Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Day 2 Part 2

This evening we traveled with Kate to Karen to purchase textbooks for students in grade 4.  After we got the necessary books, we stopped by the vet's office.  Recently, Hekima Place acquired two German Shepard puppies to assist the night guards in protecting the compound.  The pups are Nicky and GiGi.  Poor Nicky was bitten by a tick and has developed tick fever.  He's spending the night at the animal hospital with an enlarged spleen and a high fever.   

After leaving the vet's office, we headed over to Karen Country Club for our 7pm Rotary meeting.  It occurred to me that at the very same moment my Brother and Sister Rotarians in Pittsburgh were also meeting.  

I was so proud to represent the Rotary Club of Pittsburgh at this meeting.  I couldn't have picked a better meeting to attend.  The speakers were from several California districts who developed and have executed a program "Kenya Smiles," which provides Kenyan students with dental education and supplies.  As amazing and exemplary of the Rotary spirit as this program is, I was even more touched by a five minute presentation from two Oberlin students: Ty and Peterson.  Ty is a US native and Peterson was born and raised in a rural slum of Kenya.  Pete, who is pursuing a degree in neurobiology, worked his way through the Kenyan school system and ultimately was accepted to Oberlin.  The only thing keeping Pete from pursuing his education in the US was his inability to pay for the plane ticket.  The Rotary Club of Karen sponsored him and sent him to the US.  Once at school, he decided to give back and developed "Kenya Reads."  In one year his program has built two libraries on his old neighborhood and has started providing uniforms and sanitary pads to students so they don't miss school for not being in uniform, or for girls who must miss a week of school when menstruating.  As if that's not enough, when he was in high school, he wrote a biology essay book that was published and is now used in Kenyan high schools!  Needless to say, I made Pete and Ty promise to come visit is on Pittsburgh - I mean, seriously, it's just across the border!  I happily purchased two uniforms and sanitary pads for girls in need for $40 USD.

The meeting closed with the exchange of flags from six clubs.  I proudly shared our flag and accepted the Karen Club's.  There was a great energy at the club, including two prospective members with seventeen meetings between them, and six Rotaract students from two Universities.

Another great day for Rotary, regardless of where in the world you are meeting! 

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