Our second visit to Kenya was December 4 through 16, 2010. We took 142 gloves, about twenty dozen balls, bats and helmets, bases made from carpet remnants, nylon cord for base paths, donated shirts and other gear totaling more than 300 pounds. Two volunteers, Ralph Ogden and Mark Giganti, joined us at their own expense. Pastor Joshua arranged sessions at seven schools, two orphanages and the local police station, so our time in Ahero was well organized and efficient. 42-22 also sponsored a Sunday afternoon "feast" at Joshua's orphanage, featuring beans, rice, and stewed goat.
The trip enabled us to play ball with kids from three schools we had visited before and four new schools in the Ahero-Awasi area. Kids we had seen before were delighted to see us again, and proud to show off their baseball skills. Some showed up wearing shirts we had given them last time. They had taken excellent care of their equipment. The new groups were equally enthusiastic. We learned a lot more about how to teach as much baseball as possible in the brief time we had at each school. We were excited to see how quickly they absorbed the mental as well as the physical aspects of the game. We saw many examples of kids helping us and each other and excellent sportsmanship and leadership.
Remarkable things seem to happen on these trips. At Kochogo school, kids asked Jim about Martin Luther King, Jr. This resulted in an impromptu lecture and discussion in a cow pasture. The hardest part: trying to explain to Kenyan young people why we needed a Martin Luther King in the first place. At Kanyagwal school, one young man proudly showed us his chickens, housed in a coop a few dozen feet from the school building. In Ahero, a young man who worked at the Guest House and his buddy, a teacher, took us to see their weight-lifting facility. It was a makeshift wooden bench and rack with weights made from cross sections of a plastic bucket filled with concrete and steel pipes for bars.
In addition to spending more time with Peter and Joshua, we were very fortunate to have a guide named Grephus Ingati. Grephus handled logistical arrangements for the trip, expertly drove us everywhere we needed to go and on spontaneous side trips, and was a limitless source of information about Kenyan economics, culture and people. Within three days, Grephus was also able to conduct a baseball practice virtually by himself. Grephus shared our enthusiasm for Peter, Joshua and their kids.
The last three days of the trip, we traveled to the Sekenani entrance to the Masai Mara. We played baseball with the kids there, and visited the remote home of one of Jim's sponsored kids, a hut made of a stick frame covered with cow dung. Being invited there was a great honor.
Lessons and accomplishments from this trip were that our project and concept is solid and has great potential for expansion. We solidified relationships that will help. We also learned of specific needs. The most pressing need is housing for Joshua's orphans. Since our first visit, they were displaced from the rudimentary shelter they had. They are now in a better location, but they do not have housing. Our first priority is to continue providing monthly funding for food and basic needs for Joshua's orphans. Our next objective is to provide funding to build an orphanage facility. There are many more needs.