs Esther Maina, the Director of the Ministry of Land and Housing, the Chief and many, many more...

Slowly I become nervous. I'm reading through my text again. Our ceremony is supposed to start at 10:20 am, actually. Then I receive a call that the press is stuck in Embu. Ambassadors and diplomats arrived there surprisingly.
Which means for me: reschedule and start the ceremony without P+C...
P + C = press and celebrities ....
Then again I receive a call, they will still come, but only with a little delay... 2 policemen already arrived to secure the safety of Ms. Maina. As the convoy finally arrives, our workers are still working diligently on: plastering, covering the roof, installing the water, installing the electricity, putting up the doors and tiling... I hope I didn't forget anything. Now we have to quickly stop the work and clean up. We showed Mrs County Commissioner Esther Maina around and explained everything to her. The press is still not here. The sun is burning down in the hall now, so we have to change and put all the chairs and so on under the big mango tree. The County Commissioner explained that she has not much time because guests from Finland are waiting in her office for her, ambassadors and diplomats ...
I am thrilled that she still came to take a look at the half-finished building shell of Home of Smile. We want to start, but the press is still not here... No, I won't freak out, while constantly trying to reach the press people by phone, but without success. We start... First, a prayer of thanks and short speech of our Chairman Mr. Mutugi.
The press arrives... big grin on my face... Then it follows my short lecture why and how and ever I do this...
There is still someone missing... oh, the caterer hasn't arrived with the food and the drinks yet...
It follows a speech of the officials and the closing words of our vice president John Machari. The County Commissioner apologizes herself again that she can not stay longer, brief interview with the press, take a photo together and already she hurries to the next appointment.
Shortly thereafter, the caterer arrives and the battle at the buffet can begin.
In between Susan and I were allowed to give interviews.
The workers were totally thrilled and later went back to work with renewed vigor. They gave me a nickname: Ngugi, which means hard-working operator... I am honored and from tomorrow on they can call me Mister Ngugi instead of Mister Achim ....All in all a very successful day ends with a beer in the Isaac Walton beer garden, which I was invited by my friends Rita and Gerhard...
Tomorrow at noon we will be shown at 5 or 6 TV channels across the country and in the "Nation" and the "Standard" the Kenyans can read about Home of Smile on Monday.
Thanks to all of you, the workers who resisted almost 3 months with me the "Muzungu", the team of Home of Smile Kenya, and especially to Susan, who has done a fantastic job. Without them I would not have come so far.
And of course to all of you, you have supported me with feverish, awarded courage and did a great donation performance.
All of you are building a Home of Smile for children...
You are a gift to the world...
Thank you very much

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It stays exciting...

get rid of the old plaster and re-plaster again...
get rid of the old plaster and re-plaster again...

Anything but boredom...


that seems to be the motto for the final sprint.
Yesterday we received the sheets for the roof, which were promised for Monday to arrive. We were all delighted that we can start. But we were happy too early, the sheets do not fit with the substructure... What follows were endless discussions, I despair... That throws back the plan for days.... Now we are not sure whether we get the roof finished until Wednesday, which was my goal. To make matters worse, we have to re-plaster two walls in Susan's room. Which means get rid of the old plaster and then re-plaster again...
Bored?? No chance...
Yes, I was greatly disappointed... But that doesn't help us so I have to stay calm and see how we can somehow overcome this challenge.
Today will be an exciting and I think also a beautiful day. I will tell you more this evening.
The hope stays till the end...

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Beginning of the week...

The roof is about to be built...
The roof is about to be built...

Monday morning in Kenya...


yesterday I found out by the way that is holiday on Monday. Who will show up at work??
First appointment at 8 am in the city, then back to the site. There we had a meeting at 10 am with the Board of HoS. Previously I've done my round tour and checked if everything went well. Two men were missing and also the squad who was supposed to build the roof hasn't arrived yet... seems like a normal monday morning...
In the afternoon things went better and in the evening it was as follows: The metal rafters were fixed. 3 windows were plastered, plastering in the bathroom of Susan started and also the outside of the house was getting plastered too. Today the roof braces were drawn, plastering the bathroom was finished, the floor was laid in the office and in the bathroom, furthermore the outside of the house was plastered onwards, in the meantime the electrician and the plumber were there and so on....
Nevertheless, we are behind schedule.
The last week has begun....

