"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world.
Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." - Margaret Mead

Building Futures, Inc.

Building Futures, Inc.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Monday, August 5, 2013

Andrea and Kevin went out for an early morning run at 6:30.  They wanted to go earlier, but it wasn’t light yet.  I stopped out for a picture after a took a hot shower in Kevin’s room.  Still no hot water for us.

 Everyone talked through breakfast with the conversations surrounding the previous day’s events.  Kit mikayi was the most talked about.  I showed them pictures of the bats we walked under.  At the time, I didn’t have the heart to tell them there were probably hundreds of bats above our heads; they probably wouldn’t have believed me anyway.  But this morning, I showed them the pictures.  They were not pleased.
We headed out at 8am.  Noel Shinali was arrived last night, so she walked with us to school.  Again, we told stories the entire way.  It was a beautiful day with large white puffy clouds painted onto a brilliant blue background.  They’re won’t be any rain this morning.  That meant, however, it was going to get hot, fast.  It did, but because the majority of the walk to school is downhill, it wasn’t uncomfortable.  We passed by the preschool that's located right next to our guest house.  The children all ran to the fence and we shook their hands and answered "Fine" to each one of their, "How ah you?"  
As we walked, we stopped and chatted with people periodically.  Children were much more interested in us, so we took quite a few pictures.  “Picture, picture!”  they’d cry, but it sounds like “pee-chah, pee-chah.”  At that age, they don’t know a lot of English, but they’ve got this word down pat.  Katie, Kevin, Karen, Richie and Noel kept a good pace and were often quite far ahead of us.  They would stop at the spots where we would normally turn to wait for us to catch up. 
We stopped to see Caleb at his home where we meat his wife Winnie and their son.  The kid was adorable!  Winnie prepared a beautiful table full of tea, ground nuts and mandazi (think of it as a 3rd world fried cake, only very tasty).  We each ate our fill as we snapped pictures of everyone.  Their son, was passed to Andrea, then to Karen, then to Sam and Amie.  It started heading south when Karen was holding him… it didn’t help that Caleb left the room at the same time.  He eventually returned and started playing with him.  A two-tooth smile was soon across his face.  We went outside, took some more pictures, and began the last leg of our walk to the school with Caleb joining us.
We ran into Mama Helen.  She had her eye out for us because she didn’t see us on Saturday.  Hugs, sometimes really long hugs, were given out to everyone.  I think Karen won that one.
We got to the school and yes, more chai and mandazi.   But first we played with the children for a bit.  We had to cut the chai short, , we had to insist that we get to work.  The girls met with students and teachers to review the Pad Project, and guys went to work at the clinic, planting more trees and flowers.  We joined back together at the secondary school, just before lunch (1:30). 

The meal would have to wait, however, because Kevin's been talkin' smack with Job since we got here.  Job has yet to beat Kevin in a 100 yard dash.  Today was no different.  First he beat Job (for the third time), then he beat Noel, then he beat two younger boys for the primary school.  Kenyans should not be losing races, but they are in Maseno! Kevin won all three.  After Kevin got his breathing back we headed up the hill to have something to eat.

Lunch was wonderful and included watermelon and some might fine fried chicken.  When I went back for seconds, there wasn't any.  Perhaps we'll get some tonight.
After lunch, the girls went to the secondary school to meet about the pad project while the boys returned to the clinic site.  I stayed behind and met with the secondary school headmaster Tom.  First, I presented him with an enormous bag full of supplies donated by Winslow Elementary School.  Several years ago, they donated enough money for a classroom that was dedicated to a former student who passed away.  They pens, pencils, sharpeners, markers, crayons, etc.  They were very well receeived, and we had a great meeting! 
This guy's really buttoned up.  We were standing outside talking about projects for the school when I asked him what he envisioned in ten years.  He didn't hesitate, and had a great answer...  Laboratory, library, fish pond, and a safe, leveled field for playing.  We talked more inside.

I came out shortly after the girls finished with their meeting, and we gathered at the clinic site to meet with Isaac and discuss the day's events.  The painter Jactun did a great job on the doctors/nurses house. We gave him a piece of paper with a design on it, and he completed the painting today.  It looks beautiful and is a fitting tribute to Hannah Congdon.
Samuel came to the clinic to help us, "push off" - another Kenyan custom.  While everyone loaded into the van, Andrea and I decided to walk back.  It was quite taxing.  We didn't slow the pace from a very fast walk.  I was tempted to ask Ann, "Where's the fire?", but we were surrounded by them!  It was dinner time, and everyone in the homes along the road were cooking on charcoal.  We talked the entire way home about the work we were doing, what still needed to be done, and how this trip was going.
Andrea and I had finally reached the gates of Maseno U, when we saw an old friend, Lucas "Champion" Ogulo.  He's also a friend of Kevin's, so he followed us across the street in the hopes of greeting him. 
We found them in the school pitch, where he was with the others preparing to play whiffle ball.  He saw Champion walking with us and immediately ran over to say hello.  We sat and talked  a bit before the whiffle ball game resumed.

They only had 20 minutes to play because Rhoda and Francesca were just preparing dinner.  Although the time was short, there will still some great plays.  Kevin was especially proud to have been the pitcher when Amie (Coach Carr) struck out (she went down swinging!), and Katie caught an outfield fly to end the game!
Dinner was ready on time which left us time to play charades in front of the check-in desk.  Hilarity ensued. Everyone was laughing until an enormous bug/insect flew in the front door.  If it had a name it would be "Wrong Way Feldman."  The thing flew right into Amie, which sent everyone ducking for cover (Amie included).  The game continued as we tried to figure out what it was.  Could it be the praying mantis we found on the window? No.  It certainly wasn't the lizard climbing the wall behind the couch. No.  Were we exaggerating the size?  Maybe it was the little moth that was on the opposing wall?  No.  It seemed to have disappeared... then Amie spotted the attacker just outside the door.  It was like she was picking it out of a line-up through one-way glass.  "That was it!"
Two inches of all nasty with a three inch wingspan.  True to his name, Wrong Way Feldman flew back inside and into Richie this time.  Everyone ducked for cover, again.  It landed behind a door next to where I was sitting so I picked it up by the wing and asked Kevin to take him back outside.  He did, but it didn't last long.  He flew back inside yet again, probably to ask why Kevin threw him outside like he was still pitching the whiffle ball game. He landed on the floor too far away from me to reach.  Andrea intervened, ensuring he would never return... and she used her sandal to do so.  There's plenty more where that came from.

Shortly thereafter, we all retired.  

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