Thursday, June 4, 2009

Muzungu in Africa

The first night there weren't enough beds, so Meg and I had to share one!Meg, Ashley, and I waiting to find out where we would spend the night!
Two boys playing near a large pile of trash. You see this all to often.
This is one of the homes nearby the school.
Stack of plates we had to wash by hand!
This boy is a complete orphane because of AID's and lives at Regina's school!

One of the kids wearing my glasses!

Micha and one of the kids!

Our last night at Ragina's we all went to the Junction for dinner

Mike and Jackson... the two who took us to KisiiMike and Jackson adding water so that it won't over heat again... it didn't work!!
Me standing at the top of the Great Rift Valley.Waiting for the engine to cool down
Mike wanted my camera!!
Mike holding his 9 month old son Jeremy!Daisy playing with the phone. She carried this around for several days and amazed everyone with how cool it was!
The books I brought. This was the only time they were actually like this. The rest of the time the kids had them checked out!

Hi y'all, as Nick said, I have arrived and feel very safe! The flight was long but was good, there was no turbulence! Fadhili was there to pick us and 4 other volunteers up from the airport! My first night I stayed about 2 min walking distance from Kibera, worlds second largest slum! We went down there and walked thorugh part of it. It was amazing to see the lifestyle that these people live. At one point it smelled so bad I thought I might get sick. We saw many children digging through huge piles of trash. It was very sad.

After orientation, Meg and I moved to Pastor George and Raginas, who live in another slum called Kalwhengari (don't know how to spell it). They are amazing people who own an orphanage and a school. They don't have many extras because everything they make they put towards the children. There are 42 kids that live in the orpahange and 150 that attend the school. They have 20 bed for the 42 kids and 3 teachers to share. Many of their mosquito nets have holes in them and aren't working. She provides at least one meal a day for all 150 children, but often that is all she can afford. She wishes to feed them more. Ragina recently bought all the children p.j.s because many of them would sleep in their uniforms and wet the bed. They would then have to go to school in smelly clothes. She is also saving up to put in a slide and swings.

I feel very blessed to be in the position to help. I spent 2550 kenya shillings or $33 USD and bought a bag of rice for the school. This bag of rice will be enough to feed all 150 children and helpers for a week. This is cheaper than one trip to Olive Garden. Really makes you appreciate it. Ragina doesn't receive any help from the government and is struggling to provide the basics like medicine for the kids.

Yesterday Meg, Cory, Ashley, and I (other volunteers), took a journey with Micheal Jackson (two fadhili helpers, one named Mike and the other named Jackson). The trip was from Nairobi to Kuembu. It's supposed to take about 5 hours, but took us 10. Our van broke down and we had to sit on the side of the road for a while, while a mechanic tried to fix it! This was a ton of fun though because we taught Mike how to linedance and do the macarina. Don't worry, it's all on film! Our trip was a blast as we listened to Mike sing Christmas carols. Mike is also the tour guide for our upcoming safari, so we are excited about that.

Ann has been here for 4 months already, so she has been filling us in on what to expect. We are in a small vilage next to Kisii called Keumbu. We are staying with Pastor Robert and his wife "Mama" We will be working in a school. I am teaching class 4 math and english. I am going to have to prepare the lesson plan each night and re teach myself the math! Kinda scary. Robert and his wife have 4 of their own children and have taken in 6 orphans. We are staying in a mud house which is really cool. Keumbu is very pretty and green. I love it here so far!!

This morning we put the 155 books and 45 workbooks we brought into the "library" which was one small shelf. I am proud to say that it is over flowing and there has to be a second one built. I brought a lot of picture books, but they are in need of chapter books. If you have extras at home and want to send them, i can get you the address. The children here LOVE to read.

Food has been discent. The great thing is that if you don't like it the first time you can always try it a third, fourth, or fifth time until you realize that you actually do like it. With my first two host families the portions were quite small, but here, we are basically forced to take additions and addition additions (seconds and thirds). Breakfast is normally toast or bread. Tomorrow will be my first time teaching!

We actually aren't going to Mombassa this weekend, but maybe next. I might also go to Uganda since I am so close and raft down the Nile River, camping each night on the side. This s the first time I have had internet access, and am not sure when I will have it again. It's a 40 min walk followed by a 20 min Mutatu (bus) ride and it's very hectic. Normally the Mutatus have around 30 people in them even though leagally they can only hold 14! And they drive very fast. But as Izzo says, "its not bad driving, it the right driving."

If you are wanting to donate to the school or orphanage please feel free. As you can see, it doesn't take much money to make a big difference! If you are interested, either give the money to my mom or Nick and they will let me know. Please specify what you want it to go towards!

I will post again when I have time!!

Love you all, Nikki

P.S the computer is to old and slow to put up pics!!!

1 comment:

  1. Nikki! Thank you so much for updating all of us back "home" make me feel as if I was right there with you. Safe travels and all the best...oh, by the way...I'm Kate's Mom! Teresa Shields