Friday, 14 February 2020

Our First Days in Kenya

We know you have been waiting to hear from us.  It’s been a very busy few days but are very glad to be able to share our adventures so far.

February 9 - 11

We started our travel with a major glitch causing us to arrive in Nairobi much later than planned. Due to a severe storm in Europe, we were forced to change our connecting flight to Nairobi via Dubai instead of Zurich causing a domino effect. Instead of arriving early Monday night, we landed in Nairobi just before 6 am on Tuesday morning. As you can imagine, we were all extremely tired after this extended travel with little to no sleep. But in the big picture... first world problem! 
Luckily Faraj was there to greet us, help us collect and load all our luggage and bring us over to Kijiji House to freshen up. 
You would think we would take a little time to rest but decided to hit the ground running to try and stay awake as long as possible. Off to the elephant sanctuary! Seeing those baby elephants running in to be fed and hearing each one’s story was truly a wonderful way to begin our stay!  
We headed back to Kijiji House to unpack, get our bearings and try to stay awake for as long as we could. The next day was going to be a big one! We were heading to Compass school to meet staff and students and begin our two and a half day stint to see how things were going there.

February 12:  Compass school Day 1

We arrived to some very happy children waving and yelling Holly and Jeannine’s names as they recognized them from Tumaini Afrika’s previous visits. Others giggled when they saw four new faces coming out of the van, one sporting a beard, others with hair like they had never seen. There were high fives for everyone before we were directed to a classroom to be treated to a wonderful production of songs and poems by some of the classes. 

Classroom Welcome


Holly Doing Her Thing
We were also introduced to the board members and staff members and welcomed as friends... no longer visitors. That was a very touching statement that speaks volumes to the work that Tumaini Afrika members and supporters have been doing for the past 6 years.

After all the formalities, we got to work visiting the different classrooms, speaking to staff, teaching a few classes and distributing some Days For Girls kits. 

Days For Girls Kits
Days For Girls Kits





Bruce headed to the hardware store with Faraj to gather supplies and tools for painting classrooms and repairing desks for the next day. Jeannine even got in a quick game of football (that would be soccer to us Canadians) so they could test out their new soccer balls before we left for the day. What a great day!!

February 13:  Compass school Day 2

Another busy day!  After being greeted by staff and students, we went back to work! Bruce and Faraj started painting and repairing with the help of many helpful little hands! Holly taught a geography class comparing Canada to Kenya. 

Students seemed quite happy to hear about the similarities and the differences and asked many questions. Younger students jumped right into an art class with Judy, Linda and Jeannine. Micheline met with teachers to ask about special needs in their class and help with teaching strategies. Let’s just say they have very little and need a lot!   

We spent the afternoon focussing on the Crèche, the current location for the 3-5 year olds and future site of Compass. We toured the buildings and studied the plans for new buildings to house the needed classrooms. It is certainly very promising for both students and staff. 

From there, we travelled to meet with David Wakogy, the founder of Compass along with the board members and invited guests Julia Clark, a Saultite who now lives in Kenya and Lois Shaw, our friend and trip organizer. You will all have to wait until our presentation in the Sault to find out what it was all about but we can tell you that we were extremely impressed and felt very positive about the happenings and future of our Crèche and Compass students and staff!!!

February 14 

We are tired! We will tell you about it tomorrow :-)

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