Winter On The Equator

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Joanna at school caught in the middle of a tug-of-war...over her. The prize for the winners Having this Cornell University double major in 'Biology and Society' and 'International Agriculture and Rural Development' teach your class!

Joanna at school caught in the middle of a tug-of-war...over her. The prize for the winners Having this Cornell University double major in 'Biology and Society' and 'International Agriculture and Rural Development' teach your class!

As everyone finally thaws out in America with summer rolling in, we in Kenya are entering our winter. The weather has gotten colder; from 90 degrees to 88. Days have become shorter; the sun rising at 7:01am instead of 6:59am. But as we prepare to endure the brutal equatorial weather ahead, a new face has kept everyone at home high in spirits. All the children have warmly welcomed Arrive's newest volunteer, Joanna, to their home and school. Staying at the KRCH and teaching at Emmanuel Lights Academy, this college junior has a lot (of work and kids) to keep her busy!

Joanna must have read my mind when she packed a hammock in her luggage coming to Kenya. We jointly believed that between my hammock and hers, we could set them up for a relaxing afternoon of reading in the bright winter sun. But alas, we forgot one crucial aspect: children. Once the hammocks were set up and only five minutes into our relaxation, the kids chased us out until they were swinging each other 360 degrees upside-down. Girls and boys; one or two or three (or four if they are small) kids inside each hammock; children falling, yelling, and crashing; and everyone laughing. And they haven't. Stopped. Yet.

A few of the kids in the hammoks.

A few of the kids in the hammoks.

And who is most excited for winter to come? Well our always hot, four-legged, fur covered friend of course! Chui (chui is Swahili for leopard, and pronounced "Chewy") is one of the two dogs at the Keumbu Rehema Childrens Home. When I first saw her, she was only a tiny puppy (no longer than a 10 inches from head to tail) and dying - her fur was gone or infected, bugs everywhere, bloody ears and other gross wounds, and starving to death.  That was about a year ago, and now she is fully recovered and loving life having 30 kids run, chase, and play with her everyday. Chui is healthy, happy...and......pregnant!

Man's (and kid's) best friend, Chui.

Man's (and kid's) best friend, Chui.

While things are getting chilly here south of the equator, things are really heating up in America. Recently, world renown model Brian Shimanksy hosted the Soul Artist Management Supermodel Saturday Fundraising Party in New York City. All proceeds benefited Arrive. Brian made the trip to our home in Kenya last year and has been a huge supporter ever since.

Brian (top left photo) and other supermodels partying to benefit Arrive. Ok, maybe a little bit of me wishes I was back in America for this!

Brian (top left photo) and other supermodels partying to benefit Arrive. Ok, maybe a little bit of me wishes I was back in America for this!

But if you think the summer fun is over, maybe the heat has gotten to your head. Our next fundraising event will be even bigger and better! Mark July 10th on your calendars and prepare to have a great time for a great cause: drink deals, guest bartenders, a raffle, and much more at one of Ridgefield, Connecticut's premier restaurants, Gallo.  Proceeds benefit some of the once most impoverished children in Kenya now living at Keumbu Rehema Childrens Home.But if you think that is all this night has to offer, I'm sure you'll be surprised when you arrive...

Become part of the solution today. For more information on this awesome upcoming event, email ArriveInKenya@gmail.com.