Ambolesi Elephant

We are taking a detour from quilting today as I like to explore from time to time the other disciplines within the art world.  Today I would like show you an elephant drawn by my “mermaid” friend, Sandy.  I got to know Sandy shortly after I arrived off the boat plane in the States about 16 years ago.  I fell in love with her beautiful silky blonde “mermaid” hair the minute I met her.  It was a huge deal for me because up until that point, I had never seen that many people with hair color other than black!

Sandy studied art in college, and she has drawn this beautiful Ambolesi Elephant.  Sandy decided to direct any profit from the sale of this drawing or prints of it (including greetings cards) to help the Village of Kiu in Kenya.

[Image Source: Sandy Swanner.  Copyright: Sandy Swanner.  Please do NOT use image without expressed consent of the artist]

Sandy wrote of her experience with the people of Kiu Village:

“We arrived on Saturday afternoon to GREAT celebration and excitement.  I’ve never felt so welcome and wanted anywhere.  They had an official welcoming ceremony for us and several groups performed songs and dances.  Then we played with the kids.  We visited 4 or 5 local churches in the morning on Sunday, then we spent the afternoon visiting homes, helping with chores, learning how they build their mud huts and how they cook and preserve food, and playing with the kids. The rest of the week was divided between guest teaching in the school, building a fence around their existing well, giving the ladies manicures and pedicures, and playing with the school kids every afternoon.  Our last day in the village was Wednesday.  While we were there, they slaughtered a goat and a chicken to provide a feast for us.  This was very humbling, because we knew it was very costly for them, but so special for us!  Once we finished out work in the village, we were taken on a safari in the Amboseli National Park where the picture of the elephant was taken that inspired the elephant drawing.”

Sandy wrote further:

I had the privilege of visiting Kenya on a mission trip with my church and an organization called 410 Bridge in June of 2010.  It was one of the most amazing experiences of my life.  We ministered in a small farming village called Kiu.   Most of the homes we visited were mud huts.  They had only one or two rooms, no electricity, and NO running water.  In fact, some of the villagers had to travel as far as 2 km every day to get water from the village well.  Women or children usually do this. Most of them carry the water in large containers on their back, using a strap that goes across their forehead.  Despite all of this hardship, the Christians we met there were filled with amazing joy and hope.  They love to sing, dance, and praise the Lord, and never in my life have I met people more welcoming and generous.

[Quilty insert from Wendy:  I think I just landed a color scheme that is going into one of my next quilts!  You just can’t blame a quilter seeing all things “quilty”, can you?]

Back to Sandy, and she continued:

“The lack of running water, and frequently food, can be a major stumbling block for education, because children often cannot make it to school on time after fetching water for their family.  Also, if they have no food at home for lunch, they may be too hungry to return to school in the afternoon.  This is why 410 Bridge is committed to putting water reservoirs and lunch programs into the schools in their communities.  This way the children can fetch water for their family while they are at school, and they are sure to receive at least one meal that day.”

“After our mission trip in 2010, my church decided to partner with the village of Kiu long term to help them get water from their well piped out to the various parts of the village, put cement floors in the classrooms of the local primary school, address medical needs, and above all, help spread the love of Jesus.
We are so excited about what God is doing in Kiu, but there is still much to be done.  Water is such a HUGE need in Kenya right now.  They have had a severe drought for the past couple of years.  They need rain and fresh water wells desperately in so many areas….and many people still need Living Water.”

Seeing my friend Sandy making an impact in the lives of others through her talent struck a chord within me.  Click here if you would like to bless the people in the village of Kiu.

Thank you for stopping by!  I hope you have been moved reading about the Kiu people today.  Blessings to you and yours.  I will chat with you again tomorrow.

8 thoughts on “Ambolesi Elephant

  1. Pingback: Sunburst Melody: Sneak Peek « Ivory Spring

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