Asante sana Kenya

Beads of Esiteti has just returned from another life affirming trip to Kenya, where once again our passion was reignited through witnessing the incredible dedication of the Esiteti/Embaringoi communities. Looking back upon this trip I am filled with awe of these women and their continual commitment to improve the lives of their families; from waking up at sunrise to gather water and firewood to spending hours each day reconstructing their traditional cow dung bomas, to cooking for their families, boiling tea for their friends, beading to support their children and local primary school, these women are incredible and being in their presence is an honor each and every day. Once again I discovered that I would fail miserably as a Maasai women seeing that every time I try to carry water in their traditional way I feel as though my neck is going to snap like a toothpick and the idea of venturing out into the lion filled bush alone to gather firewood gives me a mild heart attack, but other than that this community has become my tribe and has taught me the joy in simplicity, the wisdom in community and the incredible strength that comes with being a woman.

1555407_10153754909185654_918350718_nBeads of Esiteti had the opportunity to visit the Engong Narok clinic during our time there. This is a central clinic for Maasai communities living in and around Amboseli National Park and provides medical care to the Maasai people of these communities. During my time at the clinic due to the generous donation and support of Vitamin Angels we were able to once again provide prenatal vitamins for the pregnant and lactating mothers of this region; nurse Liz said that women from all corners of this region come to the clinic because they now know they can get vitamins that will help ensure the health of their baby and are greatly impacting the health of the mothers; THANK YOU VITAMIN ANGELS!! Also, during my time there I was able to learn more about the needs of this clinic which are extensive, especially because their is only one nurse there to take care of the hundreds of patients that come each month, but  one way that Beads of Esiteti is committed to helping this rural clinic at this time is supplying this clinic with solar panels; due to this clinic having zero electricity and most of the mommas from this area coming at night to give birth to their babies, we feel electricity is a crucial need and are grateful to be able to be of service.

IMG_5709One of my favorite moments on this past trip was the night I was able to spend at the Esiteti Primary Schools Girls dorm, each time I am there I try to stay with the girls at least one night and learn more about their lives and learn more about how we can be of service. So I was beyond excited on this trip to meet a women’s group in Meru at the International Initiatives of Peace Headquaters who have created a project making reusable sanitary napkins (oh the things that excite me these days!!!), so of course I thought of the girls at Esiteti Primary School and what a great way to save money and the environment. Beads of Esiteti will now be supplying the girls at Esiteti Primary School with reusable pads not only so their families can save money but because often times around the world girls are forced to drop out of school when they begin menstruation because they have no access to sanitary napkins so are unable to attend school during that time of the month. The Esiteti girls were so excited about their new pads, which brought up lots of good girl talk!

IMG_5780Once again I have left Kenya feeling incredibly blessed that I am able to spend a lifetime learning from the people of Africa and  learning from a community of people that truly know how to care for one another. For it is in giving that we receive the greatest gifts in life; connection, purpose and love.  Thank you for all your support.

With gratitude,

Shauna

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