 

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It gets exciting...

This arleady looks good...
This arleady looks good...

Review of the week...
On Wednesday I first went to the city to check the prices for the water installation. Whenever I'm on the road for Home of Smile, I bargain for every shilling. It is fun now and of course I know that I still do not get the best price, but I'm already close. They always smile when the "Muzungu" comes. Then I went back to the construction site, where we had a meeting with the Comitee of HoS. Previously I've checked whether the scheduled work at the house was done right. I was allowed to change a few things.
The base plate for the septic tank was cast and a couple more foundations were plastered. The workers also started plastering in Susan's room and the office. Water is still our major challenge, as the continuous supply is missing.
Thursday we went on with the plastering of the premises and foundations. The brickwork on the septic tank have begun. On the farm tomato plants were set.
Friday, the one wall of the hall was embellished, construction formwork removed and shuttered the ring beam of the Guest House. The septic tank was further bricked.
Today the ring beam was concreted and the brickwork at the septic tank was finished. One door was already set.
Of course there was a lot more done in the meantime than I can write here. The evenings are now used until the darkness arrives. Today we had to carry the water with the oxcart the whole day, which of course also costs time, manpower and money.
On Monday, we will start with the roof. The next week will require our whole power again, which we have already got used to :). Friday will be a special day..... We will come back to this on Thursday....
No, we will not get bored here. Also it is nice and warm now...

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Challenges accepted...

The work on the ring beam goes on...
The work on the ring beam goes on...

Great start of the week ....

Monday morning 7:20, Susan and I are standing in the drizzling rain, waiting for a matatu. I ordered one via the universe, which wasn't supposed be that full. 45 minutes later the Matatu arrived.... Arriving in Embu we had to get out at the upper end of the city, because the minibus didn't hold at the bus station. It was pouring. We called our friend who picked us up and brought us to the bank. There they were so nice to me again that they would not let me go. 2 hours later, I can finally leave. Now I become a bit weak to be left alone with my challenge.... But this won't help me, so I grumbled once and on it goes. Arriving at the construction site around noon it went on. Everyone is quite listless ... I do not like that ... stay cool Achim... very difficult. The ring beam is still not concreted completely. At least the electrician came. Wow, what I saw was horrbile! He put the slots for the cables at to the wrong side. It was agreed differently and he was supposed to start in another room until I would be here... It went on like this all day.... An ordinary Monday in Kenya.... No hurry....

This Country needs new men.....
This was my motto for today. After the work was done tonight, I reduced the team...
Today the ring beam is finished... amazing :), the septic tank which was digged by a new team yesterday is now finished, great performance... another team began with the plastering of the foundation and did a good job...
They still exist... the beautiful moments... the hope that still everything will be fine....
Wow, I am relaxed ;)

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The crucial phase begins...

The form for the ring beam is being attached...
The form for the ring beam is being attached...

only 2.5 weeks left...

on Friday we continued to work on the ring beam and yesterday half of it was concreted. We worked until it got dark.
Today 5 workers and I were at the construction site. A part of the casing was removed and re-attached again. The work on the guest house went on. This rrom is intended for office or when someone comes visiting. They worked on it occasionally when they had time or nothing else to do. We had materials left and so the idea was born to build this room right away.
Tomorrow the rest of the ring beam is cased and then concreted. The electrician comes and the installer should come too, but has not answered yet. We will see. Another squad begins with the septic tank. Tomorrow morning we have to drive to the city very early to buy the framework for the internal doors. There will certainly be some other things to organize too....
This week begins well ...

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Next step...

The top row is almost done...
The top row is almost done...

And on it goes....

