In case you’ve been wondering about the $10 for Tuesday Project, I haven’t stopped. I’ve just been slacking posting about them. I’ve been on a whirlwind tour of Kenya, Ethiopia, and I just arrived in Uganda.
I’ve lived in the slums of Nairobi, visited soleRebels in Addis Ababa, checked in on NURU which has to be one of the coolest and most efficient new NGOs I’ve seen in awhile, and I ran with (and by with I mean an ever increasing distance behind) world champion Kenyans. The audio, photos, and chicken scratches in my moleskine are piling up.
So to catch up on my ten4tues, I thought I’d recap the past three Tuesdays below:
Tuesday #1: The Prophetess
Oh there’s so much to write here. In fact, one of the main reasons I’m so behind on my notes is that I wrote 6,000 words about my night in the slums with the Prophetess and her family. Here’s a brief excerpt from my notes:
“I have a property North of Nairobi,” the Prophetess says. “I owned a store and saved up money to buy it. It has been pending (I think this means undeveloped) since 2004. In my vision I saw the sun coming up over my property and there was a group of mazungus (white folk) building a house on it. When I see your group come, when I saw you, I knew it was God.” She looks up. If this were a movie the camera would rise from her face, pass through the ceiling, out of Mathare, out of Nairobi, Kenya, Africa, Earth, and into the heavens where God would be shaking his head, or laughing, and mumbling, “Lady, I’ve got better things to do.”
I was prophesized! I’m like Quetzalcoatl with more hair! I’m here! I’m the one you’ve been waiting for.
I could’ve said those things. I could’ve played my roll in the drama. “I had the same vision. Let’s build this thing.” I don’t make promises like that. Heck, I still owe books to my translators from WAIW (which I feel awful about). I didn’t know what to say. I was somewhat disappointed. It makes you feel kind of small when someone looks at you and sees a future that you can’t make happen.
“Too bad I’m a mazungu with no money,” I laugh.
After spending the night on her son’s couch, I slipped her $10, which felt like a very insignificant amount. That’s the one rotten thing about showing up in other people’s visions, their expectations are always a bit high.
Tuesday 2: Geesit (totally misspelled) Addis Ababa Ethiopia
Justin at Life in Abundance hooked me up with the groups guesthouse in Addis. I had the entire home to myself. Each morning Geesit would show up and have a pretty killer breakfast spread just for me. When I had to meet the folks at soleRebels, she took me all they way there via 4 taxis. She’s a single mother of two adopted children and a super sweet lady.
Tuesday 3: NURU
NGOs usually have rather specific mission statements and goals, some of them do just exactly what their name says (think Feed the Children), so NURU’s goal seemed somewhat lofty. They want to end poverty. But after visiting their pilot project in Kuria, Kenya, and seeing how they’ve changed the lives of over 5,000 locals in just over 1.5 years, I’m a believer.
One farm I visited went from producing 3 bags per acre to 30 bags per acre. On average NURU farmers produced 500% more corn then they did before. And that’s just their ag projects, never mind their education, water sanitation, health, and finance projects.
I’ll dedicate a longer post to Nuru later. For now I’ll donate $10.