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Two Weeks of Poverty

In a way I feel like a pretentious, privleged fool for doing this. In another way, I feel like I have to.

“Missionary Salary”

It’s recommended, in general, for single, independent missionaries to live on $1,500 as a minimum monthly salary. That would be $50 per day!!! Last year, I spent an average of $1,119/ month. That’s 37$ a day. Granted, a lot of that went to rent, insurance and other things that I felt were IMPORTANT. But I felt and even FEEL guilty about it. Especially because my income (from donations and web work for a cause) was only half that, and the rest just drained my savings almost to the bottom. For this year, my yearly fundraising goal is $8,500, which would be $708/month. I don’t think that will be super comfortable but I’m sacrificing. Anyways, back to the story. read more

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2018 – LooKing aHead.

2018 Projects

I have two exciting projects that I’ve already started and am excited to continue this year. Here’s a video about my rough plan for the year.

Tutoring at Children’s Home

One is tutoring the kids who are struggling in school, who live at the children’s home. I’m starting with the kids who are actually schooled at the children’s home, which is 2 levels of preschool and kindergarten. The kids never get any one on one time educationally, so if they fall behind, they’re screwed. And really the classes are really bad. In 2017 I had been helping the kids with colors, letters, numbers and reading in an informal way. Now I’m actually taking the kids, one at a time, to a separate room so we can actually work on learning what the individual kid needs to learn.

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2017 – WhAt it was AbouT.

2018 is here already! I apologize for doing a bad job of communicating what I was doing in 2017. I was just trying to get a feel for everything around me. But I’ve written up a good 2017 summary and I’m ready to share it with you! If you donated 50$ or more in 2017, you are welcome to request the 2017 FULL/serious report of the year. It’s a PDF with lots of nitty-gritty details. Just ask! But, below is a brief overview about what I did in 2017.

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Why I Haven’t Been Blogging or Posting Much

First, What I’ve Been Up To:

Teaching Reading to Struggling Readers at an Elementary School

I’ve been teaching reading to some struggling readers at an elementary school, grades 4-7. I did this for one week before they had a 3 week break. This last week it started up again. I’m excited to get it going again. There’s a boy in 7th grade who doesn’t know the alphabet. I’m working with him one on one. He is making progress and I’m hopeful for him.

Another interesting thing is Grades 4 and 5 don’t speak English well enough for me to teach them in English. So… I’m trying to do the class mostly in Swahili! So that has been interesting and fun.

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Part 2 Begins

The adventure has officially begun! I arrived in Kenya on March 1st and arrived in Kisii on March 2nd. It’s so nice to be back here. It feels very right.

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Update and Reflections

Well I felt that my blog needed a little update. A little something to tie people over for several more months until something exciting happens. I’d love to write more about life lessons that I’m learning from the whole career change, but I’m still learning them. And…. I’m not digging writing at the moment and I’m not liking my writing as well. Another thing is, I’m kind of a private person so I debate what I should say or not say and then the articles are just half finished for months. read more

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What to Bring to Africa

I spent 6 months in Liberia, Uganda and Kenya and learned some things about what is helpful to bring to a tropic, hot, developing world location from the Western world. If you’re going to stay for 1 week or 2 years, take a look at this list. If you’re going for just a week or two and staying at fancy, civilized places, than you might not need all of this, but you can use your judgement.

Water Filter
In most places that I visited you can buy bottled water. But I had a couple times when I couldn’t and I was very thankful I had my Sawyer Water Filter. I will also say that all the bottled water had outside seals on them so you know they’re good. And they were good. Except one in Kenya, Tiji. Even though they were sealed they had floating crap in them. Yuck. I whipped out my Sawyer filter for those! read more

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Kisii and the Orphanage

The Lonely Planet guide for Kenya does not speak highly of Kisii. That’s too bad, I really liked this hilly, bustling little town.

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These Hard Times

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Animal Farm.

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Best Friends.

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The corridor of my apt. complex. 24 rooms total.

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My room. Gotta love Hanna-Barbera.

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My room is on the left. The shower and toilet, straight ahead.

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The other side of my room. I estimate these rooms to be no more than 12×12 feet.

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Some of the school on a lazy Saturday.

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Another part of the school.

I have written and rewritten this article many times. I’m trying not to say too much negative, but this has been a hard place. I’m teaching at a school in the Lake Victoria region of Kenya. The culture is male dominated. The people are not as friendly as in Uganda, by a long shot. The community is small and there is not much to do and most comforts are non-existent. I’m including some pictures of the area so you can kind of imagine what it might be like.

It has been hard since before I even got here. Yesterday made one week with this assignment. Actually, typing that makes me feel better! Time truly is progressing! Most of my past African situations were good. The one in Uganda that was bad, there was no question in my mind that I had to leave early. In this case, I felt God say “You need to stay.” I admit that I don’t always do what God says, but in this case I’m obedient. read more

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My Friend Fran and Her Gorgeous Henna

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Me and Fran, Indian Ocean.

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I was like “Let me fix my hair.”

(click on any picture to see its bigger version!)

In Kilifi, I met the lovely Fran from Germany, living in Zanzibar. When I first met Fran, we were in the gift shop. It went like this.
Me: Hello, I’m Laurie.
Fran: Hi, I’m Fran.
Me: Nice to meet you. Can I ask what country you come from?
Fran: Germany.
Me: Wow, I’m surprised, your accent is so much more beautiful than the German accents I’m used to.
And that was the beginning of our friendship.

Fran was a great friend to me, including taking me to the hospital when I got stung by an unknown marine animal (not jelly fish, not sea urchin). Fran does have a BEAUTIFUL voice. I told her she should do some books on tape or something. It’s a voice that reminds me of Mia Farrow in The Last Unicorn. So soothing. When I asked Fran, “Do you know the movie The Last Unicorn?” She said, “I love that movie, it’s such a beautiful movie.” For sure!

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Fran!!!!


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Majestic boabob tree at Distant Relatives.


Fran and I had great times, fun times, peaceful and relaxing times. We shared many swims, dawas, stories, amongst other things. We sat under the baobob tree for energy and peace and it was such a nice friendship in such a magical place. I will absolutely see Fran again! read more