Cannon King Walking With Africans July 2014

July 8th- First Group Trip

- Tuesday, July 08, 2014

Just got back from my first trip to visit two groups in the area close to Kibwezi. The Wiwano Wa Kiyuuti group is a thriving group of 33 women that has been receiving loans since 1992. Many of the loans are used to help fund their rope making businesses, which use the fibers of the cisal tree to make long sturdy strands to tie up their cattle. The loans seem to be making a world of  a difference for these women entrepreneurs. One women told me that soon with the profits of her business she hopes to add a room to her one room house. The house currently houses 22 people. Every single person in the group is using their business to fund education for either their kids or grand kids. After food, education is their highest priority. 

Unfortunately, it seems at least a third of the women have been widowed by the AIDS epidemic. Nonetheless they constantly maintain very bright dispositions. They brought out cokes for everyone in my vehicle, a delicacy in this part of Kenya that can rarely be enjoyed. I broke one of the legs off one of their few plastic chairs and somersaulted back off of a hill.  As I got up from my tumble and attempted to pay them for the chair I couldn't get a word in through their wall of laughs. They did not let me pay.

So far my during my stay in Kenya I have been increasingly struck by the character of the average person. As I walk down the street it seems that almost every businessperson that I have ever done business with comes out to shake my hand and ask (in sometimes broken English) how my day had been. All the young school kids will come up and ask "Hi how are you" which seems to be the first sentence they learn in school. Any answer other than "I'm fine" is met with very confused kids. Apparently the name "Cannon" is very hard to pronounce in Kenyan, so I am now being called by my new Kenyan name: Kennedy. 

I've purchased a modem that connects my computer to the cell towers that top almost every mountain here, so hopefully I'll be able to give shorter, more frequent updates. I'll be traveling to groups daily, and am very excited to witness some new loans being given out on Thursday. Stay tuned!

Thanks for reading,


James Munthali commented on 08-Jul-2014 02:29 PM
This is great! The women at Wewano Wa Kivute are so generous beyond my comprehension. It is also very cohesive and well motivated group. I look forward to your next posting. How does your name change from Cannon to Kennedy? Wow!
Jeff King commented on 08-Jul-2014 10:50 PM
Keep up the blogs "Kennedy"! We'll probably start calling you that ourselves when you come back. If you need a micro loan yourself to buy a new chair, I'd suggest getting favorable terms from the good old "Bank of Dad". Sounds like a wonderful experience with great people and organization.
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