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One of my favorite parts of the trip to Kenya was a brief visit to the Imani Workshop in Eldoret.I think I refer to pretty much all elements of the trip as brief. We packed a lot into the few days we were actually in Kenya.
The Imani Workshop is a place where Kenyans with HIV/AIDS can learn a skill set and then be able to have a source of income. There was several different types of skills to be learned; jewelry making, pottery, making paper, sewing, etc. It was an impressive outfit.
We were late arriving at Imani after our ride's car was having issues. It took us about half a mile of pushing to jump start it.
Once we arrived I gave a brief devotion. I cut short some of my thoughts because we were already late, and when we did arrive one of the women there was really "hammering the Word". As I spoke I couldn't tell if I was really communicating. And when I was done I felt like I had disappointed then for not going longer. But then again that's the emotional roller coaster I always feel when I speak.
After a group prayer we were given a tour of the place and of each skill. We thought it was awesome to watch the women roll Oprah magazine strips into jewelery pieces. They also made their own clay and had a kiln on site to create pottery pieces. I was able to help make a piece of papyrus paper than would end up in a journal. But I was only allowed to make one piece of paper because I was completely throwing off their daily quota.
I think it was one of my favorite places on the trip since we were able to really see life change. Skills were being taught and learned that were radically rescuing people from a lifestyle of despair. No longer were these beautiful men and women living as a victim of AIDS, but just living life with AIDS.
The Imani Workshop works with some aspect of Indiana University to distribute their products. I'm sure if you scour the interweb you can find a way to work with them and sell their products in your store.
After our visit at Imani we took some bicycle taxis back into town. This was actually a really comfortable way to travel, until we hit traffic and were dodging matatus (van taxis).