After I got a pciture of the current status on Tuesday afternoon, I had to create a plan in the evening on how we can meet our schedule. On Wednesday morning I first slept in, we still were at the building lot at 8 am. We had on the program to optimize the work of the last week. This was followed by meetings and discussions with the foremen to then get activly going. Today they continued working on the ring beam. Tomorrow the remaining work on the ring beam will be done, so that we can pour concrete on Saturday. In the meantime, we had to go to some important offices to find out what we should do next, so that we get no complications with the authorities. Here we had a huge support by Mr James Karuku. He is the County Director of Ministry of Housing. Despite his busy schedule, he made appointments with the other authorities for us and personally drove us to the offices to introduce us.

Many thanks to James Karuku and his entire team. Everyone is very committed, whether in the office or at the construction site...
Then I even checked the offer for the electrical work and awarded. I obtained an offer for a septic tank and so on....
Let's see how it goes on.... We still have a lot of work to do....

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Good news...bad news...

This week was tough....

On Monday the final preparations were on to start on Tuesday with the set of the first wall series. This is set in mortar. All other rows of stones are set without anything. Through the serration on the stone, it is connected tightly to the other stones. So we set the exterior walls on Tuesday and on Wednesday it was the turn of the inner walls. The long-awaited electricity has also come, so that the welding work on the roof could go on as well. As of Thursday it went quickly forward. By Saturday we were finished so that the first windows could be set. Also the roof construction is already welded diligently.
Since my mother passed away on Friday, I stopped the work on site and I am on my way back to Germany. I'll get back when we will continue again.
At this point again a heartfelt thank you for your support without this project could not be filled with life.

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Weekly review...

the finished concreted base plate...
the finished concreted base plate...

That was the last week ....

as so often it began with surprises. On Monday it was planned that we will concrete tomorrow. Targeted was Thursday. So we organized everything. Tuesday morning, all preparations have been completed, really all preparations? What about the drainage? We will do it now, they said quite succinctly. 10 men stood around and want to start concrete. Sometime later they get started. First there where no pipes have to be laid. The men and one woman toiled till late at night, 7 pm, then it was pitch black. A rest still has to be concreted on Wednesday morning. Then we wanted to water. Water from the tap? None. The fountain we are digging on, doesn't bring enough water yet. Again I had to do a lot of phone calls, organized an oxcart and bring water with the cart. Thursday is quite easy, it is only to water :), with what? A squad of men is still producing stones and some were busy bending iron and binding iron baskets. Friday also... Saturday we finally got water from the tap. I have watered the plants, trees, foundations and the base plate all day. In between, I loaded a little soil in the wheelbarrow and filled the foundations. It was a beautiful day, very relaxing.

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Challenges...

7000 stones are produced already...
7000 stones are produced already...

The last 14 days ...

... weren't really easy. Again and again, setbacks, disappointments and so on. For example water: We wait now for 3 weeks on water, repeatedly promised that tonight we will get water. Yesterday I went to the office of this company with a part of our team (as a translator) and told them about my anger. Thereupon, they promised that we get water on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. On Friday we finally had water and on Saturday until noon. Sunday, today, again no water. So tomorrow morning we need to go back to the office and put them on pressure. Somehow it seems that here hardly anyone wants that the children will get help.....
I will not list everything, but it was a number of challenges. In the end it matters that we reached our goal. There is also a little progress. So the stone machine came and some days later the man who is suppose to serve it. Meanwhile, we have produced 7000 stones and still want to produce 11000-13000 stones. The foundation continues to grow and the preparations, that we may be able to pour the floor panel on Thursday when we get water, run at full speed.
I would like to thank once again Susan who supports me actively all the time. Without her I would not have made this progress.
I also say thank you to all the workers at the site who really give with great effort their best and also experience my impatience. Thank you for your great understanding... I can still learn a lot from you...

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Workouts...

The first truck with the stones for the foundation...
The first truck with the stones for the foundation...

So what...

