Boots bound for Africa


Sometimes it takes a village to help a village. This recent story of Three Rivers helping the less fortunate began when Carol Berryhill of Three Rivers noticed a pair of unworn size 11 muck boots in her daughter’s closet.

There must be someone who could use a perfectly good pair of boots in Three Rivers, Carol thought.

Carol’s daughter is Dr. Emily Berryhill, a veterinarian who upon finishing veterinary school had interned for two years with Dr. Bo Brock of Brock Veterinary Clinic in Lamesa, Texas. After Emily returned to UC Davis to complete her residency, Dr. Brock would, on occasion,  send gifts of pots and pans, guitars and, one time, a pair of size 11 muck boots.

At first, Carol could not think of anyone who could wear size 11. When Mamady “Wadaba” Kourouma came by to do some weedeating, Carol offered the boots to him.

“Too big, too big,” Wadaba said. 

But Wadaba explained people in his village were often in danger from the bite of poisonous snakes.

The boots would be a lifesaver, Wadaba said.

Carol then informed her daughter that she found a good use for the boots and they would be sent to the people in Wadaba’s village of Oroko in Guinea, West Africa.

Emily passed this news onto Dr. Brock. He was so thrilled with the news that he bought out the entire stock of muck boots — 47 more pairs — and had them shipped to Three Rivers.

When Dr. Brock saw the photo of Wadaba with the boots he exclaimed: “Yee haw! Walk fearlessly where snakes trod, hold fast to dry feet and smiles from friends back home.”  

A story that started in Lamesa, Texas, and traveled to Davis, Calif., and Three Rivers has now crossed oceans to West Africa, all because someone wanted to see a pair of perfectly good boots put to use. And they’ll end up being used by those who need them the most.

Assistance needed— Currently, there’s a roadblock to getting these boots to their intended destination. It will cost several hundred dollars for the shipping to get the boots to Oroko.  If anyone would like to donate, checks may be made payable to Mamady “Wadaba” Kourouma and mailed to him at P.O. Box 96, Kaweah, CA 93237.  

Any funds that are received over and above the amount needed for shipping of the boots will be used and distributed for medical supplies and services by the Oroko Fund, an ongoing care fund administered by Wadaba and his wife, Keio Ogawa. 

For more information, call Wadaba or Keio at (559) 561-6556.   

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