Mama said there’d be Months like this

Hey kids and kiddos! Its been a month of months. Working in a developing country can definitely put you to the test emotionally and physically. But its when we are tested that we truly see how strong we are.

Current Projects!!!

Mt Kenya Honey-
We are rolling in honey literally. Ok maybe not literally that’s just crazy. But currently we have harvested the most honey that this area has seen in 3 years. And  that’s a pretty sweet feeling. I went out to Kisimu to visit my PCV friend Deidra Duncun who works with a EcoTourism cooperative called Rafiki (it’s the baboon in the lion king and also means friend in Swahili). One of their big activities is bee keeping. One of the things that they have done really well is developing contracts for their beekeepers. Contracts to pay for the hives( with honey) and contracts to sell back to the cooperative. I took the 10 hour bus ride (on three different buses) then a 2 mile walk to get to her cooperative. It was very cool to see all the work they were doing there. And I made some good contacts. While I was away the Mt Kenya Honey Board met and decided that they did not like the logos that we had developed. They scraped the whole label, logo and all and had 3000 labels printed with a real photo of Mt Kenya. It is these moments in which you are left with a complete what just happened feeling. These new labels will have to work but I

am not sure how to brand this honey now as we have no real logo. I also found out the other day too that our bottles leak and we need to take actions to find new bottles and caps.

There has also been a big problem with our honey crystallizing too quickly. Our customers want to have liquid honey. I have been doing a lot of research and certain plants give the bees certain pollen that is certain to make it crystallize faster or slower. Aka the speed of
crystallization depends on the pollen. You can also cook the honey and it will remain liquid but it takes all the good nutritional stuff out. We wanted to experiment with adding small amounts of water to see if this could help. More on this later.

Football Family and MYSA-
Football is in the air! I have been speaking with several people back and forth about getting some of our boys out here in Naro Moru involved in a training that is going on in December. This training will teach them first aid, coaching, and refereeing. It will also explore leadership roles and mentoring. I hope to have about 8 of our teenagers go through this training. After the training we will explore setting up the league come January with a league consultant from MYSA. Good things are coming.

Matumba Arts-
These guys have been doing a great job and can barely keep up with their work load. I really want to help them develop a marketing package but currently I am worried about over reaching what they are able to do. You don’t really need marketing if you can not even keep up with the demand that you already have! We have raised prices on
almost everything across the board and are now really just focusing on following the money.

The Mt Kenya Guide and Porters-
Its been a long time coming! We have been waiting on our registration that has finally come through. We are now currently working on getting our Executive Summery together. After this we will start to seek funding while holding a meeting to elect a board of directors for the Guide and Porters Association. More on this later too!

Really and truly life here is good and I am happy and proud to be on this adventure. I have just signed up for another full marathon- the world aids day marathon also out in Kisimu. This will mark my 8th Full Marathon. Just nuts. Still in the process of writing an article about the last race, the Lewa. It will be submitted to runners world, readers digest, and a few others.

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I think that I also figured out what I want to do with myself when I get back to the states but I am going to leave that as a cliff hanger so you guys will just have to tune in next month.

Thank you all for your continued love and support. I could not do this without all of you. Take care and be well!

J

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