Sunday, August 29, 2010

Ingrid's Kenya Journal, Part 4, July 30-31, 2010

Friday, July 30, 2010

The Framptons brought a rose brand for desks, so Brayden decided to donate his Eagle Scout desks to Dzivani and they were branded, the rose brand a symbol for Sophie Rose, McCall's friend who died a few weeks ago.  We left the Framptons to brand, and Curt showing how the Synergy stencil is to be used to identify some other desks.
Rose brand for Frampton School desks
A group of us decided to go to a school about a hour away, Kibandaongo, where albino chldren go.  I was expecting a large group of albino children but there were only about 5 actually there.  It was the last day of school before the break, so that might be why.  There was a short performance by the children.  We toured the facility, which was built in 1968 but had recently been renovated by a donor from Holland.  They are building a dorm for the albino children to live in while they attend school.  There are currently 16 children attending school there, but the dorm will house 48 from the surrounding area.  Ultimately, the goal is to bring all albino children from the area to this school to live.  While the rest of the group played with the children, Jami and I met with the school board and the head mistress, and she began listing her needs: matron for dorm, salary for matron, 48 beds for school, security, cistern, latrines, etc.  I stopped her and explained the policies of Koins, putting 10% up front, and the fact that we need to work closer to Mnyenzeni.  I hope we can find a sponsor for the beds or specific need they have, but I let them know we wouldn't be able to take care of their construction needs. Albino children have a difficult life in Kenya.  They are picked on and often segregated from their peers, they are often subject to violence and even death at the hands of local witch doctors, and just living in the Kenyan sun is hard on them.  Every albino I have ever seen is burned, peeling, blistered, squinting in the sun, and because they don't have access to sunscreen and sunglasses, they just live with it. 
Albino boy at Kibandaongo school
We then handed out hats to the albino kids, and took photos.  Matt Reinhardt specifically asked that we give the hats to albino kids.  We fit them as best we could, the Christensen's had a good safari hat that was great for a larger boy.  I took photos of the kids individually and with their parents.  One of the mothers had 2 albino children.  I would like to know more about why there are so many in this area.  There is a special education department of the Ministry of Education that is focusing on children with special needs.  They are using our Sean Michels School as a model to create boarding schools that cater to the needs of kids, such as albinos.  I am glad to see it happen.  It will still require a lot of private money to see the schools and dorms built, but there is an awareness that these kids need help, and that is a beginning.
Mother with her 2 albino children
Back to the KCC.  I talked to Lillian (who had come to Mnyenzeni today from Nairobi to speak to Mishi Matano and others about IOL), at length about life (she is a single woman, living in Nairobi, mid-thirties), the LDS church in Kenya (she has been a member for 16 years and served a mission in Nairobi) and IOL (she has worked with Marylynn Clark for about 10 years and it is her livelihood).  It was interesting to hear her perspective on life.  She rode through the night from Nairobi, spent the day with us, and was riding the bus back to Nairobi that night.
Ingrid and Lillian, from Inside Out Learning program
For dinner we had pilau with dehydrated chicken, fruit, vegetables.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Early rising today, Jason and Dallin organized a race from Mnyenzeni to Dzivani.  It started at 7:30, (actually nearly 8:00, but this is Africa)  7 girls from our group ran, and Dallin, Jason, and James ran.
Runners from our group
Paul films start of race with on motorcycle with Bret
Race starts at the KCC - notice the assorted footwear of the runnners

There were over 100 that signed up for the race, about 80 that actually showed up, and a little more than 50 that finished.  Our girls were the only females that ran, and the Kenyans didn't seem to understand why they were running.  Paul filmed much of the race on the back of Bret's motorcycle, backwards.  Pretty amazing.  
Injured runner being tended to
Dallin and Jason on the run to Dzivani
Road to Dzivani
I went with a van that picked up people along the way to Divani.  We picked up several of our girls, Jami was the last one running.  We approached a crowd on the side of the road and a man was laying there, writhing.  We stopped, Naomi jumped out and started taking care of him.  She asked Jami for some ointment, so Jami handed her the Icy Hot.  Naomi then rubbed it into his arms and legs, which seemed to appease him enough that he jumped spryly into our van and rode the rest of the way sitting next to me.  Just want I wanted, to be squished next to a profusely sweating Kenyan in a crowded van.  We continued on our way, passing Jason and Dallin, and leaving them in a cloud of dust.  We got to Dzivani, where there had already been over 20 finishers arrive.  Dallin and Jason arrived, to tears  (Jason's) and cheers (the crowd).  It was quite emotional and the first time Jason had seen the village, therefore even more so for him.  The Frampton's then went to check out Dallin's mud hut before we started gathering for the celebration.  
Bret with the winner of the race
Dallin and Jason at finish line
Frampton family inside Dallin's mud hut home since March
There was a huge crowd at the presentation.  Jason awarded prizes to the top 6 finishers of the race, and the school was turned over to the community.  Every politician in the near vicinity chose to speak there.  When I saw the schedule for the celebration, I knew it would be a long one.  Several of us left 45 minutes after it started, but the celebration lasted more than 4 hours for the rest of the group.   I am glad we were able to leave, even though we had a longer day going into Mombasa to shop. 
Dallin's designated Kenyan parents
Celebration of the opening of Dzivani school begins
Frampton's watching the celebration
Jami, Sue, Sara, Robyn, Kaitlyn and I went to Mombasa to get groceries at Nakumatt.  We also got groceries and shower items for Chakaya and KweKwe.  As we were leaving I had Milton (our driver) call Anthony to see if there were any other errands to do in Mombasa.  We ended up shopping all the little shops for wedding food for 250.  It was hot, sticky, gritty and exhausting.  Biashara Street is always an interesting place, and white people are such a novelty.  We stopped at a place for spice, a place for tomatoes, a place for rice and beans, and a place for wedding cake.  It was a bakery run by a group of Indian's (I think) and they were well spoken and talkative.  We were all speaking with our village accent (something you start doing after a while here, it helps the villagers understand your English better), looking dusty and disheveled, so they probably wondered what in the heck we were doing buying two cakes for a wedding.  I am always intrigued by the diversity of the crowd on Biashara Street.  Everything from women in black burkah's with only their eyes showing to girls in shorts and tank tops, from a man in white flowing muslim robes and a bright neon orange beard to Indian men in modern casual clothes.  I loved seeing the beautiful women in their beaded saris or scarves, henna on their hands and feet, riding in the three wheel taxi's.  It must have been the time to be out, or a religious meeting had just ended because we saw a lot of them on the street walking and riding in vehicles. Our van was full to overflowing with food, so we headed back to the village. 
Buying food on Biashara Street
Construction project in Mombasa
Typical transportation vehicle in Mombasa (one pulls in front, one pushes behind)
Skyline of Mombasa, mud huts to high rise apartments
Woman working in the cornfields on the way back to Mnyenzeni
Sunset over Mwache river
After dinner there was a discussion of the wedding plans, then we met Kwe Kwe and had a gift shower for the she and Chakaya.  She is a very shy young woman, and the attention of the white women seemed almost painful to her. 


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