Yet again I have come back to my blog after an unexpected and extended break! I am sorry, it has all just got a little much recently, but I am back to update you on Kenya!
There is not actually that much to report from school today. My kids get cuter by the day, ad I realise how much my presence is aiding the school.
They have NAILED wheels on the bus, they have the actions down to a T, and I love listening to them sing the words! Some of them are better than others but they are still pretty awesome! Can’t wait to hear what they are like by my last day (actually I don’t want to think about that) I also gave the boys their shoes today, Juma was so happy and proud of them he couldn’t wait to get them on! Ruwa was a little bit more hesitant, they were a little big for him but once they were on and he was comfortable he looked pretty chuffed! It made me happy to know that such a small thing, something we take for granted in the UK could make these little angels so happy!
After a morning of singing and learning another number (some of them are ahead in their learning schedule but for most it was the number 4) we headed outside for our outdoor play, now by this time it was a little late in the day and a number of the other classes had already started their break time, (as porridge was not ready, they just got to play). So, with an audience we started a game of Duck Duck Goose, in Swahili of course.
Followed by a nice bit of running around. We were joined by some of the older kids for some races, which you may be surprised to hear, I joined in with! We ran up and down the covered play area for ages and ended with this little beauty:
Now, spending time with these kids you learn a bit about them, and how they like to dance. Some more than others….little Shee (pronounced Shey) is one of the ones who likes to dance a lot – Check him out
There wasn’t even any music. What I don’t really understand is the tongue thing!
After all the excitement of races one little soldier was a bit worn out. Poor Ruwa’s foot was looking a bit sore and infected, so, I had a bit of a clean up with my handy little medical kit and we had a bit of a cuddle, which led to:
Saying there was not much to report was not really true! I seem to have had a bit of a busy day! Whilst Ruwa was sleeping and Mariam was leading a lesson that I didn’t understand, it was in Swahili after all, I managed to get creative yet again. check out my latest creation!
A Kenyan song to teach numbers
I think we have established that I will NEVER be an artist!
I helped serve lunch again today. It’s actually a lot of fun, some of the kids are really shy whilst some of them are really chatty and funny! I have been slowly teaching them to say thank you when taking food, and for some of them it is rubbing off which makes me pretty chuffed!
The queue to be fed!
Lunch today was beans maize and cabbage, not one of my favourites but the children seem to like it. Followed by a nice wedge of green orange (I have NO idea why they are green skinned)
Shee doesn't half pull some weird faces, still a little cutie!
After lunch I went and spent some time with Standard year 6, I wanted to get a feel for ‘lessons’ and not just what goes on with KG1, although I do love them!! I sat in on a maths class, I was always pretty good at maths (until I got to 6th form and attempted an A-Level in it….oops) so I could actually aid their learning which was great. They were studying sequences, which having not studied in a number of years I had forgotten the basic principles! This didn’t matter, the children appreciated the help, as did the teacher I think. What did upset me was the obvious poverty of the school. It is easy to look at the fantastic building they have and the large amount of land they have and think Shikamana is a rich school. I would forgive you for thinking that, it sure went through my mind when I first arrived there . But spending time in the classroom and watching a class of 30 share about 7 text books makes you change these thoughts.
After school was done I met Carla to head to the beach for some serious chill time. She had been up in Nairobi sorting her NCK registration and I just didn’t fancy going home! We were told by a local that the beach was “full” which confused us a little considering its a pretty large beach…turned out he was right, it was full…of water! The tide was in so no beach, We chilled out on the steps enjoying the breeze and fresh air anyway. We followed this by a hunt for Kikoys (possibly the most useful thing I have ever owned) in Ukunda. Knowing they are around 350 KSH in Mombassa where they are made, and can be over 1000KSH at the beach we had our bartering heads on (well Carla did, I am English remember) and we had Juma with us which always helps when trying to avoid “tourist prices”. We also somehow picked up Eric, a local guy who wanted to help and to show us his sisters shop! Through Carla, Juma and Eric we managed to get the price down from 2500 KSH for 3 to 1500KSH for 3! woo hoo, and they are so pretty!
I have told you about the Spanish Mama’s and their slight obnoxiousness (no, that’s not fair, only one of them is obnoxious) Well today she took it to a WHOLE new level! Yesterday they did their introduction to the projects and have come away VERY angry at Travellers for various reasons but they have decided that to spite Travellers they will not spend time at the projects!! They have raised quite a bit of money to head out to Kenya which is great and neither of them are exactly broke (both vets and not mid 20’s) so instead of spending time with the children they have decided to play the “rich white person” card and buy things. Yes, the schools and orphanages need things and yes they are very happy to receive but having spent time with the kids I am a firm believer that you can do more good by giving a bit of love to children who may not otherwise get it. Don’t just rock up and buy stuff, spend time getting to know their needs and then, if possible finance things that become clear!
I got an earful tonight when I questioned Ana on how their day was. I knew (through Carla who had a day off) that they had only left at 9:30 and had gone to the beach by 13:00. Now, unless my maths is actually bad, this is a MAXIMUM of 3.5 hours, and considering it takes about 30 minutes to get to one of the projects you are looking at more like 2.5 hours. So when I asked had they managed to spend any time with the kids (not in a malicious way, simply as an enquiry) and was told 5 hours, you can imagine the shock. It was at this point I got called stupid and that it was none of my business anyway (maybe they are right, maybe its none of my business but if they are going to come into Shikamana and disrupt the children’s day then it is kind of my business) She was so rude I had no idea what to say or do, so I walked out of the compound. This did not go down too well with the family, especially not Daniel! I was followed by Kazungu, Daniel, Combo (who didn’t seem to know what was happening and just wanted to be involved) and then Daniels Father! lets just say that I will NOT be spending any unnecessary time at the house or with her. I refuse to let such a horrible woman ruin my last few days in such a wonderful place!
So what was meant to be a short post is longer than some of my uni essays! I hope I kept you reading!!