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It’s Dinner Time!

Jody with friends...

So fortunate to have Jody Mattena contribute to this blog…

It was my third time going to Kenya with AILC and this time I brought along my husband, George, and 11-year old daughter, Kay. We would leave our Rafiki Lodge every morning early and return after a very hard day of work in the medical clinic for me, school for Kay, and construction for George. Every morning before we woke up the Kenyan women would be hard at work at the Rafiki Lodge, making our breakfast and in the evening when we returned a hot meal would be ready for us. During the day while we work working these amazing women would tidy up the lodge, do our laundry, as well as take care of their own families. The food that these women made for us was amazing and they were always so proud to have us partake in their delicious meals. They would stay late cleaning up after our meal and get ready to do it again the next morning. They often did not go to sleep until after we did and were always awake long before we were.
On week two I just had to get in their kitchen. I wanted to help and I wanted to learn, most of all I wanted to be one of them. When I walked into the kitchen and asked them to teach me how to cook their food they looked at me like I was crazy. Finally the head cook said, “okay, mazungu cooks” (white person cooks). We stood side by side and created delicious food. Okay they made delicious food and I attempted. They knew very little English and I knew little Swahilil, so I learned by watching and doing…and some giggling…okay lots of giggling. We had a wonderful time. Five beautifully dark Kenyan women and one mazungu woman working together to laugh, learn, and feed our AILC family…all over a charcoal stove. This was one of hundreds thrilling experiences I’ve had  with AILC and it always makes me smile. Now when home in America I can make Kenyan food for my family and friends while thinking of my Kenya Rafiki’s.
Here’s a few recipe’s and you can use your stove at home, no need to build a charcoal fire in your kitchen 😉
Sukuma Wiki (stretch the week)
You pretty much throw in what vegetables you have left-We used kale, spinach, onions, and tomatoes.They use lard or vegetable oil (they say full of vitamins, I say full of cholesterol. So, here I use Canola oil) brown -2 chopped onions and garlic. If they have left over green peppers or carrots they will brown those with the onions. Add diced tomatoes, skins and all. If I’m cooking for a family of 4 I use 4 tomatoes. Add in kale and cook down. Add in spinach and cook down. Add some salt and pepper…yummy and easy!
Kenya Coleslaw
This was is so easy and always goes over well. One head of cabbage, one onion (at home I use a purple onion), one green pepper, 6 tomatoes. Thinly slice everything, add a touch of salt and pepper, toss and you’re done!
Traditionally an Indian dish, however the Kenyan have adopted it and turned it into their own. This is also Shosho’s favorite and evertime I make these I think of her.
Filling: Brown two diced yellow onions and 4 cloves of garlic. Brown one LB of ground beef, turkey, lamb or goat. Add parsley, chili pepper to taste, salt, and pepper.
pastry dough: in a medium bowl put in two scoops of floor (approx two cups of flour) and 1tsp salt. Blend in cool water with clean hands until blended into a bread dough. Take small ball sized pieces of dough and roll out into thin circles, cut in half and set aside. (when in America I cheat and buy egg roll pastry, cut in half to make a triangle. Please don’t tell the women in Kenya that I cheat 😉
Put a spoonful of meat filling in the middle of pastry.Fold top over and seal. Seal edge with water and press together. This should form a triangle (if not the Kenyan gals will giggle and point)
Be sure there are no open corners, or you’ll lose your filling during frying.
Fry in moderately hot deep fat until brown and crisp. Remove from hot oil and sit on paper towels to let extra oil drain.
Serve and enjoy, yum yum yum. Ashley Southwick likes to add her special hot sauce that she gets while in Kenya…I do not 😉
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A Mission for Maxi Pads!

Funny name, that’s for sure…but it’s definitely descriptive! Africa is Life Changing has identified a major need for our school. You guessed it, MAXI PADS!!! Because teenage girls in Africa don’t have access to feminine sanitary items, they are required to stay home from school during their menstrual cycles. For teen girls in the United States this would likely be a welcome reprieve from their studies! But, let’s face it, American girls don’t face the same challenges as those in Kenya! In Africa having an education is like having incredible wealth. An education is unbelievably coveted. So, when our girls are unable to attend school, they are devastated and they miss valuable lessons taught in the classrooms.

We want ALL of our students to excel. We want them ALL to attend school each and every day. We want them to grow, to learn, and to reach their highest potential!

Want to help us help them? BUY A PACKAGE OF MAXI PADS!

That’s right–we want your pads! Send them our way. Send a package, send a pallet–we’ll take them all! Any size is fine, any brand is welcome. The more we have the better off our girls will be! You can mail pads to our office at:

Africa is Life Changing
1192 East Draper Parkway
Suite 255
Draper, UT 84020 USA

Or, if making the trip to the Post Office is too much of a hassle (which we all know it can be), you can also make a monetary donation by going to our website.

We’re on a mission, folks–and we are absolutely CONVINCED we can get 1,500 packages for our next expedition coming in mid-May.


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This One’s for the Girls!

Today is International Women’s Day and we can’t think of anything better than celebrating the many successes of our work with women in Africa!

When you really think about it, women are all the same–regardless of ethnicity, religion, or location. And, more than that, mothers are all the same as well. Mom’s love their children, have dreams and aspirations for them, and would give everything they have for their well-being.

Imagine being a Kenyan woman. Really, imagine it. Water that comes from the rain, little to no clothing, insufficient shelter, children who are hungry.

Meet Ester. She is one of these Kenyan women.

Such an AMAZING woman!

Ester came to one of our life skill women’s project to receive a crochet hook to make a plastic market bag.  She had a desire to become more than she had resources available to her.  This was exhibited when she returned the very next day with not only one bag completed but three.  Immediately, we knew that Ester was a champion.  In the days that followed, we found her among the other women teaching them the very skill she had just been taught.  We never saw Ester without a smile upon her face.  We could tell that she was hungry for an opportunity to work with a responsibility to be trusted.

After 6 months, we returned with another expedition and found Ester in small kitchen cooking for all the primary and secondary children at our school.  We walked up to her and asked her what she was doing.  She said, “I now have a job and my three children are going to this school.”  Ester arises early each morning at 5am and works until 6pm each day preparing the food for the children at our school.  It is a job that she is very thankful for because she can now proudly say all of her children attend school.  No sacrifice is to much for mothers such as Ester, because what they desire is to give their children an opportunity to break the shackles of poverty by receiving an education.  From a simple crochet hook, a desire to raise their children out of poverty and commitment, we know there are countless other Ester’s waiting to have a chance to say the same thing about their children…”All of my children are attending school.”

Today we celebrate women–here’s to Ester! Here’s to us all!

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Welcome to Our Blog!

Children of AfricaWelcome to our blog! Africa is Life Changing, Inc. is a humanitarian, non-profit organization whose on-going mission is to nurture the value of women and children. We are a global network of caring individuals dedicated to relieving the suffering and uncertainty of underprivileged women and children.

The purpose of this blog is to create a movement! We have the passion and dedication to help others across the globe. We believe we can make a difference. We believe by reaching outside ourselves and touching the lives of others, we will create a better life for someone else. We act on our beliefs by traveling to Africa on humanitarian missions. Our result: the betterment of education, drinking water, health and livelihood of  women and children in Africa.

Want to help us? Subscribe to this blog. Share the information with your friends, your family, your neighbors.

Read on…you won’t be disappointed.

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