Sunday, January 8, 2012

The Frampton's in Kenya - Dzendereni Crossfit School Project

Dallin Frampton and his father, Jason, spent a week in Kenya in December 2011.  Dallin had previously lived in Kenya for several months while building a school in the village of Dzivani.  This time, the school was built in the village of Dzendereni, and built with funds donated by Crossfit.  This is a journal of Dallin's experiences in December.

Jason and Dallin in front of Crossfit School in Dzendereni, Kenya

After a long flight and 32 hours after leaving Utah, my dad and I finally got into Mombasa late Thursday night, December 1st.  Only he and I went on this trip, which lasted just over a week, in order to finish up the Dzendereni Crossfit school project and hand it over to the village.

The new, unpainted Crossfit School in Dzendereni

Dallin mixing paint for classroom walls

Jason painting the interior of the school

We spent all day Friday, December 2nd in the town of Mombasa purchasing everything from food, paint for the school project and supplies we were going to need for building the 20 desks we were making for the school.  After Mombasa wiped us out and we got into the village later that night, the excitement and suspense of getting out to the school that next morning began to set in.  The plan was to head out to Dzendereni early and start painting everything we could with the soft white base color we had, and then kind of play it by ear from there.  They welcomed us that Saturday morning just like any other Koins village would, with all the board members and school children waiting for us to arrive and the opportunity to get down and dirty with us on their newest building.  I don’t think my dad knew what he was getting himself into as all the board members rushed to his side to meet him, and it was pretty funny watching him shake his head uncomprehendingly as they would smile and greet him in Duruma.  All day was spent in that beautiful village with the work crew getting as much painting done as we could. Unfortunately, we ran out with only a few more gables to finish up.  Anthony was heading into town the following morning, so he picked us up a couple more gallons and we were going to finish up the base coat of white and start the brown skirting the following Monday. 

Water available to villagers, a result of Kevin's Creek Dam project

Kevin's Creek Dam
Women waiting at clinic, recipients of new baby blaknets

Jason giving a new dress to a Kenyan girl

    Sunday was more of a mellow day for us as we started out by taking a walk down to the newly constructed dam to take some pictures and check it out.  We also had a lot of baby blankets and dresses we had been given to give out, so we found new owners for those over the course of our stay in Mnyenzeni.  After a cool little church service we had in the KCC, we headed out to my second home in the village of Dzivani where I was lucky enough to live for 5 months during the months of March-August 2010.  I was blown away by the way in which these teachers took my advice to heart when I left them over a year ago to head back to the states.  I told them that when I returned to the village, I wanted to see as many trees as they could plant on the school property, and they weren’t messing when they took that project on.  The school grounds of Dzivani use to be dry and desolate, and now it looks like there could be monkeys swinging from the trees in the year-old forest that is now on the grounds.

New trees in front of Austin Frampton School in Dzivani

Villagers with Jason and Dallin in front of Dzivani school

Dallin addressing villagers in Dzivani classroom

Giving pencils to school children at Dzivani

Dallin in front of the hut he lived in while building the Austin Frampton school

Dallin with the Dzivani soccer team

It was amazing, and almost surreal as I walked into the Austin Frampton school after a year and a half away from there, thinking about all the long days I was able to work with the crew on that building.  We walked around for a little while and checked out old and new sites, then the soccer team played a game for us out in the Dzivani field which was really fun to watch since we had brand new team uniforms donated to them during the summer expedition of 2010.  We didn’t get back to Koins until late that night because it was so hard to leave the village that I had grown to love so much.