On Friday morning, I am full of joy to go to our property to receive the machine for our stones, nil. Calls, demands, then the message that it comes on Monday. The architect calls to say that he can't come, he is sick.... a good start. Stones for the foundations, that were promised for Friday morning, nil, call and get the message that they will come. Reorganize everything, distribute work and muck in myself. Today the sun is shining bright for the first time since I got here, otherwise it was always covered and cloudy, hazy. Despite sweating I am glad that she is here. The truck with murram (similar lava) is used for backfilling, not yet here too. It is afternoon and finally the tide is turning and a truck with stones appears and also the truck with murram comes rolled. The other stones are still not here, and we didn't get water also. It was supposed to be delivered 2 to 3 times a week, which is not the case... That was my Friday practice session on patience and serenity, which I have mastered, in my view, very good. Today the murram was supposed to be sieved and the iron bent. When we arrived at the site, what astonishment, plan changed, we will concrete the other foundations today. Oh well, I'm flexible. There are still some things missing, which are required before we can begin to concrete. So I organize a moped driver and off we go. At some point we begin to concrete, others sieve the murram, everything goes very tough. Stones shall come, gravel also, water again hasn't arrived at night, etc. Okay I can be irritated once, but what can I change? And on it goes, always with the temptation to become upset, I can do it and think about what can I change or  what can I already prepare. 3 pm the truck with stones arrives. But has no people to unload it. So I make a call, discuss, no I do not pay, it was included in the price. Finally my people unload the truck, received money from the truck driver, I have the workers missing..... It's weekend, everyone wants to go home, oh there was something else, right there has to be organized a security guard... and on Monday the machine and water will arrive, and stones, and so on ... .... certainly, always stay positive

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Organize material...

Centimeters thick dust on the road...
Centimeters thick dust on the road...

On the road...

Today we were traveling the whole day by car to get the material. We were driving down on dirt roads for what seemed to be five hours, where one hole was next to another. I did not count how many times we have bumped the road. 40 km drive and you are in the middle of nowhere.... This day was also a very instructive day. The area in which we were traveling is very sparse and the people poor. There is nothing except quarries, so land degradation. It is a very dry area. Again and again we see some small settlements, people sit together or in front of their small store and wait. Here you spend the whole day while waiting and waiting. Waiting for customers, wait for something to happen, wait for the evening, wait.... We arrived at the quarry and there were new impressions. I find it difficult to find the right words, since I show the people here my utmost respect.
This is hard work that is done here.
I once again become aware of how lucky we are in Germany.

To all complainers, whiners and "oh we are so poor" prater ... come here, work for 10 hours to earn your bread or to feed your family, then you can complain about how poor you are....

Here, people want to work, no matter what kind of work. The only thing they do not want is to have to sit around and wait...
I think pictures say more than words....
Finally, we went for lunch at 15:30. Traditional food. There was Mukimo, which is puréed corn and potatoes and similar vegetables like spinach and is served as a large ball, plus there was Terere which is like spinach, chicken and finally a cup of soup..... I love this food, absolutely delicious. ..

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It goes on again...

Working on the stone quarry pit
Working on the stone quarry pit

It goes on again...

after I was busy all Sunday from early morning until late at night with numbers and Excel lists, it went back on Monday to the construction site. Monday and Tuesday were real challenges to my patience and serenity. As I am practicing with positiv criticism, I say it like this. Many people wanted to know how far you can go with a Muzungu. Whether it's the truck driver who had promised to bring two loads of sand on Friday already, whether it's the truck driver who was to bring the gravel / ballast, whether it's the owner of the stone quarry pit who first told me the price for a ton and then collected the money for cubic meters and so on. There led one to the other and I was just about to cry as I then asked myself, I admit it was meant a little sarcastically: What will this gift learn me.... I'm still practicing on. The fact is, I can not change anyhting, to get upset makes me even more powerless, so I have to come down and cool down. Yes, on those days you want to give up everything ... no, do not worry, I'm not giving up. So I sit down and think about how the solution can look like. It took me two days, Monday and Tuesday, but today after even a clarifying conversation, we will go full speed ahead again. Today, we have rented a concrete mixer so that we could concrete the base plate and the foundation. We made it. The men and women have done a great job. Hats off, really great... Thanks to all helpers today....
The concrete will be watered tomorrow and the materia will be provided which has not been delivered this morning :).
All in all very informative days and I am thankful for...

