TO DO Lists:
Packing lists – check.
Travel itinerary – check.
Meeting schedule – check.
Menu for the boys (& dog & fish) – check.
Dr. appointments – check.
“Honey-do” lists – check.
The lists are multiplying. They tend to appear whenever I go somewhere – whether to the grocery store or across the world, and this time is no exception. I haven’t been to Kenya for some time, so in my excitement I’ve started the preparation process using the American way of thinking – by creating a list for every conceivable thing that needs to be done before, during and even after my trip.
For now my hastily scribbled notes are divided between things to take care of at home and things I hope to accomplish in Kenya, but as my date of departure draws closer the balance will shift. So much has happened since my last visit, and since I’ll be in the country for less than two weeks there’s a lot of ground to cover. I expect the Kenyan list to soon be the longest.
At the top of this Kenyan list is visiting with old friends, meeting our new Program Coordinator, and seeing the new preschool classrooms in Lanet for the first time. Each of these items vies for first place.
Not long after I arrive, one of the new classrooms will be dedicated to the memory of Heidi (Sr. Eurosia) Keyworth Albanese, who passed away suddenly a year ago this May. Heidi spent much of her life caring for people of all ages in Vermont’s Mad River Valley. She is most commonly remembered as a loving mother, a compassionate friend, a creative chef and an imaginative individual. As a member of a lay Franciscan community in Vermont, Heidi was also known as “Sr. Eurosia”. It was in that capacity that she taught French to children in the small Christian school I directed. She was a friend to many children, and she used to tell me how much she loved the vision of Everyone’s Child. It’s fitting to be dedicating one of our new spaces for children in Kenya to her memory.
Another aim of this trip is for me to to meet William Aludo, EC’s Program Coordinator in Kenya. William has been instrumental in carrying out EC’s programs in Kenya for the past year, including the development of a successful secondary school mentorship program that is in its second year of operation at Bishop Donovan Secondary School. I’ll be traveling to his hometown of Rongo in Migori County, where William plans to introduce me to the students EC is now supporting, thanks to the generosity of many donors in the USA. I also hope to meet his friends and associates who are interested in learning more about EC’s programs in Kenya.
I’m also looking forward to meeting and visiting with the orphaned secondary students we are supporting and mentoring this year. We will be congregating at Bishop Donovan Secondary School where they will receive letters from American students, one more effort on our part to give these students a “leg up” in their journey to adulthood.
There is never enough time to do everything that I like to do in Kenya. I’ll enter the country on “American time” with my lists in hand, but chances are by the time I leave I’ll be on “Kenyan time” – where a cup of tea with friends could turn into a daylong event. For now, I will organize by planning on meeting old friends, making new ones, and seeing the progress of Everyone’s Child in Kenya, something that I will never, ever grow tired of.
That progress is due in large part to the sustained and one-time gifts from people who want to give children a good start in life.
Heidi Keyworth Albanese was one such individual who cared about children in the core of her soul. Next week her legacy will be remembered once again at a dedication ceremony in a classroom filled with eager faces and curious minds. I am incredibly grateful to her family and friends who decided that gifts to Everyone’s Child would be a worthy way of memorializing her life.
If you would like to help make a difference in the life of a child, please consider contributing to our programs by clicking here. Your donation goes toward the education and care of orphaned and vulnerable preschool, primary school and secondary schoolchildren in Kenya.
All donations are tax-deductible, used for and appreciated by the children we support. With your help we truly can change a generation through education.
With warmest wishes,