Thursday, January 31, 2013

January Recap

Rain and thunder have been the soundtrack to life the past couple of nights. I am not complaining, though because without the rain the dust is terrible. So much has happened the past couple of weeks. First- thank you all for your prayers for Ryan and his family.  I was able to attend the burial last week with Rachel and some of the kids and community members from Dream's.  It was in DEEP Maasai Land. It was the furthest interior Kenya I have been thus far. We traveled for at least 4 hours on what should not qualify as a road to a place where there was no electricity or water at all.  The whole community gathered for the ceremony, which was mostly in Maasai with a Swahili translator so I did not understand much, but it was incredibly sweet and moving.  Surprisingly, it did not last very long at all, maybe an hour and then they carried the casket to the burial place where we all took a turn throwing some dirt in before the elders finished covering it.  After the burial they fed us a delicious lunch and then we packed up and headed home. It was an emotionally and physically exhausting day, but I was so thankful to be there.
Maasai Land

Ryan's brother, sister, and uncle at the burial
The rest of last week was spent getting acquainted with my new role as the Development Associate for the next six months.  I will be switching from my monitoring and evaluation job to work more with the social media, grant writing, and being the lead on our Pamoja program.  Our Pamoja program partners groups in the US with groups from Kenya to facilitate cross cultural relationships.  If you are interested in learning more about this or being a part of it please email me at I am working on updating our website and creating a new look for Tatua Kenya and Be The Change- Kenya so when that is complete I will share the new website with you all.  Until then you can still go to the old BTCKE Website for some information about Pamoja.

Giraffe Center
Last Saturday I got to spend the day with my friend Lara Shine.  She is an Episcopal priest from Nebraska who just spent a few weeks in South Sudan.  On her way home she stopped in Nairobi for a few days and I was able to meet up with her and Jim, her teammate.  We got coffee at Java House, then went to the Giraffe Center, and stopped at Nyumba Ya Tumaini so they could meet some of the people I work with here.  It was a great day. To find out more about our adventure and their trip to South Sudan you should read Lara's blog.

Yesterday I got a new roommate.  Natalie and I went to the airport last night to pick up my new friend Andrew Nazdin.  He is from Washington, D.C. and will be staying with us for the month of February to teach a community organizing course to our newly hired community organizers.  Our staff has doubled in the past 5 days which is very exciting.  We hired 4 of the young adults who completed the program last year to be full time community organizers for this program year.  They will spend this month in an intensive course that will prepare them to go out to their assigned communities and get people moving around child poverty.

Me with Clinton
Today was a really special day.  I woke up at 5:30AM so that I could meet my friend David Kariuki in town.  He is the Kenyan country coordinator for an organization called Bright Point For Children. They are a child sponsorship organization that my family sponsors a young man through here in Kenya.  His name is Clinton and I met him while I was here in May 2011. David and I drove out Mombasa Road to a community called Ngaamba to see Clinton at school.  He is now in class 8, which means he is a candidate this year for his KCPE exams.  I could not believe how tall he was.  We got to spend some time together and I brought him some paper, crayons, and pens.  He told me how he still loved science and still wants to be an engineer.  The head teacher had wonderful things to say about him.  It was such a gift to see him and I plan on making it happen more while I am here.  Please pray that he continues to excel in school and that he will get good marks on his exams so that he can be sent to a good secondary school.  Life is not always easy out in the village, but all of the children at Ngaamba Central Primary were so full of joy!
Ngaamba Central Primary School
The last bit of news I will leave you with is that my mom comes in less than one week, which also means I will have been here for 6 months in less than a week!! Can you believe it? I can't!

Hope you are all well! Siku njema! (Good day!)

No comments:

Post a Comment