Well, this is the final daily blog for this trip but do continue to watch the website as I am sure ongoing pictures will be added as Ray still has a further two weeks out here.
Today we were down at the office in time for the weekly food distribution. Victor had once again been able to provide a good supply of kales from the farm plot and each person received some along with their bag of maize flour. There was quite a queue and some were turned away after supplies had all gone. Two brothers who are both HIV positive came in today along with two others on crutches and they c in first, along with mother’s and children. Those who are unable to make the walk have a home delivery and the team went off with those once supplies had been used up and the office swept and tidied up.
One of the HIV ladies who is now quite used to Sarah approached her and told her that her eyes hurt. She was referred to Joyce for interpretation who said that this is very common and one of the symptoms that goes along with the condition. It usually means they are not taking all their medicines or eating a healthy diet to help with it. She was advised on that and returned home, seeming quite satisfied but maybe just having needed some reassurance that she knew she could get if she popped in to the office.
Ray went out on the home visits which were hot and dusty work this morning as it felt as though a storm may be in the air.
Whilst he was out, one of the young teenage girls that Doxa sponsor came into the office. (The schools have a mid term break today and Monday). Marion attends a boarding school that Doxa pay for and she is one of the children who would have had no education at all if this were not so. She is extremely intelligent and comes top in pretty much every subject. She admits to being very competitive and wanting to succeed but her overwhelming desire is to give back some of what she has been given. She is such a lovely, unassuming young lady who wants to go on to university when she finishes secondary school and then become a lawyer, returning to the slum area as an advocate for her own people.
Her daily routine consists of getting up at – wait for it! – 2.40am so that she can shower (cold), do all her preparation for the day in advance of helping others do theirs. School starts at 5 am and they have lights out at 9.30pm. She is a prefect and wants to be a good example to the other girls and also to her younger siblings.
When Kim returned from doing his share of the home deliveries, it was time for him to set up his barbering service! Children come into the office, have their hair/head washed and then he shaves their heads. He has a mirror on the wall, the proper gown to put around them and an electric shaver. The sign over the mirror reads “Kim’s Kuts”
When Ray returned from his visits and he and Victor could take over babysitting duties until Kim was free. Sarah, David and Joyce went off to meet another lady who had specifically asked Sarah to visit whilst she was here. It has become quite a regular visit for both of us to make, and as today was the last opportunity for Sarah, we took her food delivery as the excuse to see her. Her granddaughter was also at home, and is another youngster that Doxa have sponsored for many years now. She is in her second year of secondary school and would like to become a journalist so hopes to study media and communications at college or uni.
It is so encouraging to see these young people who are sticking with their studies, as it is all too easy to fall in with the wrong crowd and drop out of education, end up pregnant and know that life will always be an uphill struggle from thereon.
As they walked back, they popped in to see another young girl who had been harassed by local drunks whilst walking to the school bus. She had only been saved from rape or worse by a local motorbike driver who heard her screaming and went to her rescue. She seemed to have recovered from her ordeal but it does go to show, just how dangerous it can be in the slum in the dark.
As they continued their walk, they came across Kim who was splitting firewood for the lady who makes the chips we have for lunch. So many different roles that he fulfils in the community – it seems that he will turn his hand to anything that is required.
After a communal lunch in the office, Joyce was able to have a Zoom call with the Enactus team in Exeter about the soap project. It was useful for them to be speaking face to face, especially as there is a team coming over for a short trip in the New Year, specifically to see about how to take the project forward.
Ray and Kim had meetings with a couple more of the Kenyan trustees of the CBO explaining to them how it would work etc. Then it was time for Sarah to say goodbyes to some of the team. Always a difficult time, but hastened on by the imminent threat of rain and the need to get back up the hill before the skies opened. As it turned out, they didn’t but there was still stuff to do back at the hotel
Tomorrow Sarah will be taken up to Nairobi where she, Ray, Kim and David will stay overnight before taking her to the airport for an early book in ready for the flight home. A night away in Nairobi is always a treat for the boys and so that works well.