Thursday, March 31, 2011

The staff, students and community members from Kinyenjere Primary School want to thank Farmers Helping Farmers and their twinning school, Mt. Stewart Consolidated for the help to improve their school environment. In just a few days the parents of the students and the students themselves have pulled together to bring in supplies and the initiative to get some work done. Their first project was to replant the school garden. The students took out the old plants and weeds, brought in manure to fertilize the new soil and the parents created a new and prosperous garden. The previous garden was having trouble with birds eating the plants so they had to create a bird net. This was done surprisingly quickly with tree trunks for polls and a purchased net they sewn together.
Second project has begun today right after their beautiful garden was finished. They are going to reconstruct three classrooms. Today they started the demolition of the Nursery A, Nursery B, and the Grade One classrooms. Tomorrow they will start to dig a trench and poor cement. They are very proud of their work and would like to share with you some pictures of the process you helped create. (The pictures went up backwards)
-Nicole Doiron

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

We all had another eventful week. Our advisor Janet was here and she visited all of our schools. She was very glad to see how well we adapted to the Kenyan lifestyle. On Monday we all spent time at Katie and Lydia’s school, Ndunyu Secondary. It was games day, it was so neat to see how they set up track and field day with what resources they had. We saw some very talented future athletes. After visiting each other’s school, we have seen first hand the wonderful work Farmers Helping Farmers has done in this area .We are so proud to be associated with such an amazing organization. We’ve been busy helping to prepare our students for their exams. It’s much different than Canada, but we’re trying to adjust. We’re busy trying to collect the letters for the twinned schools on PEI. Our schools close next week and everything is quickly coming to an end so we want to make sure the letters are completed before we go. We headed off on our safari on Friday. What a wonderful weekend. We had an amazing experience at the Samburu tribal village and had incredible experiences with the wildlife in the park. We were lucky enough to see a few lions. We headed back to our home away from home on Sunday night. This week we’ve all been supervising exams at our schools. It’s very interesting to see the difference in the examination processes. We’re not looking forward to saying good bye to our schools next week as we’ve developed some very strong relationships with our students and the staff.
Signing off until next week... Katie, Lydia, Amy, Nicole, Erin and Lisa

Monday, March 21, 2011

Update from Kenya

We have had a great week getting to know our students better and falling into a comfortable routine both in school and out of school. Our students seem to be opening up more to us as they get to spend more time with us and get to know us better. All three schools have had a school-wide game day which gives us a great opportunity to interact with the students in a more natural setting rather than the classroom. Our students are all phenomenal athletes and we are continually astonished at what they are able to accomplish with the resources that they have or don’t have.
We had a very eventful weekend with Martin from FHF. He took us to Meru town on Saturday where we grabbed a bite to eat at Sherlock’s Den. We were all craving a burger and fries and the restaurant definitely fit the bill. Then we went and visited a local shop where we found some great gifts to bring back to our families and also as souvenirs for ourselves. It is a very cute shop close to the Nakumatt which is owned by two brothers, and their father does much of the wood carving. Then we completed some grocery shopping and headed home.
When we got home, our amazing friend and cook, Belton, was there to help us learn how to make samosas. Lisa worked side by side with him and realized that making samosas without Belton is going to be very hard when she gets home. However, the samosas were AMAZING! That night we had the hardest rain many of us have ever seen and celebrated the experience by dancing in it.
Sunday we met back up with Martin who took some of us to a church service at Naari Girls Secondary School. This service was very beautiful and moving. The girls had beautiful voices which made the service that much more memorable. Then we attended church with Martin at his home church. The service was performed in Kimeru but we were told that while there was a language barrier, God spoke all languages. Then we visited the school which abuts the church. This was a great learning experience because this school is ranked the number one primary school in the district.
We were then happy to meet with Janet and Jennifer back at Jennifer’s place where we had a traditional Kenyan meal, including potatoes mashed with bananas, which is a delicacy in Kenya. We all were very impressed with the mashed potatoes and look forward to making them at home. On the drive back to St. Theresa’s we were pleasantly surprised to see our first elephant in the forest separating Meru Town and Kiirua. We got out and took some photos and then returned home for a peaceful night’s rest.
Amy, Lisa, Katie, Lydia, Erin, and Nicole

Sunday, March 13, 2011

It’s hard to believe we’ve been in Kenya of a week. We have been welcomed by so many wonderful people. We landed in Nairobi and were greeted by Shaad, David and Henry. They’ve taken such great care of us. On Saturday we headed to Rhoda’s farm outside of Nairobi. It was an amazing experience and seemed surreal that we saw giraffes and zebras less than 24 hours of arriving. We left Nairobi on Sunday and headed up to Meru town. We had a great lunch at Jennifer’s house and we now have a Kenyan mother for the next few weeks. We are staying at St Theresa’s mission hospital. The sisters have been so accommodating and have made us feel at home. We went to our schools on Monday where we were greeted with enthusiasm. Tuesday we had the opportunity to take part in International Women’s Day celebrations here at the hospital. What an experience! We got to see traditional dancing and costume. There were many speeches, and the most important part of the day was the blessing of a new ultrasound machine. It was a great celebration of women around the world.

All six of us are very happy at our three schools. We are all learning so much, it’s hard to believe it’s only been a week. We’re loving the fresh fruit and we even learned that pineapples don’t grow on trees.We’re adjusting to Kenyan life well. We’ve tried many different dishes, some of which were interesting to say the least.
We’re going to check out the Kirrua market tomorrow. This should be another wonderful experience.
Hope all is well at home, we’re enjoying the sun!
Lisa, Katie, Nicole, Lydia, Amy and Erin.