Chair repair – Kenyan style

It takes a lot of chairs to set up a conference room, a dining room, a casual teatime area, and a library conference room, plus various guest rooms and office spaces.  The Amani wooden chairs also get moved around a bit, so in time they have become wobbly.  When chairs were unsafe, they were relegated to the “shop” – or otherwise described as a dusty storage shed.

Storage Area

The staff mentioned to us that when there was a large group having a conference, they would have to move chairs from the dining room to the conference room, and then for lunch move them back again.  And we remembered seeing quite a few chairs in the storage building.  So we asked who was going to repair the ones that were broken.  It seems that this was John, the maintenance man’s responsibility, but he really was not skilled in wood working, so they sat piled up gathering dust.

We asked, ” Is it possible to hire a carpenter with skills in repairing chairs to come help with this problem?”  Within a few days a carpenter arrived with his toolboxes, and started to work.


Amani purchased the supplies, and provided a “workspace” and he set about repairing chairs, and replacing the vinyl seats.  As he worked, the number of chairs multiplied as we pulled wobbly chairs from various settings.  We should have counted, because we don’t know how many he actually did – our estimate is around 3 dozen!


In this process he did get interrupted for some other repairs – like pizza paddles:

and a chest of drawers

All in the simplest of work conditions.  No workbench,  No power tools.  Limited shade.

As I (Shari) as writing this, my chair is a bit wobbly – I think we missed this one – now he has another to work on!


Photo credits: Bud and Shari Yordy

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