Tuesday, 28 December 2010

Greetings from my journey

Dear friends,

Just a quick hello to let you all know that we are enjoying our journey through Kenya.

It all started with a safari through Amboseli, Tsavo East and Tsavo West. We were very lucky to see a lot of animals (including lion, cheetah, leopard and a lot of elephants) passing us close by:

My birthday was spent hunting successfully (with a camera!) a lion:

Thank you for all your wishes left on the blog, on my mobile or elsewhere, much appreciated!
At night in the safari camp, a few of the locals approached me with a big cake singing a birthday song in Swahili:

After four days of safari, we rented a car and ever since we are cruising up and down the coast. At the moment, we are at the most northern part of Kenya, called Lamu. Beautiful islands surrounded by picturesque beaches.

Here is where I spent Christmas:

It is a bit difficult to find internet over here, but don't worry, I'm enjoying life as long as it lasts. I'm aware of the fact that in 5 days my life will look totally different...

But meanwhile:


All the best from Kenya,

Thursday, 23 December 2010

How to post a comment

Da uns mittlerweile schon so viele Leute auf der Seite besuchen, wollten wir Euch zeigen, wie Ihr auf unsere Einträge reagieren könnt. Wir haben gehört, das es teilweise Schwierigkeiten damit gab!

Jegliche Arten von Kommentaren sind erwünscht wie; persönliche Nachrichten an uns, Ideen, Infos darüber was so in der Heimat passiert, oder wenn Ihr uns Grüsse hinterlassen wollt. Wir freuen uns, wenn wir hören das es Euch in der Schweiz/Deutschland oder wo auch immer gut geht!!

Hier die Anleitung:

Schon jetzt freuen wir uns über all Eure Kommentare. Wir denken an Euch und freuen uns, von Euch zu hören!
Teilweise dauert es eine Weile, bis die Kommentare sichtbar werden!
Falls Ihr uns lieber in etwas privaterem Rahmen etwas schreiben wollt: Hier ist noch unsere Emailadresse:
Einfach kurz im Betreff angeben, ob Ihr an Agnes oder mich schreibt, falls es nicht an uns Beide geht!

Agnes und Alex

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

My birthday wish

Dear friends and family,
It’s my birthday today, a very special date. 30 years ago I was lucky to be born in a sheltered home, surrounded by a loving family and great friends. I’d like to say THANK YOU to all of you.
You've offered me love, support and all kind of opportunities!

In about a week’s time I will leave my sheltered surroundings and step into a world were hope is all they have. 250 orphans are waiting to share their life with me. I’m sure that these kids have lots of wishes: clean drinking water, a school lesson or medication for their sick family members.
My only birthday wish is to make come true some of these wishes. If you would like to support me, the following account is set up especially to support the Kimilili Community. 100% of your donations will go directly to support improving their lifes:

Kühne Agnes
Finanzinstitut Zürcher Kantonalbank
8010 Zürich
Bankclearing-Nr. (BC-Nr.) 700
IBAN CH0600700350042123226
Bankkonto-Nr. 3500-4.212322.6
Thank you for your support, it is much appreciated!
All the best for you!
PS: A special birthday hug to my twin, all the best and thank you for making my life so rich! Te amo muito!

Monday, 20 December 2010

First impressions from Nairobi

I made it to Nairobi. The reception at the airport by Rev Wasike and his wife have been very warm. After a quick 20 min drive we arrived at a neighbourhood outside Nairobi.

The house has no running water, but it is clean and very welcoming. We handed over all the donations collected and Rev Wasike and his wife were overwhelmed. Please find attached a picture of the happy faces of Rev. Wasike and his wife while getting one of the many laptops.

"This brings the Kimilili Community 10 steps ahead" was one of his many happy reactions. "We have been waiting and praying for your safe arrival".

As you can see, I am being well looked after. We chatted till early in the morning and exchanged cultural habits and customs. One of the facts that really amazed Rev Wasike was that every house in Switzerland has electricity! (In Kenya only about 25% have this luxury).

The fact that most chocked him (and this could easily be seen on his face) was the fact that man in Europe cook! This is definetly not possible in Kenya, many men don't even enter the kitchen!

