MESSAGE FROM DORIAN
We are grateful indeed that things continue to progress in a forward motion with regard to our beloved TUSKA children.
Our deepest gratitude to Barbara Cordell who continues to give such sterling leadership along with her committee!
We were so sorry to hear of the death of one of our TUSKA teachers who succumbed after a courageous year long battle with cancer.
We are grateful that Holy Scripture teaches us that to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord. Our thoughts and prayers are with Peter, his staff and all those precious children.
A great big thank you to all of you who are so generously supporting our TUSKA outreach whether it be full sponsorship or the Breakfast Program.
Dorian + (Archbishop Baxter B.A.,O.T.C., M.Div.)
MESSAGES FROM PETER
There are 56 regular children in the program at the moment. However we host about 5 children daily especially the young ones who cry a lot when they miss their lunch on account of there being no food at home for that day. This means their faces change on a daily basis depending on need for that day. We are introducing a new reading skills program in lower primary and it is taking a lot of my time and patience too.
Most of the children we took at the beginning of the program were the internally displaced ones and over time peace has returned to their home areas. They will eventually go back where they came from although we shall have a number remaining - those who have taken up permanent residence here. We have been replacing the gone students with the most needy locals. You know Barb, if we had the resources, we would feed the whole school population since they are all deserving. However, I know resources are hard to come by.
We are eternally grateful for all you do for our community.
December , 2015
"The year has come to an end and what a year! We have had our ups and then downs but God has seen us through in His Grace.
We at Kieni are grateful to TUSKA for walking with us, holding our hands and even lifting us when we were down and there was no one else to do so. We are grateful to God you have made a difference in our lives throughout the year like you have done all through these years.
We know there are so many others who started same type of programs but are long gone. You are still there for us. We
never take that for granted. We also know it is not easy to fundraise, it requires the Patience and Grace of God.
We shall have what we call 'family day' on the 22nd. I am in the process of buying the blankets, shoes and all the other stuff that will make Christmas for the TUSKA children a memorable experience for a long time to come. They simply love the occasion! You will have put world breaking smiles on their faces. You know Barb, these children have very little to smile about in their homes. It is only at school this phenomenon comes to live courtesy of TUSKA."
PEN PAL PARTNERSHIP
We have a pen pal program with the Tuska children and are always looking for interested persons, children or adult, who would like to become a pen pal. It is a wonderful way to get to know a child and you will discover what amazing little artists the children are.
Peter tells us "Good news – the letters are here already. I received the package yesterday. The kids are ecstatic and some have already started penning their replies which sometimes takes close to two weeks especially with the slow ones. All the same they usually have a great time with the letters."
We normally send letters 2 or 3 times a year. Please contact Barbara by email if you would like to become a pen pal.
It is interesting to note Thanksgiving is not known in Kenya. Traditionally they did observe it after a bumper harvest when different communities celebrated the gods for the kindness extended to man. This was during the period preceding the colonization of Africa and before Christianity was introduced. The colonizers put paid to this age old custom. Seems strange as is this not what we celebrate Thanksgiving for – to give thanks to God for all His goodness to us?
I asked Peter about some of their Christmas traditions. I wondered if they had a Santa Claus parade as we do but found out, like in England he is referred to as Father Christmas. Peter's reply was "We do not have Father Christmas visits during Christmas. It's regarded a foreign tradition here. Only the very wealthy have a form of Father Christmas visits. We celebrate the day by attending church and then feast on chapattis thereafter. Those who can afford it buy new clothes to be worn on this day as you attend church. Exchange of gifts is done by the wealthy. Common people visit each other and share the chapattis! Children are allowed to visit the playgrounds and invent play using all manner of improvised balls, kits and so on...." It is remarkable – they celebrate the Birth of Christ without all of the commercialization.
How Bees, Elephants and Farmers Are Keeping Each Other Safe In A Genius Way HYPERLINK "http://www.littlethings.com/author/laura/" \t "_blank" By Laura Caseley
In areas where elephants are free-roaming, humans must learn to coexist with them. Sadly, elephants like to raid farms at night, eating and flattening crops and damaging the farmers’ livelihoods. This can lead to violent confrontations where both humans and elephants are hurt and killed.
Elephants are known to dislike any form of noise. They are also easily kept away by metallic sounds. Banging together two metallic pans while up a tree will keep the elephants out of your farm. They also hate pepper with a passion. You can keep them away from your farm by smearing a tape with a strong dose of pepper and then surround your farm with the tape. To ward elephants off people have fired guns, thrown rocks and launched firecrackers to scare them as, just like humans, an injury or death in an elephant's family unit puts major emotional stress on the herd.
The devastation to fields is no small issue, either. These small farmers rely on their crops to survive, and a damaged field can mean a serious loss of income and food.
There seemed to be no simple solution until zoologist Dr. Lucy King noticed elephants really don't like bees and will avoid them at all costs. If they hear buzzing they'll leave an area immediately, signaling to others that bees are about.
“Beefencing,” as it’s known, is the use of hanging rows of beehives, each connected by a length of wire. When a nosy elephant approaches, it will knock into the wire, setting the hives swinging and disturbing the bees. And when the elephants hear that buzzing, they’ll turn around and leave. The crops are safe, the humans are safe, and the elephants are safe. The bees are safe, too.
Dr. King has been working with various conservation organizations and communities in Africa and Sri Lanka, building these beefences around local farms. She hopes that this will be the first of many steps to create sustainable solutions where humans and animals can coexist peacefully. The project has also attracted the attention of some big names, who are chipping in to create more beefences.
The bees also help pollinate fields and maintain the biodiversity needed to support an ecosystem, so the farmers get a helping hand, too. And as an added bonus, the farmers get to keep the honey and beeswax produced by their hives, which they can use or sell.
This “elephant-friendly honey” is available in local shops near the areas where the farmers live and work. So unless you’re planning a visit to Nairobi, you won’t be able to get any. But it’s quite popular where it’s sold!