Habari gani? It’s been a busy couple of weeks for S and I. Last Saturday, we spent the morning again teaching children at Phase One of Dandora, and this Saturday we taught the children at Phase Four. The children were excited to see all the colourful balls and hula hoops we brought with us, purchased with the money that we raised at our staff quiz. I have babysat a few times also for our neighbours who in return bought some skipping ropes as a thank you which the children enjoyed playing with. This Saturday, we were asked to serve the children their lunch- so we scooped out rice and cabbage to share amongst the hungry kids- nothing was left over. We were invited to eat with them, as an act of Kenyan hospitality, and it was quite delicious.
This week, we donated the five teddy bears that S's grandmother knitted to an orphanage for young babies. We know two people who volunteer there. The children arrive very malnourished at the orphanage, and unfortunately there has been a virus that has swept through and made some of the children very ill. In recent weeks, several little ones have even died. We wanted to let them have something to feel comfort from, and so they seemed the best home for the bears.
We have donated the 30+ little lego sets from S's grandparents to Mogra, an orphanage that works with older children. They are going to be given out as prizes to the children that try hard in class. Our friend who is a nurse there, said that the children say that playing with a toy car is in their top three things to do, and yet almost none of them have any toy cars- so we know they will be appreciated.
Last Sunday, S and I drove back to Naivasha, as we had liked it so much from the week previous, when we visited Crater Lake. This time, we took a trip to Crescent Island, which runs into the lake and is where Out of Africa was filmed. The crescent is the outer rim of a volcanic crater which forms a deep bay. We were able to roam freely by foot amongst herds of zebra, wildebeest, dik dik, impala and waterbuck. There was a warm rain shower and so we sheltered in a little hut, before walking down the waters edge where we saw hippo bathing. I was feeling quite grateful, as the owner of the island told us that she had recently released several pythons- but we luckily did not encounter them!
We have begun to foster a little garden on our balcony, using our old water bottles, we have potted three plants that we bought at Naivasha. Some Aloe, Bougainvillea and a purple flowering shrub, plus I made a little bird bath and bird feeder out of old fizzy drink bottles. We compost all our food waste in a little bin which is used for the school gardens, and we recycle all the cardboard and plastic yoghurt pots via the school Art room. Here, it is quite easy to find another use for something if you are creative!
During the week, S learns Taekwondo on Tuesdays and on Wednesday we have our private dance lesson. We are being taught various steps including salsa and the foxtrot and we get better each week. S is very good at posing and putting on funny faces, egged on by in the instructor! On Thursday, I watched S play football, he is centre mid field. His team, the Railway Wanderers, drew against Parklands Sports Club- 2-2. It was a good score, especially as S’s team are all 30+ and the opponents were all spring chickens in their early 20’s.
I went on a school trip on Friday with the Year 7 and 8 Art class to Kazuri beads. Kazuri means ‘small and beautiful’ in Swahili, and Kazuri was set up in 1975 by Lady Susan Wood on the farm of Karen Blixen. She employed single mothers (and still does) to hand make beads out of clay and then fire them and paint them. It was really interesting to visit the factory and meet the women and see how it all comes together.
Valentines Day, was the BGE Fun Day. S and his class ran a cake stall and lemonade stand and I had a face painting stall. All the money raised goes to the school charities, and luckily the work we do at Dandora will also benefit from a cut in the proceeds. It was a hot day and I have felt the effects the sun which has turned me rosy pink, but I enjoyed painting the faces- everything from love hearts to flowers to spider man! S even let me paint his face!
That’s our news for now! Happy Valentines Day!