Last month was another opportunity to bless our widows in Kipsaina. Some months we are able to give them food from the hot house or the farm, this time they all received potatoes along with the rice we usually pass out.
Their diet probably consists of ugali (a paste made from ground maize) and tea. If they have sugar available, it makes their day even better. Tea is grown all over the area, so they have access to it, but sugar…that’s harder to get. Money is involved and most never have any.
When a widow gets up in the morning, the first thing she does is make a fire to boil water for tea. Most of the time, they have no wood to burn so you will see them out early, looking for twigs and small branches to use. They might find more than they need, and trade part of the wood for something they don’t have. The smallest items are hard for them to get. Salt, matches, soap. Things we usually take for granted and have plenty of.
If they have a garden, they might have a few vegetables if in season, but most of our widows grow maize in whatever area they have and it is planted in April and harvested in October. So, there usually isn’t anything else planted. The maize seed is usually kept from the previous year, and since there usually is no money available, that’s all that is grown.
So coming to the widow’s meeting and receiving rice and possibly vegetables is worth a 5 mile walk for them. Some walk farther, and sometimes, in the rain. It’s amazing.
When we can provide sugar, this makes it even more of a blessing. There are a few widows that hit me up for sugar every time I see them. It brings some kind of happiness. (Because of my love of donuts, I can identify with that, so of course, I’m an easy mark).
We always have a good turnout for these meetings. Some arrive around 10:00 a.m. but at 3:00 p.m., long after the meeting is over, they are still coming. When we have teams that visit, we have given out soap and shower caps to all of them. They love shower caps. It protects their hair from the drenching rains. They don’t mind their clothes getting wet, but their hair is completely different.
So this last meeting, they went to their homes feeling blessed.
Above, just a few of our mamas. Kenya has outlawed plastic bags because of the unbelievable littering. So we’ve asked our widows to bring some kind of container. Most use their pocketbooks. Or possibly the bag that the rice came in.
You might not see it but these ladies are happy. And feel blessed.
Missing all of them,