If you are reading this, the first thing you might be asking yourself is, who is this guy??  An accounting guy on an Ag/Economic Development project in Kenya.  Sometimes I ask myself the same thing………..but what a blessing it has been to be here.  Today was one of those days. \

We had a field trip today to a place called Othaya.  This is a plot of land available to develop the eco-village concept  being planned here – essentially an extension of what is being done at the Center.  It is an ambition project which would require financing., resources and time.  But it is a great vision and has great potential over time.

The area was beautiful, but steep.  One of the notable aspects of our tour was at the bottom of this very large hill was astone quarry with four men sitting on rock piles smashing rocks into gravel.  It made my arm tired and sore just watching them for about 10 minutes.  They do this all day, every day.  In the US, we would not expectinmates in prison to work such hard labor.  They literally were sitting on the piles of gravel they had created.  But it is a way to make a living and they do it with smiles on their faces.  They were all very pleasant men. 

The river at the bottom of the valley, which flows year round was one beautiful and two a potential source of energy and water for the planned eco-village.  There will be work done down the road on how best to harness the potential energy source

On our way back, we got the matatu stuck trying to get it turned around in a narrow lane.  It was quite funny watching us goofy Americans pushing on it.  Though we knew what we needed to do, it wasn’t going to get done but for the assistance of four young Kenyan men who came to our aid (probably rock crushers themselves).  They pushed out with ease – with our help of course.  As we drove off, I commented to the students in the van, I wonder how many times around the world the phrase "Stupid Americans" is uttered.  I bet it is a lot. :).

Author – Ed Babcock, Instructor of Accounting, Smeal Business School – Penn State University

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