Archive for April, 2010

We went to town and brought some ice blocks while we did this Leah went to the police station to report the camera missing so we could claim insurance.  When we got home mum discovered that someone had taken $41  from our room.  I think that it could be the person  whose room is next to ours because someone got $100 stolen and a few days later the person who I think it might be wanted someone to change $100 into Kenyan Shillings.  If  they are guilty they might be trying to make friends with Leah so she will try to defend them but it probably is not them because they stole some of our money and in my opinion that would me a bad step on the path to friendship.


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Using axes

Me and Emmett used axes and helped chop up logs for the fire.  Now I have blisters on my fingers because I held the axe too tight.  I can’t wait untill we get out of here and also does anyone have space for two calf’s?  We love the two that are here and the people who own them said that we could keep them!

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We were playing cops and robbers and Emmett caught me, he walked backwards and almost fell in a 6 meter deep hole, but luckily there were logs over the hole and all he got was a few scratches.  I’m so grateful that someone thought of putting the logs over the hole.  I think Papa would faint at a glance of the roads in Kenya.

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Come get me quick I can’t survive another 2 weeks with no proper food.


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Emmett’s Blog Post

I woke up and I made a top for Flo with blue string and green string. And I made a book out of sellotape, staples, string and paper. And then I fixed Bede’s hammock. I made a bow and arrow.

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Kenya appears to me after ten days to be a land of contradictions. The countryside we drive to isolated rural medical clinics through is lush and grows sugar cane, every small farm has corn, underplanted with beans, roadside stalls sell gorgeous red onions, fruit, tomatoes and brassicas. Yet at each clinic I see starving, malnourished children and adults. The children universally have Kwashiorkor – protein deficiency, everyone is severely anaemic.

I have not quite been able to work out why these farming people are starving while growing so much good food. Our driver tells us “In the old days, when our old people lived longer…” so I’m not sure whether it was Kenyan independence from British rule in the early 1960s that caused the collapse of the rural communities or something more recent.

The staple here is ugali, a maize meal very like polenta, most families have hot tea for breakfast, followed by ugali alone for lunch and dinner, despite growing beans and brassicas they don’t commonly eat them. The teachers volunteering here tell us that in school the curriculum specifically teaches that eating ugali is vital to the Kenyan economy and much is made of eating lots of it being the only way to succeed academically.

Women have no status in rural Kenya, little access to education or contraception or independent income, domestic abuse is widespread.

At each rural clinic, which are held in schools or churches, I have been approached by people raising money for a new church or to make the existing one better. There is a church about every 200m! I am most uncomfortable that community leaders are raising money for churches while children starve. The stark contrast between the teachings of the church and the behaviours of the people is also confronting, corruption is endemic, at every police checkpoint, within the organisation with which we are volunteering, in every transaction in the town.

To illustrate my own hypocrisy however, I must point out that while the local kids starve, I am sooo sick of endless rice and cabbage for dinner and lunch every day and am having trouble being grateful for that!

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we went to make walls with mud at a school and on the way there Anna said she had left her hat at home so I went to get it but luckily it wasn’t very far across the sugar cane fields.  Then we went to the main road and caught a matatu to Harumbe, on the way there somebody stole our new camera, Anna felt it but thought it was Emmett pulling the camera strap.  Then we got off and we realised that the camera was gone we asked everybody if they had seen the person who got out, we got the person sitting next to Anna, but it was the person sitting next to Leah that was leaning forward who took the camera.  We said that there would be a big reward in money for the person who found the camera, we gave someone our phone number to tell us if they found it.

Then we went to the school to do the mudding.  They had a fishpond there and me and Emmett played around it, Emmett pushed me in.  At the end the kids got me some sugarcane, you peel off the outside skin stuff and chew the inside, the juice is the bit that tastes the sweetest.

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