Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Your Chance to Contribute

Hello friends and family!

I apologize for taking a couple of months to update my blog, however, there was really nothing for me to give updates for....

To refresh your memories, I will be doing medical mission work in Kibera, Kenya in August 2009. Kibera is the world's second largest slum, with 1.7 million people living in 1 square mile.

I am now beginning to find out more about the trip details:

1/ My roommate:
I have learned who my roommate will be...Sonya Luthe is a Sr. Network Engineer for TD Ameritrade, and lives in Owings Mills, MD, approximately 20 miles west of Baltimore and about 1 hour from Washington, DC. We have been slowly getting to know each other through email. She applied for the trip in 2007, and is just now getting to go because of the political climate in Kenya that cancelled the trip one year.

2/ African culture and customs:
a/ It is rude to try to address the Kenyans by their first names and equally rude to try to get them to address you by your first name as well, and
b/ You should never compliment anyone on their jewelry or clothing, because the Kenyans will actually give you whatever you compliment on.

3/ Animal smarts:
When face to face wtih a baboon, do not make eye contact. Animals view this as a challenge - just turn slowly and saunter away. DO NOT RUN...there is not a chance that a human can outrun anything on the Mara.

The final costs for the trip will be known in the next month or so, but I am still focusing on raising $4,000 or so. I am asking for your help in both financial and non-monetary ways....


I realize we find ourselves in a very interesting financial culture, so please don't feel obligated to donate huge sums of money. Seriously, small donations add up (even as small as $5.00).

Many of you have mentioned you would like to donate money - to do so, please write a check in my name and mail it to my address below (please put AFRICA in the subject line):

Heather McKendry
4682 Wade Street #201
Bellingham, WA 98226

**If you need a receipt for tax purposes, please let me know, otherwise I won't be sending receipts for all donations.**


I am collecting other items, some supplies for me and some supplies for the people we will be visiting. The list of things I need to take for myself is still being formulated, but in the meantime, please review the list below for things that will help the organization and the people of Kibera (the slum we will be working in). If you have any of these items and want to get them to me, please call my cell phone and we can coordinate the shipping or pickup, etc. My cell phone is 360.920.5624.

Here are items that will help:
inexpensive scarves (Kenyan women love them and they are great gifts)
small simple toys for kids
batteries (AA, AAA are the most popular sizes)
office supplies
nutritional bars
school supplies (this includes all those free pens and pencils we've picked up along the way)
thermometers (the old fashioned ones preferred, not digital)
tongue depressors
Aspirin/Tylenol/Ibuprofen (we cannot ship these due to the Poison Act, but I can carry them in my luggage)

I'm serious when I say, WHATEVER you can give will help. Thanks again for keeping up with my blog. More details later....

Thanks and Love,


Tuesday, October 21, 2008

I'm going to Africa!

I have wanted to go to Africa, Kenya specifically, for about 10 years. It's the sort of thing that starts out as a small nudge in your heart...and it keeps getting louder and louder...until you can't ignore it anymore.

Why Kenya? I have no idea - other than the call has been placed in my heart and I'm answering it. I began checking into organizations with which I could serve and I was very drawn to the work of American Friends of Kenya (

Their 2008 trip was full, so I waited on standby for the possibility of being selected for their 2009 team. They only choose 20 people each year.
Two Sundays ago, I received the call from their Executive Director. I had been selected to join their Medical team for their '09 trip, which is from August 10-24, 2009. I graciously accepted the offer. I will be accompanying doctors and nurses as we head into Kibera to provide community members with much needed medical support.

Kibera is the world's second largest slum. There are 1.7 million people living in an area the size of Central Park. Check out this video from You Tube of a small documentary about Kibera:

I know that I will see things none of us can never imagine, but I have to go. Over the next few months, I will asking for financial support. For those of you who feel called to give, thank you. I have gratitude for whatever you can give. For those of you who can't give financially, please begin praying and sending good thoughts my way - for a safe trip. More later....