Friday, March 15, 2013

"Can You Guess the Cost?" - part two

Two weeks ago, we posted a "Can you Guess the cost" contest. We have two winners. One person guessed very close and the other one was, well just a bit off...but because they guessed and the only ones who guessed, they get a prize!! :)  

Here are the answers to the cost of items. (KSH = Kenyan Schillings)

Item #1: 385 g coffee
775 KSH = $9.12 US

Item #2 2012 Toyota Prado
8.5 million KSH = $101,190 US

Item # 3  1/2 gallon of milk
220 KSH = $ 2.58 US

Item # 4 1996 Toyota Forerunner 
1.092 million KSH = $13,300 US

Item #5  Family Size Box of Rice Krispies Cereal
925 KSH = $ 10.88 US

Item #6  2007 Hard Top Land Rover Cruiser
6 million KSH = $71,428 US

Item #7  18 cubic feet LG Refrigerator
77,995 KSH = $ 917.58 US

Item #8  A generic brand 2 slot Toaster
5,900 KSH = $69.50 US

One of the common questions we are asked is, "Can you get....?" or "Do they have....?" It is amazing that in what seems like such a short period of time, how much Kenya has changed. Things such as washers/dryers, clothing, electronic products, vehicles, many westernized amenities have become more readily available. You pretty much can get everything. I like to tell people that "Yes, everything is available, it's just what are you willing to pay for it." 

In the U.S.A, we have many resources available to us. Readily accessible items helps keep the cost of goods down for the consumer. For Kenya, most of what is available to the consumer, is imported in from other countries. They do not have many manufacturing plants or resources within the country to make items that help keep the cost of goods down. So with everything imported, such as vehicles, comes a hefty import tax which then makes it very expensive. Another example of this would be fuel/gas. In Kenya, a gallon of gas is about $7 U.S. !! I've never paid that in my life!! Have you ?

Of course, everything is relevant, especially for where you live. Here's another example. I was walking in a market and saw a bouquet of roses. They were $3 U.S. for a dozen. Then, I walked into a Apple products store and saw a 32 GB iPhone 5. It was $1,845 U.S. Just another example of import and export contrasts. Roses are grown in Kenya and exported out of the country. Electronics are not made in Kenya, therefore have to be imported. 

So you buy what is needed and you don't purchase the things that are out of your budget. Not so much different than the U.S. just with different parameters. Our family loves cereal for breakfast, but at almost $11 for a box, that is one of the things that we will adapt and change our priorities to fit our means. I see a lot of oatmeal or toast in our future. :)

Some have wondered why our support funds amounts are so high. It is relevant to the cost of living in Kenya. Our hope is by sharing examples and picture(s) of what daily life will look like for us, that will bring an understand of why we must raise the amounts that we have projected. Here is a basic idea of the things we have to put in our budget.

Our Set Up expenses involve what it takes to re-locate our family and to Set Up our home.  
*Airfare travel to Kenya
* 2 months rent deposit and last month rent
* visas for our family to live in Kenya
* vehicles for family use and ministry use
* language school tuition
* kids schooling enrollment fees
* insurance for vehicles, health  
* all basic furnishings for our home: beds, stove, fridge, washer/dryer, dining room table, chairs, dressers, desks, sofa
* internet service/phone set-up costs 

Our Monthly Support (not included in the set up costs)

* monthly utilities such as water tank fill-up - 1 x a month, electric, sewer, gas for cooking
* rent, security/guard monthly fees
* fuel for transportation for both personal and ministry use
* Kids monthly schooling fees and school supplies
* Technology fees
* Medical expenses
* Food
* House hold supplies and toiletries
* Clothing
* Ministry expenses, donor care, hospitality
* Home assignment (funds to travel back to the US for furlough)
* Emergency fund

As daunting as the numbers seem to us, we believe that when God calls, He always promises to be with and to provide a way to do what He calls you to do. God is inviting all of us to be apart of His amazing work in Kenya.  

Will you consider joining with us in this? We can't do this on our own. 
We need your help!!

If you feel impressed to donate towards our SET UP or to commit to become a MONTHLY Partner, there are several ways to do so. On the left side of the blog is two thermometers and underneath is a Donate online link. You can also go to the tab at the top of the blog that says Online Giving...and that will direct you to the ways you can give.

Thank You!!


  1. Wow. $11 for a box of cereal and $3 for 1/2 gallon of milk. I see a lot of ugi and porridge with brown bread today in your future. Well, since the toaster costs $70, maybe just brown bread.

  2. @ Mike: No ugi or porridge or ugali or any of that stuff! Toast, oatmeal, eggs, cream of wheat, pancakes...all quite affordable. Oh yeah and lots of homemade bread :)