Dallin in the Koins workshop, cutting wood for desks

Dallin assembling desk parts
Finished desks ready to take to Dzendereni

Jason painting the Crossfit school at Dzendereni

Dallin and crew painting the exterior of the Crossfit school

Final touches on the Crossfit school

    Monday was when we really had to get after it.  The guys from Crossfit HQ were coming out to Dzendereni for the handing over ceremony on Wednesday, so we had to make sure all the painting of the school was for sure finished, but we also had desks to build to fill up the classrooms.  We headed out early Monday morning to paint the dominant Crossfit brown color on the school for the skirting inside the classroom and more of an outline color on the outside.  All the school board members and even the head teacher all helped us paint, so we were covering a lot of ground fairly quickly.  We only finished the two classroom skirts that morning, and still had to do all the outside painting and the Head Teacher’s office the next day.  We then headed back to Koins around lunch time so we could start knocking out some desks.  The wood that comes in from Mombasa is in bad shape, so we first have to spend a while planing it just so we can get it down so it is smooth enough to measure into all the different sections we need for the desks.  So we had a total of four guys working on these things including me, my dad, Mwanzara and John.  Luckily they already had a bunch made, so it wasn’t quite as stressful as the thought of trying to finish up 20 desks in one afternoon.  My little brother’s school also did a little fundraiser before we left for this trip and were able to provide an additional 3 desks to the mix and so we were able to paint “Rosecrest” on the front of a few of them.  We finished all the desks just before sunset and we were able to crash after another tasty meal provided by my second mother, Mama Emily.

Dallin paints Rosecrest on desks for Dzendereni

Finished desks ready to go to Dzendereni
A fine Kenyan meal of ugali and chicken

    Tuesday called for some serious African improv, which I tend to be pretty good at after living among the great people of Kenya for 5 months.  We were running seriously short on our brown paint, and we still had a bunch of painting to do on the outside.  We did, however, have plenty of turpentine and that mixes very nicely with oil based paint.  So we ‘watered’ it down to perfection and it still looked awesome and we ended up on having plenty of paint to finish up the Crossfit School.  Then we talked a little bit with the school board and chairman about how the handing over ceremony would happen in the morning.  After we left Dzendereni, Anthony, my dad and I all cruised into Mombasa to meet up with the Crossfit guys and give them a bit of a run down on how things would go the next day.  They were staying at the White Sands hotel, so they were very comfortable compared to us out in the village.  When we met up with these guys, it was just Sevan who is the media guy/film maker for Crossfit, and then Greg was there as well, who is the founder and CEO of Crossfit.  We had a lengthy conversation about what Koins was all about, our service area and everything Koins has accomplished in the last ten years or so.  They were still waiting for one of their team to arrive the next morning, so they would meet us in the village the following day and then we would cruise out to Dzendereni together.

Crossfit group touring Koins/SRA garden

Crossfit group in Mnyenzeni

Greg planting a tree outside Crossfit Dzendereni school

Finished Crossfit school

Opening celebration for Crossfit Dzendereni school

When they arrived at Mnyenzeni, we continued to take them around to all of our sites, the workshop, the new garden and of course the KCC.  I was fortunate enough to ride out in Greg’s car to the village, so we were talking about everything from Crossfitting, to why the people in Kenya do the different things that they do.  The handing over ceremony was one of the best and one of the shortest I have ever been to.  When we arrived, the school board took Greg and the crew down to the old school so they could see everything that they had been working with, and then they were escorted up to the new school building and the difference between these two structures is night and day.  The children actually have a concrete floor and a tin roof over their head rather than dirt floors and mud walls.  Greg and his team were all given Duruma names along with other gifts like canes, kikois and kanga cloths.  After only a few people talked and Greg said a few words, the school was officially opened and then we took a walk into the actual village of Dzendereni.  Greg was able to shepherd a few goats and Lisa was able to mill a little bit of maize in the way in which the ladies of Kenya do everyday.  We were leaving for back home the following morning, so we got back to the KCC that evening, began packing, and looked back on a trip that was definitely worth every minute. 

Dallin Frampton

Dzendereni Classroom Before

Dzendereni Crossfit Classroom after

Asante Sana, Crossfit, for your generous contribution to the village of Dzendereni.  You have built classrooms that will benefit generations of village children for the good. 


1 comment:

  1. I'm in Kenya and would love to come check this place out. what road is it near by? im at port of mombasa