Reach Somewhere

My mother (who lives in Kenya and blogs at Ministry 2 Kenya) shared a story about Agnes, and her desire to start a sewing business so she can earn a little money for her family.

While it is a long read, the point of this story is well worth your time.  Read about their quest to simply "get a sewing machine."

Agnes’ sewing machine

Tuesday, Agnes and I went to Kitale together to get the machine. We went to three supermarkets to see about prices, etc. We ended up getting it at one called TransMatt.   At Agnes' request, we opened the box the sewing machine was packed in, to make sure everything was there, even though in my American experience I didn't see the need.

We had to have a guy carry it on a dolly to the stage for our matatu. Of course, we had to maneuver through all sorts of traffic (vehicle, car, truck, bicycle, motorbike, etc). Then we had to pay extra for the conductor to tie it up on top of the matatu.

Once we arrived at Matunda, I hired three motorbikes – one for me (with Wycliff), one for Agnes, and one for the machine and table. At a junction, I continued on to my house and she continued on to hers (with the machine).

Later that evening, she sent me a text that some of the parts were missing (extra bobbins and needles, two screwdrivers, etc). Augh! I had wanted Thursday to be a day to just stay at my house. Now, I’d have to go back to Kitale! The following day, Wednesday, I already had plans to visit Robert’s family at Nzoia Scheme (with Collins). But, it seemed I had no choice.

I met Collins at Matunda market and we went to Kitale together. The guy we’d bought the machine from was sure he’d put the little box in with the rest. He was very sincere about it and very apologetic that we’d had to travel all the way back. Anyway… in the end, he gave us another box. I bought another dozen spools of thread. While in town, Collins and I had some ice cream (two servings each!). We had to make our trip as fruitful as possible, I guess.

When we got back to Matunda, the two of us had lunch with Charles and Agnes and family. She was really grateful that we’d gotten the missing items and was happy about the extra thread. However, we still couldn’t get the machine to work properly. So, Charles put the machine on his bicycle to find a fundi to repair it. The same time he left, I also headed home. It was about to rain!

Later, he called me from Matunda market to say it was now okay and that he’d had to negotiate on the price. The money I’d given him for the repair wasn’t enough.

As I headed back to Eldoret, I stopped by their house one more time.  I found that the machine still wasn’t working correctly! We decided it’d be best for the fundi to come to their house to look at it. Perhaps having it jiggle around on the bicycle and matatu hadn’t been good for it. I gave her $30 to buy some fabric to get started and we discussed various issues about her new venture. She’s very eager to start making money at her new skill.

As I departed she said:

“I believe when you come back, I will have reached somewhere,” she said very confidently.


I personally think that Agnes' very simple quote is far reaching in the grand scheme of life.  If only EVERYONE had that motto when saying goodbye to someone (for whatever time frame) ... that they will strive to have 'reached somewhere' in the meantime.

Agnes will work diligently with her sewing machine (although mom just heard from her that the machine is AGAIN not working) in an effort to make just a small amount of money and will cycle long distances to sell her wares.  She is intent on "reaching somewhere" and attaining some of her goals by the time my mom returns to Kenya.

Reach somewhere - even if your goal seems small.
Reach somewhere - even if you don't think you can impact anyone by finishing a project.
Reach somewhere - even if you're not sure of the steps to take.

What can YOU do today to reach somewhere?

Naomi Hattaway

New Delhi, India

Blogger. Serial Mover (packing boxes love me). Collaborator. Volunteer. "There are likely only two necessary things in life. Show up and be grateful." - Naomi Hattaway The Reality Check a weekly email for women based on a virtue, quality or trait that I believe The Tribe should strive to possess http://eepurl.com/L9AjD Raised in Nebraska, I've since lived in Georgia and Ohio before moving abroad to India ... then Singapore. We lived in Orlando, Florida for one year and now we're on our way to Washington D.C. which will make my 15th home. Regardless of my zip or postal code however, I am doing my part to make my corner of the world a better place.