Tomorrow morning I will start my safari trip, so probably I won't have access to internet for a while. However, I'm benig well looked after.

Rev Wasike even insisted in bringing us to the city center tomorrow morning so that he "could have a look at to whom I hand you over" :) Sweet, isn't it?

Thanks and take good care. We are waiting for you Alex and Thanks Lia for all your support!


Saturday, 18 December 2010

115 Kilo Gepäck

Der erste Schritt ist getan, ich sitze mit Peter in der Lounge in CAiro, unser Zwischenstopp. In etwa 30 minuten geht es weiter, noch genug Zeit um kurz zu Danken:

Pati & Alrik: für die spontane Übernachtung, die erste -und dieses Jahr letzte Weihnachtsfeier und den Fahrservice. DANKE!

Müsli: einfach für alles! Dafür, dass es Dich gibt!

Wir sind mit unglaublichen 115 kg Gepäck losgeflogen, rund 80kg Spenden! Dafür ein herzliches DANKESCHöN!

Der nächste Bericht folgt aus Nairobi!
Einen ganz lieben Gruss!

Thursday, 16 December 2010

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

URGENT!!! Help needed to pack all of that!

This is soooo amazing! Just look at some (not even all!) donations that we've received for Kimilili!

A big THANK YOU to our friends and colleagues!!!

Saturday, 11 December 2010

I did it! 21.9kg!

Dear friends and family,

I've managed to pack the first luggage full of YOUR donations:

I'm allowed to take 2 pieces of luggage with each 23 kg. I did it!!!

Tonight I'll pack luggage number 2. Hopefully I'll have some space for at least one pair of shirts for myself... :)

Thanks for all your support!

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Our Organisation: CBSM

As you know, Alex and I will volunteer at a non profit organisation called CBSM starting in January. But what does CBSM do?

Community Breakthrough Support Mission (CBSM) is a community of people helping to educate and care for 250 orphans and vulnerable children (OVC) in Kimilili, Kenya. CBSM is concerned with eradicating poverty and improving the quality of the children’s lives by improving the livelihoods of the widows and guardians who care for them. One of the focuses of their work is creating practical solutions towards reducing poverty by setting up small-scale businesses that generate stable household incomes. To succeed, CBSM needs our expertise and financial assistance to set up and successfully run these projects.
For example, in 2009, CBSM held business and sustainable gardening training workshops. These workshops were made possible through private donations. The instructional material was collected from reliable online platforms. The trainers were Business & Economic university graduates who volunteered their time to train the community members. Two highly engaged community elders supervised the formation of various business co-ops and continue to support these initiatives.
Through collaborative work within the community, through the supervision of community elders, and through our willingness to offer practical and financial assistance, CBSM is enabling people to improve their lives and move towards a better future.

Alex and I will do our best to to support positive change in the lives of the CBSM community members and we THANK YOU ALL for your continues support! This is very much appreciated!

Monday, 6 December 2010

How communication works in Kenya

Dear friends,

as you might know, Reverant Wasike is taking care of the 250 CBSM orphans in Kimilili. Over the last frew days, two emails from Kenya reached my inbox, both written by Rev. Wasike's wife Phylis.

My names are Phylis Nafula wife to Rev wasike.I have heard of your coming in cbsm board meetings and cbsm family we are expecting you  together with alex .Iam mandate by cbsm board and women groups to resposne to all official communication in place of rev. wasike who by now is undergoing medication after feeling ill.Thank you for giving us flight details.I and my husband God willing shall be waiting for you at the airport beside the board memebers has also made necessary arrangement should rev wasike would have nit been fully recovered.he is doing quiet fine.
be assured we will be at the airport waiting.
please in kenya we are praying for your safe journey.
iam geting first experience on ineternational communication ,could there anything omitted or not well explained please be free to ask,i will make consultaions and come back to you as soon as it is necessary.

God bless you Agness we are waiting to meet you
Mrs wasike

Below an email that highlights the complexity of writing a simple emails in Kenya. Below email reached my inbox today:

"Dear Agness
 Rev wasike is still not very well but improving. unfortunately iam
 not conversant with computer,like other women in kenya computers knowledge
 is with few.i have to wait for afriend neigbour lady to be available,to
 leadme  to inetrnet ,open  up to in box and by subject of each email
 together decided to read and press reply to continoul this may have delayed
 communications,as myself cannot put on acomputer alone.that is the main
 reason you hardly hear from me.
 that aside Agness we are kindly waiting for you .welcome
 God bless you"

Communication might be difficult, however, our Kenyan friends make us feel very welcome.
We can't wait to arrive!