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A little story...

My moped driver...
My moped driver...

Today it is time for a little anecdote....

because yesterday the sand was not delivered as agreed and neither the ballast, I had the day off. So I decided to go out alone to the next larger city Embu, which is 20 km away. For 14 days my first solo. Unaccompanied. My team thinks that one of them should always accompany me. So I used this opportunity to sneak out. Taking the Matatu to the city is easy going: stand right next to the curb, look when a matatu comes and ask: "Embu?". So far so good. I get into the matatu and we drive to the city. It is already 10 am and the matatu is quite empty. I hopped off a bit earlier so I have the opportunity to go on a little walk. Everyone is looking at me :) since not many "Muzungus" (white people) can be seen. I go to an ATM and then shopping. It was fun. Now back home again, because I have an appointment at 14 o'clock. I go to the Matatu station and ask which Matatu travels to Nembure. After I was sent a few times to the wrong matatu, I am right now, I was sent to the last row of the "bus". To understand: a matatu is a 7 seater Toyata or Nissan. In these fit 20 adults here in Kenya. Well, you can't reach your pocket anymore and to slide left or right is impossible too. With my backpack and a shopping bag on my lap I sit in the back row and we wait until all are here. 20 adults and 4 children... Here we go... a few times I hit my head on the ceiling, but otherwise it is all well. If you get in the matatu you tell the Contacter where you wan to go. We drive and drive and as I sit in the back, I do not really see where we are with so many people on the bus and place names are also less likely than in Germany. Suddenly I see that we already passed my destination, I shout that he should stop, what then happened right away. I am 10 km far from my destination. It is not helpful when I am angry now. I am here at a road junction. So I asked the next moped driver to take me home, who waits for customers to come, and drive back. He was proud that he was driving a Muzungu. I wasn't wearing a winter coat like the Kenyans do, but only a T-shirt. It was fun....

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There are days...

Ein häufiges Transportmittel...
Ein häufiges Transportmittel...

...that no one needs...

 

And I had a couple of them recently...

Example?
Today planned: 9 o'clock connecting the water line, close the trench, finish the fundament..... So get up early.
Got up at 6 am, did my morning rituals, took a shower... has been broken for 14 days, should be repaired right on the next day, maybe on Sunday. So I had to wash myself as 50 years ago in the bowl with ice cold water, I'm used to it now... :) got ready, ate breakfast. 7:20: stood at the roadside and waited for a matatu (little bus with 7 seats is crammed with 20 people) to stop. 15 minutes later, we were sitting inside the bus, 14 km further, waited for about 20 minutes at a junction for other passengers to join. Then I left the bus as our matatu had decided to drive back because not enough passengers were waiting here. So I changed, discussed about the paid price, waited for the next matatu for about 15 minutes. Then drove 6 km and run 1 km, arrived at the property, it was 9 o'clock. There should be done a few more things before, but ... phone call, the water man will come an hour late, welcoming the team, look at what has been done, what is missing, discussions followed since the foundation was not completed and the trench for the water line was also not yet completed, although yesterday I complained 3x, so again....? discussion followed. Three worker were supposed to dig the remaining 20 meters. An official from the Health Department came with the moped from the neighboring town and heard that we have begun to build without their consent, is not working, she can stop the work right away. You know what followed, endless Dis .... and calls.
Meanwhile 11:45 o'clock and the water man has arrived and takes a look at things we bought as he wrote it down. Negative report, many things are wrong and what follows, endless Dis .... begging that he at least plugs the tubes together and delays the installing the connector to tomorrow and buys the things himself. Sometime later he agreed. In the meantime we soothed the official and friendly explained her that we will come to her office of course. After that we met the architect, discussed with him also the thing with the official. He does not want to go to her office, he wants to go into the main office. What followed endless .... Again the water man, he gave permission to fill the trench, before checking if everything is tight, which is not working in my opinion, what followed are endless ..... back to take a look at the foundation on the property, completed the documents thus the workers can be paid. Before that I controlled whether they backfilled the trench properly, of course not, what do you think what followed? exactly endless ... Then paid them all and explained that I won't pay them next time they won't do their work properly. So it went on for a little while.
Yesterday at the bank I wanted to withdraw 100.000 shillings, which is about 1000 euros. This took me nearly 2 hours, because I only had a copy of my passport with me and not the original. So I had to explain myself for 100 times.

