A Dream So Big

When I was in high school at Rift Valley Academy (a boarding school in central Kenya), I remember our college counselor, Steve Peifer, starting a free lunch program for kids in rural schools in the area. It was a simple idea, but really significant, since a lot of these kids came from very poor families and probably only had one meal a day, in the evening. Since then, this program has expanded to 35 schools, feeding over 20,000 Kenyan school children. A few years after he began the lunch program, Steve also started establishing solar-powered computer labs, also in rural schools. Now there are 20 schools where kids have regular access to a kind of technology many had only ever dreamed of learning to use. Incredible!

Steve has recently written a book telling his story of how the death of his son led to his family’s move to Kenya, and how what they experienced there brought them to invest so much into the lives of thousands of Kenyan kids.

51WngfsGosL._SS500_

Today is the release date of his book, A Dream So Big: Our Unlikely Journey to End the Tears of Hunger. So if you have a few minutes, check it out on Amazon, and if you have some spare change, consider buying a copy! So much of our life is taken up with hearing about tragedy and sadness (take any given day of world news headlines as an example) – here is a story that reminds us of the many beautiful things in life, and how even tragedy can ultimately lead to something far greater than we could have ever imagined.

A day trip up the mountain

Last week, Steve’s friend, Paul, came to visit us for a few days. He is in the same Global Health program as Steve, and has been developing his research project in Eldoret, Kenya for the past few months. Because of the elections in Kenya and the concern that violence could break out again as it did in 2007/2008, Paul left the area for the weeks surrounding the elections.

[As an aside, the votes are slowly being counted as I type – results were supposed to be out some days ago, but there have been technical difficulties in counting the votes, hence the delay. Because of this delay, there is some concern about tampering, but at this point it hasn’t been confirmed, and people are not yet resorting to violence or protesting over it. The results should come out tomorrow or Saturday, if all continues as it is now.]

While Paul was here, we took a day trip up the mountain to a couple of waterfalls.

Before we went to the waterfalls, we walked through some neighborhoods near one of the gates to the Kilimanjaro National Park.
IMG_7433_sm

Ah, the international herb…
IMG_7446_sm

We passed by a school just in time for recess. (Yes, that’s a cow taking a nap in the school field.)
IMG_7448_sm

What better fun to have during recess than to follow some crazy Wazungu?
IMG_7451_sm

IMG_7457_sm

IMG_7460_sm

IMG_7468_sm

At the top of a ridge.
IMG_7500_sm

IMG_7485_sm

Our guide, Paul. He lives in this area, and even took us by his house during our walk.
IMG_7490_sm

IMG_7504_sm

For the first waterfall, we had to hike down a ravine.
IMG_7585_sm

Look familiar?
IMG_7514_sm

IMG_7516_sm

A really cool grasshopper.
IMG_7526_sm

The first waterfall.
IMG_7528_sm

IMG_7547_sm

IMG_7565_sm

Going back up.
IMG_7571_sm

IMG_7573_sm

The second waterfall. The water was FREEZING, but hanging out under the waterfall was definitely worth the cold!
IMG_7608_sm

IMG_7597_sm

IMG_7632_sm

IMG_7640_sm

IMG_7668_sm

Steve checking for hidden passageways behind the waterfall. There weren’t any.
IMG_7671_sm

A good time was had by all.

On our drive back down, I snapped a shot of the Usambara Mountains. If I’m able to, I would love to hike around in these for a couple of days before we leave Tanzania!
IMG_7685_sm