I met the mayor Rusinga and I call him my Kenyan son. Okay he isn’t really the Mayor, but he knows everyone or someone that knows, does know who he doesn’t know. Did I lose you on that?
His name is Michael Odiero, my husband started it by calling him Mayor Mike. He is very outgoing, nice looking and genuinely cares for the people of the island, has a wonderful laugh but most of al he is kind and loves God more than anything. Mayor Mike first bonded with my husband, when they paired up to start some small farms (large gardens) at Kibisom. The idea behind the farms is that they will help sustain the school and feed the kids, what they can’t eat they can sell to help support the school. They, this being Mayor Mike, my husband Mac, and Jeff Jurgis, spent a day digging up soil so crops could be planted. Michael came to me at the end of the day and told me what a hard worker my husband is, like I needed to be told! Mac and Jeff had impressed Mayor Mike with all their hard work in using a hoe and turning up the soil. I guess some Kenyan’s feel that Americans don’t know what hard labor is, and I agree compared to their lives we don’t.
Buying Mike a new hoe
Mayor Mike does a lot of translating for us, the native language on the island is luo, not Swahili like most people think. Mayor Mike is a motivator, he motivated us and motivated the kids we were working with as well. He knows how to charm the women and how to get the little ones to behave. He made sure that we had all the supplies we needed or helped us obtain them.
Hanging out with Rowena and Tania and the kids
Mike has a desire to help better the people’s lives on the island and works at motivating them to do so. It has heartwarming to see the passion he has for the people of Rusinga and for the work that PH does in the area. One thing for sure Project Humanity wouldn't be able to do the work that we do without our local contacts on the island and in country.
I have stayed in contact with him since returning that first trip, you will hear many more stories about Mayor Mike in future adventures of Purple Slip girl!
Did I mention that Mayor Mike can DANCE!
Boy does he have moves!
If you have the desire to get involved and join in the work that PH does in rural Africa please go to www.projecthumanity.com and sign up for a trip and help spread the passion of PH!