Oct 26, 2007

1 AM on Thursday, October 26

Yesterday morning, Steven, Ravena and Alexia Kanana Mubichi (aka Munchie) left early in the morning for an appointment with a pediatrician in Nairobi. They took the red SUV for the 4+ hour ride (Steven prefers his fancy pickup truck but it doesn't transport a baby's car seat very well). The doctor gave Munchie a good check up and declared her great but asked that she be seen by an eye doctor in the morning because one eye tends to tear. So they spent the night at the Methodist Guest House and saw the second doctor this morning. Then they headed back to Meru. It may be that one of Munchie's tear ducts isn't opening so she'll get litttle cheek massages for awhile. Needless to say, the house was sure quiet with those three gone. We were overjoyed to welcome them back this evening.

Munchie is happily oblivious -- laughing and gurgling and cooing. But Steven and Ravena have to get back to problem solving tomorrow. One of Steven's huge hauling trucks is stuck due to all this rain because - of all things - it has an overly sensitive sensor on it that makes it stop running when the surface is wet! Meaniwhile, Ravena has a truck loaded with stone that needs to get delivered and I am sure the renters at their apartment building have a list of things needing her attention.

Poor Katie; I am working her terribly hard because we have much to accomplish before the recently reorganized board meets here at the Mubichi's home on Sunday afternoon . She's getting mini lectures on how nonprofits work and the basic principles of a well run organization. We have come up with a set of foundation project categories (Literacy, Health & Nutrition, Resource Management and Other) and sub-categories (library, reading barazas, book donations, scholarships, etc) for accounting purposes. We have all the foundation expenditures since late 2005 when they began projects in an Excel spreadsheet and coded by category and subcategory. Based on all the projects they have done, we are recommending a new mission statement for the board's consideration. We have put together a proposed budget for the current fiscal year for the board to adopt. We have also lined out some recommendations for the board that cover governance, financial management and openness that - if adopted - will make their transition from a community based organization to a full fledged nongovernmental organization (CBO to NGO) much easier. And I am working out several options to propose to the board on what to do about the library we built at the School for Hearing Impaired Children. We need to draw up a Memorandum of Understanding with the board of governors of the deaf school but before we begin negotiations I want our board to think through the various options. (It is the old adage "Be careful what you wish for; you might just get it!")

After the board meets here Sunday we will all ride over to the newly established foundation office which now has furniture, a printer to go with Fridah's laptop computer, curtains, bookshelves, beautifully organized files - thanks to Katie -- and more. I have the expenses side of the financial report completed and will tackle income in the morning. Meanwhile Katie is doing a wonderful job writing the balance of what will be the foundation's first ever Annual Report. So, we are getting there.

Tonight, after telling us funny stories about goats (he says they can't walk backwards; I never know when to believe him and when he is just telling us a story versus a teaching parable), Steven anounced that we need some recreation to offset all our hard work. So we decided that next Sunday we will worship at the Methodist church of Biship and Grace Imathiu and a week from Saturday we will go on an overnight safari at the National Park nearby. It is hard to realize I fly home in just 11 days! Love to all. Pray that we manage to avoid malaria and floods and wild things!

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