A Night to Remember

Wambui Machua
Posted February 24, 2018 from Kenya

I grew up in a village in Kenya. I didn't have many amenitiessuch as indoor plumbing, electricity, a fridge or paved roads. My village was really dusty and when it rained all the roads turned to muddy slosh. Many times I read and did my homework by candlelight. One rainy night I was reading by candle light and fell asleep. I suddenly woke up and my bedside table was on fire with flames shooting high. In a panic, I grabbed my blanket, and attempted to put the flames out. I was successful, and that was when the writer in me was born. I started dreaming of a different life and what I could do to achieve it.

My story A Night to Remember is about an unfortunate experience when I got to America.

Even though I lacked electricity and didn't have entertainment such as music or television, I had access to books and I read and read. I improved my English and grammar and in high school was selected to be an exchange student to Oregon, USA, where I now live.

In 2015, a team of volunteers and I went to my village and distributed 30,000 books to 30+ local schools so they could start their own school libraries. This was a collaboration with my local Rotary Club.

I now give back to my village by setting up a community center (www.VillageCommunityDevelopment.org) where community members can gather, a community library, a community kitchen and a sewing project. We will be building a pre-school this year when I go in March 2018.

I believe books, reading and writing can change the world- They changed my life!

Wambui Machua


Spice of Africa


Comments 4

Log in or register to post comments
Feb 24, 2018
Feb 24, 2018

Wow wow wow. I just love your story. I am so happy that you become who you are today. Thank you for giving back to your community.  I love love love your spirit . Thanks to your partner too. The world is a beautiful place when beautiful hearted people wake up.

Jill Langhus
Feb 24, 2018
Feb 24, 2018

Hi Wambui. Thanks for sharing your story, mission and organization. Do you have any social page(s) to share so that we can follow you. I couldn't find them on your website.

Mar 25, 2018
Mar 25, 2018

Information is power! Wambui, you just demonstrated that. With the information you got from reading you were able to overcome your circumstances. We need such community centres in our villages. I started a project like that some years back in my community but because of lack of books it didn't see the light of day.
I will like to partner with you to see if such a project will be replicated in my community in Nigeria.

Chidirimebere Harriet Okoro

Dec 15, 2018
Dec 15, 2018

Great its always good for us to give back to society :-). Splendid!