Let’s Go to Kenya

When Brian said we were going to throw gas on the fire, he wasn’t kidding. Building garden towers with 500 families required us to go to Kenya, and expand to three different communities. We wanted to get a more realistic picture of what growing the garden towers looked like in different climates. Believe it or not, an hour away in Kenya from Bomet is the dry desert region of Narok County. 

This was February 2021, and the world was still in the middle of a pandemic. I had gone back to Kenya in October to buy furniture for Kokoo’s Guest House so that it would be ready for our teams, but we hadn’t gone in as a team since getting stuck in Kenya the year before. 

Garden Tower in Nkareta

Eating Greens Grown in a Garden Tower

Allen Roberds, Marissa Waldrop, and I decided that we would go to Kenya to help get things organized and set up for expansion. One day, I was at a sew-a-thon at The USANA Foundation and asked Brian if he wanted to go with us. There was almost no hesitation on his part, and we set the date for late April. A few other members of our team found out we were going and jumped in, and suddenly, we had a full group and the opportunity to stay for the first time at Kokoo’s Guest House. 

However, opposition came in full force when a month before we were scheduled to leave, Kenya locked down 5 counties, including Nairobi County. Their mandate was that people could travel within the 5 counties, or outside of the 5 counties, but they couldn’t cross the border. 

That put a wrench in our plans, and we went back and forth on whether or not to go for a few weeks. Finally, we got word that if you were a tourist, you would get a special permit to go to the Maasa Mara. We decided to take the chance, and boarded the plane. 

When we started driving a few days later to the Mara, a collective prayer went up that it would work. As we drove through the first checkpoint, we saw cars pulled over by police lining the road. And then, the first miracle occurred. As we drove past, every police officer turned away from the jeep. It was almost like they didn’t see us. We weren’t stopped or prevented in any way from driving through. 

We still had the second checkpoint to get through, and the same thing happened! We had crossed the border of the counties, and we were free to continue. 

The first few days were spent in Nkareta and Bomet, as we got video of everything the teams were doing to make and build garden towers. Watching Brian’s reaction was priceless. Truthfully, we were all pretty emotional about how it had impacted families. There are many stories that we hear when we are on the ground in Kenya, that are too sacred to share publicly. 

Next week…Can I build a cottage here? 

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