Why the whole thing .... because of my impatience.

Today I received a nice post from my dear friend which drew my attention to the subject of impatience, and that this is my biggest challenge at the moment. How right she is.
I am here now for 14 days, have a new plan, got already in many offices the required stamps, the foundation was dug, dug a 450 m long and 1 m deep ditch and filled it, the water line is almost connected and so on..... and everything of that in Kenya and all by hand ... What do I want more????
Finally become more patient and relaxed, which I started after the post immediately, okay after 20 minutes....
Thanks to my dear friend .... :)

P.S. This is already the fourth  time I write this report since 2.5 hours, because the tablet and I are still no friends, but I can now see this relaxed. And I realize that I'm still capable of learning....

One more thing, I no longer have  to control everything, that is my slogan for the week .... NO HURRY BY ACHIM

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No hurry in ...

It continues ....

on the bumpy road to the reality of the vision, my vision ...
I have to take advantage whenever the Internet and the tablet are in a good mood.
So instead of Monday we started on Saturday with the trench for the water pipe. What initially looked good because many people came and wanted to work, but we discussed 1.5 hrs the payroll.... no hurry.... then they began to dig. Here they take specifications with a pinch of salt... so again we had to discuss, no hurry... Later in the evening when I wanted to pay the workers, it was the same. And some have tried to indicate more than they have worked, you can try it even once.
All this is normal at the beginning, but I had to get used to it first. Without Susan, who is always there and translates or mediates, I'd be lost ... At this point, a big thank you to Susan... Thanks also to the rest of the team using their free time for Home of Smile.
Sunday I did a bit of a rest and the accounting, the week schedule, but this is unnecessary as everything will change again anyways, as with Amazon ... (for my work colleagues, here is no difference :)) Monday: the architect and his team are here, but without material.... no hurry...
I can learn a lot :) ... So back to the shop again and ask when they would deliver the things. The workers at the trench are back... one had measured the ditch and I did not check, if this is right.... Way too far in the properties along the road. There are problems with the owners, endless discussions, no hurry ....
I stand there and understand only half of what they are saying.. or even less....
There is still much to report... but that is beyond the scope.
Yesterday, the house was drawn on the property, we completed the storage room and the bedroom of the workers, the banner was hung and further dug and..... discussed.... no hurry... so slowly I arrive here and see it loose, I may change my functioning and perspective..... I learn every hour

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Slowly we are getting started...

Briefing on the property
Briefing on the property

No hurry in Africa...

after we went to the property yesterday and discussed everything, it was all about putting it all into action today.
This morning we first went to the water office. We applied and paid for a water pipe and a water meter. Then met the waterworks engineer, and looked what is possbile on the property. From the first 200 m ditch it became 420 m ditch, which has to be digged by hand,1 m deep. After that I went to Embu to a phone shop for repairing my phone. Was probably their fault that it didn't work, but the main thing is it works again. We had to go shop a few more things and go to the school Jane visits, my goddaughter. We had a talk with the director and found out that Jane does very well in school. She was allowed to come to us and say "hi" even though she is writing her final. She hugged me quite strong and is looking forward to August when she has 14 days vacation and we can do a lot together. While our lunch at 15:30 we had a nice conversation with the taxi driver. Afterwards we went home to start preparing everything for Monday. Time is running twice as fast as at home, at least this is my feeling. You see line ups everywhere,just like in the DDR's time. Here the people have plenty of time .... no hurry in Kenya ... :)
Yesterday we harvested the first fruits of the Home of Smile Farm. Sweet potatoes, avocados and corn... in the evening we cooked and ate them directly... yummy..
Monday we start..... that's the plan ...

