Edinaday (How are you?) It’s been another great week here in Kenya! We’re really settling in to a groove here. We have made lots of connections in Mikei center since we’re regular customers. We’ve become accustomed to the teachers greeting us in their typical tone of surprise as they say “Ahhh you are here, you have arrived?”. Even though we have been arriving at the same times on the same days for the past several weeks.
This week we finished up our lessons on STI’s. We’ve been doing situation cards with the students, it was great to watch them put the information they learned into practise. We’ve now started our lessons on HIV. The students begin learning about HIV in science in Class 4, so we are trying to focuses heavily of stigma, testing, debuncking myths, and the free treatment available to Kenyans.
Maddy with Nelson and Gabriela from Mikei Primary
After a full day of teaching on Monday, we came home only to realize that our propane tank – one burner stove – was out of fuel. It was clear we would need to cook on the coal stoves that the locals use. We’d been trying to get the coals hot enough to cook on for about 45 minutes when our good friends, students, and neighbours, Vasty and Constance came to the rescue. They managed to have a roaring fire in about 3 minutes and taught was we would need to fan the coals constantly in order to maintain the heat needed to cook. It took as awhile, but we managed to make a delicious meal of chapatti breakfast burritos. Quite a cultural mix!
Walking up to one of our classes
Tuesday and Wednesday ran smoothly! We had all our classes expect for Lucie and Maddy’s favourite class 8 because they were writing exams. Maddy and Lucie used that time to explore the centre – which is one road of about 40 tin huts. They were lucky enough to find a wonderfully talented tailor named Joseph! He is the father of 3 of our students – so it’s nice to know our business is going towards their education.
At the end of a long day of teaching on Wednesday we were talking to our delightful driver Cosmos about the following day. After awhile, we clued in and realized that June 1st is Kenya Independence Day (Madaraka Day), meaning all schools would be cancelled and the students would spend the day resting. We called the schools to confirm this, and found that only our Radienya Secondary students would be at schools because they board there. We decided to walk there in the afternoon to visit with our students. We played sports, sang and danced, chatted with the students, and struggled to help them with their math students. It was really great to spend time without students in a more informal setting.
Radienya student doing his math homework
To end the week we invited some of our neighbours over for dinner. Vasty, Magzil, Macrine, Mary-Cruz (Macrine’s jolly round baby!!) and Constance. We decided to make spaghetti since that been a hit with some of the other kids in the neighbourhood, but it did not have the reaction we had hoped for. They really really really did not like the pasta. Fortunately we also had chapatti. Our guest ate a well-balanced meal of chapatti and more chapatti.
A group shot at Mikei Primary School
This weekend we went to Kisumu with our host Edward to see a new side of Kenya. Kisumu is a city about three hours away from Mikei. The urban hustle and bustle was a huge changed from our slow rural life style in Mikei. We took the ferry on Lake Victoria and we lucky enough to see hippos swimming on the way. We had our usual Saturday meeting with Edward but it was nice to see him in a new setting.
The ferry to Kisumu
We’ve been busy planning for our sports tournament coming up on June 16th. We’ve started handing out invitations at each school. Everyone is really looking forward to the event! We’ll have soccer, net ball, sack races, “tug of peace”, volleyball, colouring and dancing. Most importantly there will be free HIV testing for any students, teachers or community members. It should be a fun filled day! It will be exciting to have all our students in the same place. We’re shocked at how quickly the time has gone by, but we are looking forward to this event as a proper send-off to our 2017 initiative.