Planting Trees Whose Shades I Don’t Expect to Sit Under


Planting trees whose shades I don't expect to sit under
Raising funds through running and biking enables us to plant trees for future generations /Photo: Cynthia Wendo

My mind is already set on the Kericho Traithlon Series this coming September. Last year, I emerged in second position in the Sprint Duathlon event. Much as it was a fundraising events for my work, I didn’t raise any money. However, by the time my wife and I came back with my silver medal, we had already spent close to Kshs. 10, 000 an estimated USD 100.
Last year, I managed to run in five marathons and took part in my maiden duathlon event. Even though I used more money and resources than the funding I managed to raise, my fundraising through running and biking was a huge success as far as I am concerned. What used to be a figment of my wild imagination had become a reality and I was able to achieve my goals.
Taking part in these events usually cost lots of money that often leaves a dent in my family’s finances. It also takes a lot of effort and energy both before and during the events. Most of the times, I manage to cross the finish line with lots of bruises as a result of falling on rocks and coming against thorns. Save for a couple of cuts from a high-speed fall and broken toe that I experienced last year, God has protected me.
I have already experienced more success than I did last year. The first success happened when Elisha and Kelvin joined the Team Lifesong. Growing from 1 to 3 members motivated me to keep dreaming more about where this amazing journey can lead to. I am a late bloomer who is achieving the things I wanted to achieve in my early 20s. By growing Lifesong Kenya’s work and empowering more boys, I am realizing my own goals in life. Not only am I doing this for the present group of boys I am working with through Lifesong Kenya, I am also creating a path that thousands of African boys will be able to navigate as they seek to achieve the impossible.

“The true meaning of life is to plant trees, under whose shade you do not expect to sit.”
— Nelson Henderson.

Planting trees whose shades I don’t expect to sit under

As Elisha, Kelvin, Cynthia and I left for last week’s Parklands Baptist Church Triathlon 2017 event, there was no way of telling how it was going to end. For starters, I was still hesitant about whether or not I should have offered to be a volunteer instead of riding with Elisha. I woke up feeling tired. If it wasn’t for the three most precious people in my life, I would have switched off my alarm and tucked in bed the whole day.
Well, switching off my alarm and tucking in bed the whole day wasn’t going to be the easier route to take. Certainly not with Elisha, Kelvin and Cynthia ganging up on me. In the end, we packed up our bikes and threw them into our car and watched as Kelvin and Cynthia drove off to Parklands Baptist Church while Elisha and I took the No. 111 matatu to Yaya Centre, where Cynthia was to pick us up after dropping off Kelvin with the bikes.
“Did Kelvin take his running shoes and shorts?” I asked when we got into the car after Cynthia had made a hasty U-turn to pick us up.
“No, he didn’t!” she replied. “Crap! I left when the runners were already on the starting line,” she added.
“Drive, young lady!” I barked.
“Yes sir!” she said as the car screeched to close to 100 KM/H within seconds.
“If Kelvin fails to start with the other runners then we might all run together as a team,” I said.
“Mr James,” Elisha said. “I’m going to ride no matter what happens!”

Running for ground nuts for Diamond’s mom

The runners were already on the starting line by the time we arrived at Parklands Baptist Church. Kelvin hastily changed into his running gear as Elisha and I went to look for our biking tags. I have never been as competitive as I was during last year’s Kericho Triathlon Series. Half way through the bike ride I decided to go flat out on the biking course. I knew Elisha was going to emerge in a position that was going to guarantee him a medal.
At the end of the event, we all gathered at the Methodist Guest House for the closing ceremony where Kelvin, Cynthia and I watched as Elisha received a bronze medal in the biking category. Side by side, the two of rushed to the front where I couldn’t contain my joy as the crowd clapped and screamed Elisha’s name.
In the afternoon, I received another sweet surprised when a friend gave me ground nuts that Diamond’s mom had asked for in order to start a business. That just made up for all the money our running and biking would have raised. This was confirmed when Elisha and I gave Sister Bertina the groundnuts. This is what she said while receiving the precious groundnuts.
“This is a sign from God,” Sister Bertina smiled, “that Diamond’s mom will be able to provide for herself and thereby guarantee she will be able to provide a home for herself and her son. We should continue working towards Diamond’s freedom!”
Well, I still don’t know where our triathlon team will take part in this year’s Kericho Triathlon Series in September. I also don’t know where I am going to get the money needed to enter the event or find the right bikes. However, I know that the groundnuts we received will bring a cheerful smile to Diamond and his mom. To me, that is what matters the most.

2 thoughts on “Planting Trees Whose Shades I Don’t Expect to Sit Under”

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