Irene Vos

Poor on the outside and rich on the inside

Poor on the outside and rich on the inside

When I talk about Kenya, my face lights up. My heart beats faster and my energy is boundless. I can see it in photos and others notice it too. It’s hard to explain what it is. Is it the blue sky that seems higher, or the fragrances and colors? No. So, what is it then?

Positive vibe

In Kenya, many people are poor on the outside and rich on the inside. Their energy, smiles, and cheerfulness have a tremendous effect on me. It’s the positive vibe I resonate with. It makes me feel amazing.
Sitting at the kitchen table, our (adopted) daughter, born in Kenya, recently asked: “Mom, wouldn’t you like to live there?”
“Yes,” I had to admit. I’d love to live there.

A warm welcome

During one of my visits to Kenya, I ended up in Bondo, the birthplace of a good friend. He wanted to introduce me to his community, the people who raised him after he became an orphan at age 11. A loving schoolteacher took care of him and his siblings. Her name is Norah and she’s is somewhere in her eighties. She gave me a warm welcome and invited me for a traditional lunch at her house after Sunday service. Although she has little, she shared what she has with me.

Who keeps company with wolves will learn to howl

I live in a country where many people are well off. Enough to eat, a nice place to stay, and a car out front, maybe even two. Yet, I sometimes feel dissatisfied when things don’t go my way. And I’m not the only one.

I notice it when I hear people around me complain about the weather – too cold, too wet, and if it isn’t, then it is too hot. Or when I stand in the checkout line at my supermarket or my favorite coffee place – people hardly ever smile. When I look in my rearview mirror and see lights flashing and raised middle fingers. In the Netherlands, many people are rich on the outside and poor on the inside. It reminds me of a proverb: Who keeps company with wolves will learn to howl.

We’re all connected

If I’m not careful, I get sucked into a vortex of negativity, howling along with the other wolves and soon feeling tired and empty. This way, we make each other miserable, weak, and possibly even sick. It’s common knowledge depression affects your immune system, making you more susceptible to bacteria, viruses, and illness.


One with my surroundings

On the plot, I looked around, and suddenly, as if my feet took root, I fell into a trance. It’s hard to explain, but it felt like I became one with my surroundings. An energy went through me and I received a message: this land is meant for  a Trees Project.

Stunned, I looked at my two companions. We were about to leave when we met two young men. Everybody started talking in Swahili, a language I don’t speak well. A little later, the village elder and a neighbor also arrived and the conversation started to look like a planned meeting. The sun already shone brightly and I found the shade of a tree. There, I waited quietly. I felt comfortable and at peace. I could sit there for hours.

High and low vibrations

Everything is composed of energy. You, me, and everything around us. Even inanimate objects have energy.

Now let’s dive deeper into how your energy affects others. All energy has a vibrational frequency and so has yours. When you’re sad or depressed and your energy is low, your frequency is low too. And when this happens, you also emit low, negative energy to those around you. Negative energy has a profound effect on others. It’s extremely toxic. A good example of this is when you enter a room and feel the tension is tangible.

When you’re happy, you vibrate at a higher frequency. The better you feel, the more positive vibrations you also give off, and the better everyone else will feel around you. Consider, for example, someone howling with laughter – it’s contagious. Your mood fluctuates throughout the day, and because of it, your vibrations fluctuate as well. It’s an ever-going process.

Keeping my vibration high

But you’re not just affected by the people around you, the news can have a significant impact on your energy too. Especially in this day and age. This is why I make it a priority to keep my vibration, and that of everything around me, high. But how do you do that? And what can we learn from people who are confronted with poverty and seemingly hopeless living conditions every day? Hmmm, that requires further investigation.

Without resistance and in complete confidence

After a while, I was informed the local chief had been contacted and that we were expected to meet him. The two young men got in the car with us to lead the way. As we drove up to his office, I already spotted him sitting in his chair in the shade, ready to receive us. It looked like everything had been arranged in advance.

After explaining our story, we were referred to an even higher official inside the office. There I was, sitting in a tiny room with a whole bunch of people. Rhoda started to get nervous. She’d been away from her work at school for a while now and was worried this would get her in trouble. Without thinking, I told her she was doing her job and shouldn’t worry about it. Where I got it from, no idea. I guess it was a kind of inner knowledge. To be honest, I didn’t understand much of what was going on myself. I let myself go with the flow, without interference from my own ratio. Without resistance and in complete confidence and, wow, it felt so great.

Was it all just coincidence?

The official asked me what I thought of Kenya. I told him I felt like I’d come home. Not much later, Rhoda and I stood outside, still a bit dazed. Miti ya Matumaini was born. The only thing remaining was for the land to be registered and legalized. We drove Rhoda back to her school. I had found a large stone on our walk back to the car, and when we arrived at the school, we placed our hands on top of it as we said our goodbyes, so that we would meet again.

Rhoda couldn’t believe what had happened that morning. She had never experienced anything like it. To be honest, neither had I. It felt like being in a play, with everyone getting ready behind the scenes. Like everything had been planned in advance. It was a mysterious morning. It seemed like everything was coordinated and the energy just kept flowing. Was it all just coincidence? It’s almost inconceivable.

Something I want to live for

I’m was not sure yet what my role in this story will be. What I do know was that I really wanted to be involved and that I feel a strong pull, unparalleled by anything. This is definitely something I want to live for. To work together on a more beautiful, clean, and sustainable society and to create a better world for everyone.

Rhoda Amolo MYM projectleader

Rhoda is now our local project leader. Together with the school she works on the tree planting project Miti ya Matumaini, or Trees of Hope. We hope to be able to provide the local community with food and income. This adventure started at the beginning of March 2020. It has been a number of years and a lot has happened in the meantime. More about that next time.