It looks like the rain has finally arrived, As I type it’s tipping it down outside accompanied by a fairly impressive thunder and lighting show. Our Agriculture College students should be really pleased as they spent most of today planting our maize seeds. The current downpour is just what they need to get off to a good start. We can only pray that this bout of rain is not just a flash in the pan like the last lot about three weeks ago. It’s not the end of the world if we do have another short dry spell, as our water tanks have been filling up with the last few days’ rain. It would be really good not to need the bucket irrigation gang on the job for the next little while though.
I’ve tended to write about happenings in Kenya on this blog but can’t help sharing my excitement about some family news. I don’t know how the first missionaries managed without email and text messaging. They had to wait months for news from home to reach them. For the last couple of months the Mott family has been anxiously waiting for news from the universities that my daughter Ellie has applied to to study medicine. It has been a tense time at home and over here. I was overjoyed tonight when Ellie called to say that she has received an offer for September from Durham University. (All she has to do now is get straight A grades in her A level exams!). In proud Dad mode I’m very thrilled for Ellie and relieved for both Ellie and my wife Judi now that the waiting is finally over. Thinking about Ellie’s good news makes me more determined to make sure our school and college over here help our pupils and students to bring their dreams to fruition.
Since the discovery of oil in the northern part of Kenya at the beginning of the week it has been interesting to see the reaction of the Kenyan media. Having a good chance of climbing up the development ladder as an oil producing nation is obviously good news for Kenya, but a number of commentators are raising the alarm over the potential for mismanagement of the riches oil brings and the likelihood of the discovery increasing local tensions and causing conflict. It is a sad but true fact that many African nations have suffered as a result of being rich in oil, minerals, gold and precious stones. I’m sure there are enough courageous and honest leaders in Kenya to minimise the risks of oil related issues escalating into major problems. It will take at least three years to translate the initial discovery into a viable oil producing platform – plenty of time to create the right climate commercially and politically to ensure maximum benefit to Kenya if it’s new found source of riches is sustainable.
I have always believed that the economic outlook in Kenya would pick up enough to offer our young people opportunities to get on in life. From that point of view the discovery of oil is an exciting development. Our Agriculture College students have proved over the last couple of weeks that they are not afraid of hard work and have the determination to succeed. I hope that, in years to come, we will be able to celebrate their successes in the higher education system.