Tuesday, June 25, 2013

The Elewana Education Project

Me standing outside the Elewana offices.
As I have mentioned in previous posts, there is an Episcopal missionary named Rev. Zach Drennen who runs a project out in Amagoro, which is Western Kenya almost to the Ugandan border. It is called The Elewana Education Project. Amagoro is a relatively unreached area in terms of aid so they work with the Diocese of Katakwa to support secondary education through sponsorships, technology and community development.

I have been wanting to get out there and visit since even before I arrived in Kenya. Of course, it came down to my last week, but I am so thankful I got out there. It is a beautiful section of Kenya. I stayed in the mission house with Zach and another volunteer, Paul. It is clear that Zach and the rest of the staff is well known and loved in the community. The most important member of the Elewana family, though, is Bob. Bob is Zach's dog. He resides at the mission house and has become a beloved fixture around Amagoro. All of the kids get so excited when they see Bob pass on his walks.

St. Peter's Aterait Secondary School
In the short 6 days I was there I got to help plan for the Episcopal High School group who arrived Saturday, attend an event about English teaching put on by the cultural affairs office of the U.S. Embassy, go to Kisumu for the BIG shopping trip, and visit Mt. Elgon! It was a busy 6 days, but I loved every minute. The staff at the house and office were so warm and welcoming. The school we visited, St. Peter's Secondary School, is one of the best I have seen. Episcopal High School is working with the students there over the next 2 weeks to do a service project in the community. When we did the preliminary visit the principal and the teachers were great and seemed to genuinely love what they do. That passion is not something you see everyday, especially radiating through an entire school. I cannot wait to hear how the project turns out.

Now I am back in Nairobi and believe it or not this is my last full day in Kenya until August! It is really hard to believe that I get on a plane tomorrow night and arrive back in the US on Thursday. I am not sure how to feel about going home. I am definitely excited to see friends and family, but there is some uncertainty about what it will feel like to be home after a year away. Since I will be returning in August I do not need to be too sad this time and I do not have to say any final goodbyes yet, which is nice. I am sure there will be a lot of reflection to come. All I know right now is that this has been the most incredible year so far and despite the many challenges here, my love for this country has only grown. Hope everyone is having a good week. Talk to you back in the US!

Below are some more pictured from my trip out to Amagoro. Enjoy!
Diocese of Katakwa Mission House.

The mission house.

Me with Mama Beatrice. She makes some stellar chapati!

Paul (another volunteer) and Leonard (the house boy and future marathon star).

The science lab at St. Peter's.

On the way out to the school.

On the way up to Mt. Elgon.

We stopped for tea at the Mt. Elgon Lodge

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