The last widow we visit in Kenya is Beatrice Wangu , who is 82 years old. When we come upon her, she is sitting on the ground extracting the beans from the plants she has grown. The grizzled white hair sticking out from under her orange head scarf and the tilt of the scarf make her look jaunty. Her house, made of large bricks and mortar, is more solid than many we have seen, but when we go inside, we see how small and crowded it is. As we start talking, we learn that Beatrice has three grown children, two girls who are married and a son who has eight children. She is a widow caring for three of her grandchildren: two girls in Form 4 and a boy in Form 3. No one in her family is able to provide for or assist them in any way. Though life is difficult because nobody takes care of her, she says that she is enjoying the goodness of the Lord in her old age.
Like so many of the other widows, Beatrice is happy for the solar lights because she will no longer have the expense of kerosene; she also says she will be free of the worry of fire due to the lamps. She is serious and unsmiling throughout the interview and the installation of the lights, but when we go outside and take our leave, she raises her arms and beams at us. This gesture, more than any other, bestows a blessing that goes with us all the way back to Canada.