There Was Hope

Hope flows abundantly when you are starting out on a new adventure.  It becomes a precious commodity as the days fly by and all that you dream of is slow to materialize.  I found several letters mentioning Tom's project, my hopes and also some other things that we attempted during the first 18 months we were in Kenya.

December 2, 1989
...Tom has had a major breakthrough with our project.  He's found a company that is responsible for giving money from institutions and foundations in the U.S. to start projects similar to ours here in Kenya.  He's meeting with the president of the company this week or looks like it will become a large organization with 3 main objectives - drug monitoring, poison control and information and research.  We're very pleased.  I'll let you know how the meeting goes...

Also, my first article will be published here in tomorrow's newspaper.  I'll send you a copy.  Mitch, the deputy editor, was pleased and has given me 2 more assignments for this month.  I'm also going to submit an article to a magazine called Signatures - from Diner's Club...I've just finished my 1st column for the Resorter (weekly newspaper in Houghton Lake, Michigan) and am working on 2 others.  I've not heard back from Tom (the editor) but I decided to write these, send them off and then see his reaction...maybe they will become a book later on...

January 3, 1990

Tom has a meeting on Monday about the project.  We'll write how it goes.  I may write a column every week for a paper here....

March 3, 1990

Tom takes his exam to be registered on Tuesday so he's studying hard.  I'm teaching English as a second language to refugee children here and trying to write...Mom, I'm going to write for the Resorter about a typical day here so watch for it in the next month...The Rockafeller Institute likes the project idea, so Tom has written a letter to be sent to New York, where all the decisions are made.  We'll keep you posted....

November 8, 1990

Tom and I are doing great.  We have a new business venture.  Tom checked in Germany and wants to export Nile perch fillets.  They are very popular all over Europe but the market in Germany hasn't been touched.  So he's sent letters out and we're waiting for responses to send samples and get orders....

December 19, 1990

I am sending these place mats because I thought you would be interested to know about what we are attempting to do now.  We have sent samples of the Nile Perch to London, Lagos and Zimbabwe.  We have also compiled some recipes that work very well with the fish. They work well with any white fish, just don't tell our customers!  We are still waiting to hear from Germany...It is actually looking quite good. 

We are also looking for other things to market in the states.  These mats are one idea...and African-print napkins and tableclothes made to sell with them.  Or we can try mats made out of banana skins (not peels)...we are exploring many things.

April, 1991

Tom is working at a pharmacy in town.  It's been hard adjusting to his new work schedule, especially since he works 52-56 hours a week.  We're thankful for the steady income, but it is a challenge!

We never did start a business in Kenya. It ended up taking Tom longer than anticipated to get his license to practice pharmacy, but God certainly kept us busy trying to start that project with funding from the Rockafeller Institute.  I wrote several articles for the Resorter, which I will re-publish on this blog with their permission.  I wrote a few articles for The Standard newspaper in Nairobi.  The opening line from a Charles Dickins novel keeps ringing in my ears right was the best of times, it was the worst of times. Money-wise it was the worst of times.  In all other ways, it was the best of times.  Looking back, I think that God used those other adventurous ideas to keep us hopeful and keep us in Africa.

Lori ZieglerComment