Thursday, 2 December 2010

A first big drop in the bucket!

Dear friends and family,

The first donations were registered on the account that we've opend to support the orphans! We thank the generous donator for her good heart! (Obrigada maezinha!)

Please continue to support us, so little can ease the suffering of these 250 Kimilili-kids!

Kühne Agnes
Finanzinstitut Zürcher Kantonalbank
8010 Zürich
Bankclearing-Nr. (BC-Nr.) 700
IBAN CH0600700350042123226
Bankkonto-Nr. 3500-4.212322.6
All money raised will go 100% to projects supporting the orphans. Aim is to build a school for propper learning! Please continue supporting us, it is very much appreciated!

A big thank you to all of you!
Agnes & Alex

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Five new companions for Kenya

My current client is located in a shopping center: This is what I found during lunch today:

Mr. Rudi:

Zoi, the zebra:


Batman Alex:

No name yet. Any ideas?

Hopefully, these glove puppets will bring a big smile into 250 Kimilili faces...

Monday, 29 November 2010

History of Kimilili - a town that has suffered

Where is Kimilili?

View Larger Map

Kimilili is a town and area in Kenya's Bungoma District. The area is occupied mainly by the Bukusu and Sabaot communities. Its proximity to the fertile slopes of Mt Elgon, on the Kenya-Uganda border, has made it a trading center for agricultural goods and services. The town has an urban population of 10,251.

The surrounding region is mainly farmland, the main cash crops being coffee, maize, beans, sunflower seed and tea.

In past years, this region has suffered from land conflicts that have resulted in displacement of thousands. The famous Sabaot Land Defense Forces who were the aggressors and the main agitators of this conflict, have, however, been subdued by the government.

Below a link to BBC news on the Sabaot Land Defence Forces:

In a nutshell:
  • Over 300,000 people have been displaced in Kenya since the violence erupted. Our 250 Kimilili kids are victims as well
  • Over 400 poeple have been killed by the SLDF. Its members are armed with assault rifles
Let's support the Kimilili Community!

Hakuna matata

Some facts about the country we are going to:
  • Jambo is Hello in Swahili which is the language spoken in Kenya.
  • Kenya was a British colony from 1895 to 1963.
  • The area of Kenya is 582,646 sq klm.
  • The population of Kenya is 29.4 million.
  • About 97 per cent of Kenya's people are Africans
  • The top fifth of the people in Kenya earn 20 times more money than the bottom fifth people in Kenya.
  • 30 per cent of people in Kenya can now read and write.
  • Asante means goodbye in Swahili.

Hakuna Matata is Swahili too. Probably the most important words we will be using during our stay...

Friday, 26 November 2010

Impressions of Kimilili

Dear friends and family,
As you know, we are leaving for our volunteering trip to Kenya in January.
250 orphans in Kimilili (West Kenya) are waiting to play, learn and share their life with us. It’s a tough life and we’d like to share some impressions with you:
Some of the kids in their small school. It’s a hut build with loam and mud with no toilet or cooking facilities
The small hut in the foreground is hiding the hole in the ground that is used as a toilet.
Ohh, and don’t forget:
We will be using that hole as well very soon! (Our hope is that it won't stink too much despite the 35 degrees in the shade)

Welcome to the cooking facility:

No, this is not a bad picture but the smoke of open fire.
By the way:
Exposure to cookstove smoke kills nearly 2 million people every year and doubles a child's risk of contracting pneumonia!

What can we do to ease their lifes? So little can do so much!

80 Euro buys a waterpump supplying up to 50 people with fresh water and providing enough water to irrigate the vegetable and fruit garden
A qualified teacher earns 15 Euros per month (if enough funding is available!)
Around 15 Euro for an one pot mud oven. Alternatively, a similar oven can be built with just 6 red bricks
Dry toilets cost 300 to 400 Euros per cabin. They are essential to improve the hygiene situations of the kids!!!
A school kitchen will cost around 400 Euros. 250 kids can be fed!
75 Euros will feed 4 families for 3 months!
A new school built of  proper bricks and windows is required. How much? 30’000 Euros...


