Jambo! Jordan and Ryan here. We have a lot to cover so buckle up!
On Friday Jan 6th some students visited Umoja while others taught at Lorubae primary school. At Umoja we met all the women and got a chance to tour several huts and look at the water filtration systems that have been installed. The students who went to Lorubae got a chance to teach class (grade) 4 and 1. In the afternoon, we all joined together and worked on the second half of the guest hut at Unity. Minus one strip in the middle, the roof was pretty much done!
Saturday Jan 7th all of us went to Unity to work on the guest hut. We used machetes to dig holes, cut logs, dig small trenches, carve grooves into logs, split logs, and smooth timber. Who knew machetes could be so useful! At this point, the roof is done except for one tiny corner! Yay! In the afternoon, we went to a different village to assist them in re-roofing an elderly woman’s hut. The roof was in really rough shape and she was incredibly grateful we were able to help fix it. We even found another machete stashed inside the old roof; so add that to the list of things machetes are good for! Before leaving, the elderly woman gave each of us a blessing by blowing or kissing our hands. That night, we cooked dinner for our Kenyan friends and Isaya left for school. It was a hard goodbye but we are so grateful for all his help. It was incredible to meet him and we are glad to see him continue his education.
Sunday Jan 8th was a long day. We woke up before sunrise to drive 30 minutes out of town to the base of Ololokwe. It was a strenuous hike going up but the views were breathtaking. It took us 6 hours total to complete the hike and by the end of it, most of us were wiped out. Especially because coming down the trail, many of us became intimately acquainted with Kenya’s prickly foliage. In the afternoon, we loaded up the safari car and booked it through the Samburu reserve to make it to the lodge. We made it to the lodge and spent a few hours relaxing by the pool. We left around 5 for a final evening game drive. The amazing Charles, our driver, managed to get us within 20 feet of a leopard. Since the whole group was there, we all had the chance to lock eyes with this spectacular animal. Brett later contextualized the sighting by telling us that out of 150 drives, he’s only seen a leopard twice.
Monday Jan 9th we started school a week early (as teachers). So many of us wanted to teach that the actual teachers were able to hold a staff meeting. It was incredible to see how motivated the students were and how much they value their education. After lunch, one group went to visit Christine, a SYEF board member, social worker and overall amazing human being. She told us her inspiring story of all she endured to be able to go to school. She showed us the home that she currently raises 17 children in, only 4 of which are her own. This group eventually caught up with the others at Unity and work on the hut was resumed. The corner of the roof was finally finished and the interior is nearing completion. The women called the mzungus into the hut for a rap battle and sing off.
Today, the group split into thirds. One portion went to teach again at Lorubae, another went to town to get haircuts at the Kenyozi, and the rest stayed at Unity to put finishing touches on the hut and bead with the women. The groups joined up at Unity to bead before heading home for lunch. In the afternoon, we went back to Unity to spend more quality time with the women before having to say goodbye tomorrow morning.
“Want to play rocks?” – Jordan
“This baby only cries when it sees me sometimes now” – Ryan
“Why are you crying?? You have a toy in your hand” – Brett
“DJ ARRYYYYY! Five star DJ!” – Harry and everyone else
“No Benedict, Latrisse is not your child” – Lorena
“OMG my mate died! What do I do?! I’m so scared! I guess I’ll just die!” – Dik-dik
*Someone speaking Samburu rapidly* “Didja get all that?” – Karina
“Watoto. Chomo. Watototototo Chomo!” – ZZ
“I think this kid is actually a liquid” – Spencer
Until next time, Lesere!