Beatrice Wangu Mugai’s clothes and shoes are more worn than that of many of the women we have visited, her pink checked skirt torn in places. She has trouble standing upright because of illness, and her brow is furrowed in pain. But she has a cow and a goat tied up in her yard, and several chickens scratch in the packed earth. Her house of mud bricks and mortar seems more solid than many of the homes we’ve seen, and the walls in her living room have a coat of whitewash on them. A pile of straw is heaped in one corner. Beatrice is grateful that her five children have found work and moved out, but they are unable to help support their widowed mother. Though she has no grandchildren living with her, Beatrice says that they come and go, visiting her quite often.
She is glad that having solar lights will mean she no longer has to burn kerosene lamps and she will be able to charge her phone. Again we are surprised at the strength of the response to this gift: her hands raised and her face bright, Beatrice says “I am sooooo happy.”