This is gonna be our home starting in January….

And the shower: (unfortunately not working)

If you want to learn more, please visit their homepage:
There is a small “donate” button on that website...

If you don’t feel save donating over a website, we've opened an account to support the Kimilili orphans. Donations on this account will only be used to improve their living conditions by supporting some of the above projects.
We promise pictures of every new item brought / project supported with that money!
Kühne Agnes
Finanzinstitut Zürcher Kantonalbank
8010 Zürich
Bankclearing-Nr. (BC-Nr.) 700
IBAN CH0600700350042123226
Bankkonto-Nr. 3500-4.212322.6

Again, thanks for all your support. It warms our hearts realizing, how much support we are experiencing from all of you

Take care and

Alex & Agnes

Die zwei Abenteurer...

Zwei der 250 Waisen, die auf uns warten...
Sie haben Aids, aber sie wissen es nicht.

Monday, 22 November 2010

Danke Agnes für diese wahnsinns Möglichkeit!!!

Wie Ihr hier sehen könnt, hat Agnes schon fleissig Informationen und vor allem Reaktionen zu der Reise nach Kenia gesammelt!
Ich habe mich kurzerhand entschieden, Agnes auf der Reise zu begleiten und auch als Volunteer bei der CBSM in Kimilili zu arbeiten.

Im Verlauf dieser Zeit werden wir hier unsere Eindrücke, Erfahrungen und alles rund um das tägliche Leben vor Ort niederschreiben und auch ich würde mich riesig freuen, wenn Ihr mich unterstützt und uns begleitet!
An alle die mich in meinem Entscheid diese Reise anzutreten bestärkt haben, schon jetzt ein herzliches Dankeschön!

Ich werde Euch alle auf dem laufenden halten:)

Alex kommt mit nach Kenia!!!

Noch jemand, die das Herz am richtigen Fleck trägt!

Herzlich willkommen Alex!

Ich freu mich wahnsinnig, dass Du bei dem grossen Abenteuer dabei bist!

Friday, 19 November 2010

Eine Sammlung der schönsten Reaktionen...

..."Westafrika! Bekomm mir keinen Sonnenstich!
Ach, ich hab so Angst um MICH!
Angst! Angst ich könnte platzen!
Ach, so stolz bin ich auf Dich!"

Müsli aus Berlin

"Kann da nur eins zu sagen:
Nur, wer anderen hilft, kann in seinem Leben wirklich glücklich sein. Ich fühle mich geehrt, den glücklichsten Menschen auf dieser Erde zu kennen!"
Freund aus Hannover

"Na, das sind ja wieder ganz unglaubliche Sachen, die Du da vorhast.

Freund aus Hamburg

"Gerne schaue ich mal in deinen Block um zu verfolgen wer Dich als erstes
erwischt. Löwe oder Nielpferd. :)"
Freund aus Lüneburg

Jurist aus Zürich

"Es sind die kleinen Dinge, die einen grossen Menschen ausmachen!"
Mann an meiner Seite aus Zürich

"Looks like a very noble cause. I have sent over your request (for old laptops, cell phones or digital cameras) to one of my major clients"
Kollege aus Zürich

Einen Anruf aus Basel von einer Kollegin, die ich nicht kenne, mir aber ihre Unterstützung anbietet
Kollgegin aus Basel

After sending an email with a request for old laptops, cell phones and digital cameras to my work colleagues, I received the following feedback within 12 hours:
Cell phones: 10
Digital Cameras: 6
Laptops: 7
Deloitte Colleagues

Thanks to all of you!

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Friday, 27 August 2010

Kein Tag mehr ohne...

...einen Gedanken an 250 Kimilili Kinder.
Wie ist es möglich, dass sie mich ohne eine einzige Berührungso fesseln?

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Eine Idee wächst...

und wächst und wächst...
...Unkraut auch, wie ein Freund mir daraufhin sagte, aber ich hoffe, dass diese Idee Früchte trägt und sich verbreitet...