Thursday, December 19, 2013

Let There Be Light

After 28 hours traveling from San Francisco – Los Angeles – Amsterdam - Nairobi, I was more than ready to get off the 747 when it landed at Jomo Kenyatta Airport late last night. Amid a light rain we 350 passengers stepped cautiously down the slippery metal staircase into pitch darkness and were herded into buses going to the Arrivals Terminal.  We offloaded, however, into a completely dark building, shuffling like moles through an underground tunnel toward the immigration control stations.  There we attempted to “queue up”, as they say, for visas. Utter chaos!  The cavernous hall was completely black, overcrowded, stuffy and filled with more than its share of crying infants. We could not see the signs; the immigration computers were not working, the staff did not have sufficient cash to make change, and the luggage carousels were not functioning. After an hour of milling about, bumping into one another and stumbling over backpacks, we all erupted in cheers when airport workers appeared with portable lanterns. Another two hours evaporated before I made it to my transit destination across town: Villa Maria, the lovely Mercy Convent in Nairobi.  Ahhh, the joy of going horizontal in a real bed for the night! 

I tried to take a pix inside the terminal, but alas, this is what it looked like:

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Bling for MBB

Want to get some original new jewelry and help the women and girls of Mercy Beyond Borders at the same time?  Just visit the Strouse & Strouse Studio and Gallery in Pacific Grove, CA!  Sharon and Warren Strouse, the gallery's owners, graciously donate space for MBB volunteer Catherine Wilkinson to display and sell her artistic creations. Incredibly, ALL proceeds go to MBB! Sales have literally brought in thousands of dollars for our programs in Haiti and South Sudan. 

So, next time you are in the Monterey Bay area, please stop in to see, browse and buy!
Strouse & Strouse Studio and Gallery
178 Grand Avenue
Pacific Grove, CA 93950

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Smile: You're on Candid iPad!

The MBB Scholars in Haiti delighted in being with Valkyrie Anderson, French teacher from Mount de Sales High School in Macon, Georgia, when she accompanied Sr Marilyn to Haiti during November. Her official role was as interpreter (our MBB Coordinator, Darline, interprets Creole to French; Valkyrie helped with French to English).  Her unofficial role, however, was as "the bringer of smiles."  Everywhere she went, she was followed by a young crowd eager to hold her hand, touch her hair, or smile for her iPad camera!  (OK, maybe it helped that her pockets were full of candy to hand out.) Here she is at the Scholars' Lodge, surrounded by MBB Scholars eager to see themselves in living color.

Special thanks to Valkyrie for donating her time to MBB, and to her school administrators for generously allowing her a week off from school (on short notice!) and supporting her travel to/from Haiti.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Heartbeats of Haiti

 Liz Mulkerrin, a nurse from the SF Bay Area, joined Sr Marilyn on her November trip to Haiti.  Liz was able to screen nearly 400 young girls and MBB Scholars for very basic health markers: blood pressure, heart health, resting pulse, and signs of anemia or malnutrition.

Thank you, Liz, for donating your time and expertise through MBB!