2019 Trip Blog #8
Everyone on our team has a role and responsibilities. Cheri Butt is from Toronto and this is her 8th trip to Kenya, second year on Western Kenya. She is our banker, planner, and team builder. She is fun, outgoing and organized, and besides all that she is our investigative reporter! When we arrived on Mageta Island she asked permission to “freelance” around the school and community. So with the help of others she began the challenging work of find out how things work, who is/was involved, what has been done in the past, who is responsible now, and has it become a White Elephant? In Kenya, White Elephants are projects started by outsiders, sometimes in partnership with the government, that have stalled, often left as a reminder to the local people as reminders of unkept promises.
Our first morning on Mageta Island found Cheri and Ben Mware, our international consultant walking the water pipeline that started at the edge of Lake Victoria. After a day’s exploration they returned –Ben looking as fresh as he did when he started, Cheri dishevelled, dirty and grinning from ear to ear. They had journeyed the length of the pipeline, meeting the right people, getting critical data and pictures.
As Greg and I implemented the Trees for Boys and Days for Girls programs, Cheri continued her investigative work, talking with the people finding the critical holes in the programs and sometimes literally in the walls of schools. Liz, our director of Beyond Limitations and liaison with all government departments also facilitated the way for Cheri to bring her findings forward.
And as all good reporters, she pulled the information together in a concise effective manner. I will leave Cheri to report her findings, but I wanted you to know, that as a team member we don’t always know our exact role or where our inquires will lead, but with our eyes open to opportunities to learn and assist, we may make life better for our Kenyan friends.