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Emotional rollercoaster...

hamjambo...muriega...hello...hallo...

 

a week ago I went off to make my dream come true. I've heard many things, from impossible over maybe and so so. My feelings went on a rollercoaster with me a couple of times. Well I ended up on the floor of the facts. Already a few meetings behind me, visited other orphanages, put some plans upsidedown, changed the architect and gained a lot of informations.
What most annoys me recently is my tablet. This report I have written more than five times. The mouse pointer becomes independent and as if by magic he changes everything, open files, programs, or deletes what I just wrote. Working like this with the tablet is no fun and it costs me a lot of nerves and especially time. So do not be disappointed if you don't read a lot from me, hopefully I will get it under control. To make matters worse, my phone or the SIM card is defect and today is a national holiday, so no stores are open. Today on the land we discussed the plan with the team, an architect and a man of Ministry of Housing. We also discussed the next week and where we can get water. So tomorrow morning we will go to the office of the water company... In the meantime I visited some orphanages and experienced a lot of support.... and I visited the beautiful place: God's Brigde...
Quickly posting before everything is deleted again....

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News from Kenya...

I'm glad...
...to show you new pictures from Kenya.
Step by step it goes on...
More than half of the farm was plowed. Since the property was interrupted for a long time, the ground was hard as cement. We chose to get motorized assistance. With a tractor the soil was prepared. Yesterday, the seeds were spread after heavy rain. Here again was "crafted" in demand.
Now the corn can grow and prosper.The banana trees and other plants have grown a lot. I look forward to the time when I go back myself.
The preparations for the orphanage go full speed...

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The plants are growing...

New pictures....
I have just received new pictures of the farm.
Everything grows very well. The rainy season was long and wet this time. We were really lucky with our planting. Some plants had to be freed from the mud so they would not rot or get a fungal disease. The banana trees are so awesome. But the hedge around the fence is making great progress too. Next, the farm is cultivated now. After 6 years of lying fallow this is not an easy task. Most will probably be done by hand so that the plants are not harmed. In February / March corn and beans will be sown. That looks very well so far. We hope that it goes on like this...
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Hardworking team...

more than 3 weeks went by already...

time flies by so fast, but not without any activities.

First of all I would like to thank most sincerely Werner Vogt from Beltheim for his generous donation. With this donation it was now possible to acquire the land. Also we were able to purchase the fencing and the seeds.

Our team in Kenya is diligently. In the meantime they spread plant protection over the land, as it hasn't been used for many years and some weeds rooted very deep.

They also planted banana plants and some other trees, like avocados and macadamias. Also a hedge will be planted soon. The rainy season is fully used...

So we can harvest next year already...

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Does the weather stay like this

Because of the trails the ground is much harder
Because of the trails the ground is much harder

Done... literally

I am also done. The last few days have absorbed me quite complete. From Monday till Thursday we were on the move until late at night. When we were done on the property it went on my my room with accounting, writing protocols and preparations for the next day. Since Monday I ate only breakfast and bananas with white bread. The Kenyan love white bread. For me, I had enough for the next couple of months. We finished last night at 6:45 pm, it was already dark.

We made it!!!!!!

The entire property is fenced and also we tinkered a gate. I am overjoyed. We have done incredible things in these two weeks and one day.

In the morning it had not seemed as if we could do that. It rained in torrents, we were all soaking wet. We had to interrupt the work. Approximately 1 hour later we went working again. The sky had bear with us and kept his locks.

Thanks to the whole team and the many volunteers.

The architect was here today to take a look at the property. We discussed details and discussed about change request for the building plan. He was also impressed by the beautiful property.

Today a lot of paperwork and office visits were waiting for me, which were also very successful. Tomorrow there will be a couple of small meetings and on Sunday then a final meeting.

Monday…… no I’m not thinking about you now

 

I wish you all a wonderful weekend. I see you will have nice weather, so enjoy it…

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It continues...

