With each donation package I buy (and you?) €1,50 goes to fund the start-up of microloan banks. During my visit to Kenya, I got to visit the first one, talking to the staff, getting to ask the chairman of the bank questions about who uses it, how it works, the most common size of the loans and what they used the loans for. I was reading Muhammad Yunus’s book Banker to the poor during the week which gave me a deeper insight into the phenomena of micro-financing.

Next to the bank, a small saloon. Closed.
Outside a young mother with a baby on her back, tending a donkey with yellow cans of water.
Two other women leaning against a post, and a toddler.

And these two.
Girls, in school uniforms, sitting there, solemnly observing the spectacle in front of them: Thirty-something mzungus busily snapping photos and talking to the bank staff, the gang of young kids congregating in front of the bank, two old men sitting along the road watching the traffic, a man grabbing the front paws of a stray dog, doing a little dance with him. The odd goat passing by.

As I moved to catch them in my camera lens I locked eyes with the girl in front, holding her gaze. Finally, I winked at her, only to have her drop her serious expression, giggle and lower her chin, laughingly looking at me from under her bangs. If she’d had any, that is. All the children and youngsters we met sported this hairdo. Closely shaven heads. Beautiful, all of them, girls and boys alike. Ever curious, we asked about it during our visit to Kaewa Secondary School and learned there are too many costs involved with letting the kids have long hair. And I assume this hairstyle is much more practical as well.

Advent Calendar for 2019: sharing pictures and stories/reflections from my trip to Kenya in June. I went to visit “my trees” and get a hands-on experience of the social entrepreneurship of the Kenyan forestry company that I buy trees through.

Full disclosure: I am proud to say I am both a customer and an ambassador for the company. If you are curious to find out more, let me know and I’ll gladly get in touch with you! Here’s my sponsored link: https://betterglobe.com/27216