Thanks to the great team it goes forward well
Thanks to the great team it goes forward well

Tired and satisfied...

Today was a busy day. We have put half of the piles. Everyone helped.

When you are not used to do everything by hand, oh my….

We were finished at 6:30 pm. Our first and only break was at 4 pm.

For tomorrow we have already everything prepared and if the weather cooperates, we should have set all piles by tomorrow night.

The time is short, so I will have to do different things on my next visit.

Okay, I had too much in mind for this visit and so far everything has worked out great…

THANKS to the brilliant local team.

So now I will fall into bed…

 

Usiku Mwema (goodnight)

 

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Next play...

The lawnmower is started by a rope...
The lawnmower is started by a rope...

A German in Kenya...

It was agreed that I will be picked up at my hotel this morning at 8 clock. We had a lot to do. So I asked the waitress last night if she could come earlier in the morning, in turn that I could have breakfast before leaving. She agreed...

This morning I had breakfast, it is 8 o'clock...ringringring my phone was ringing. No you won't guess who it is... Okay I will tell you. The caller apologized and said that he could pick me up at 8:30 am. I hang up the phone, did a short mumble, then made aware again that s sunny day just started and there is no reason to be angry. You are here in Africa. The slogan here is "no hurry in Africa".

9:45 am my taxi arrived and at 9 clock we were ready to start in a good temper. Short briefing in the car. Then we went to the Indian. No, no restaurant, but a store that has everything for building etc. and at reasonable prices. After that we went with a little truck to a joinery, if one may say so, to load 150 posts and let's move on.

Arriving at the property we ask for the neighbors permission to store the posts at his storage, which was no problem. The neighbor calls a man who painted the posts with preserver. In the meantime the neighbor, John, Susan and myself are busy to fix a cord from one end to the other end of our property. Now four posts were set and every 3 meters a mark has to be dugged for the other posts. Tomorrow there are supposed to come four more workers to dig the holes. At 4:30 pm we leave. There is another day tomorrow and John has still his job, which he still has to do. An hour later at the hotel, I will take a shower, eat something (after I haven't eaten anything since breakfast) and then the paperwork follows aaaand after that I have time to relax...

A beautiful picture from a lawn mower here from the hotel. And how it will be started, I won't deny you..


Okay in Germany everything goes faster... Here in Kenya one has time for each other and shares with strangers.

The neighbor doesn't know me, but for him it is a matter of course to share with strangers, offer fresh water etc. ...

I have been received as a friend in a foreign country...

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We did it...

Our bouquet for buying the property
Our bouquet for buying the property

Our property...

…yyyeeeahhh we bought it.

Home of Smile has its own property. The foundation has been laid. After long discussions, the seller has come to oblige us. ”It’s all for a good cause,” he said.

Now the paperwork follows ….

Today we went to the property to fix the border and marked it with concreted steel.

We haven’t been there for about half an hour and already the whole neighborhood came to see what is happening here. We were welcomed by all sides. When mixing the concrete a man came right away, grapped himself a shovel and helped us. He helped us to bring the concrete to the other end of the property, which is about 125 m away. He stayed with us until we were finished. Of course we gave him an obolus, which he was thrilled about.

Another neighbor has brought a new shovel, because one of ours was broken. And at another neighbor’s we got water and even a couple of shovels of sand, because we had not enough.

Maybe I had the holes made too large J

Anyway, we are very happy…

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Step by step...

The next step...

Today we were taking a look at a Shamba (piece of land) we had already been envisaged, but which was just too expensive. The seller was there too. It was a very interesting meeting. On the flat land there are two old, large mango trees and it is very well suited for farm cultivation.

 

That will be our property, we all agreed. Now the seller has to agree.

We are already preparing things, as there is a lot of paperwork to do. The works are in full swing.

At this point I would like to say a very big THANKS to the team of Home of Smile Kenya who carry out great work. Without them we would not be this far with our project.

There is still a lot of work ahead of us, but “WE can do that…”

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