Monday, 2 March 2020

The Adventure Continues

As you can imagine, it has been very challenging to update the blog on a daily basis. Although Team Faraj travelled home on this past weekend, we will continue to add to the blog until we have covered all our activities while in Kenya. Thank you for your understanding and happy reading!

February 19: Work Day at Compass:

As students and staff are currently on break, we thought it would be a good day to complete some work without disrupting classes and well... getting distracted by all those lovely and loving children. Let’s be realistic. You can’t get much done when you are talking, playing, singing and dancing!
We arrived to find members of the board, specifically the chairman David, working on the pile of desks we had started repairing during our last visit. Although they were also on break, all staff were there painting classrooms and desk legs and staining newly repaired desk surfaces. We also got help from the older current students who worked hard along side some former students, now in university. This was definitely not a typical work crew as it was a representation of the many levels of administration, staff, student body and supporters (including Faraj, once again) coming together for the success of this school and its community. 

The next task of the day was tree planting at the Crèche under the direction of David Wakogy.  We need not get into the symbolism of tree planting and its everlasting benefits to the environment to understand the significance of this ceremony. Groups comprised of a board, a staff, a former student and a Tumaini Afrika member planted at least seven trees on site. Thank you to caretaker Kevin for preparing the soil for planting and accepting the responsibility of caring for the newly planted trees. It will be nice to see how much they have grown when we return!

We finished our day with one last meeting with David and the board to review the vision for Compass school and to set goals towards growth. There are a lot of good things to come for Compass and the Crèche.

February 20-22:  Travels to the Mara

After such a packed and heavy schedule, it is time for us to take a step back to take in and process all that we have done so far and to replenish our energy in preparation for the next part of our work in the Nairobi area. The best way to do that : experience Kenya’s natural beauty both flora and fauna WOW! 

February 23

Today was a day to visit some friends : Mary Warindi and Flora Ndunge.

You may recognize Mary’s name from the Ole Warehouse where we sell some of her beautiful beadwork pillows and canvases.  She is a talented artist who uses her craft to support herself and her three children Elvis, Mercy and Daisy. During our visit, she recounted events both happy and sad including the accomplishments and dreams of her children and, tragically, the recent death of her mother at the age of 57. It was a blessing to have Judy and Bruce, two people who through their work have helped many people deal with death and grieving. They seemed to know what to say and do to help her as she is still trying to process it all. We left, knowing that this resilient young woman would be able to carry on, determined to make a better life for herself and her family. It will be nice to keep in touch and to see her again!

We made our way over to visit Flora, Steven and their new addition Baracka, now 9 months old. As you have seen in our previous blogs, Flora is our rock at Compass school.  She is the person we can count on to keep things moving forward at the school and to direct us on how to help as best we can. 

We certainly enjoyed all the snuggles with Baracka and the many conversations we had while enjoying some delicious Kenyan tea and some pieces of sweet potato and arrowroot. We were also very happy to be able to share some birthday cake to celebrate Flora’s birthday! Do you believe it was her first birthday cake? Apparently, it is not customary for them to have cake for one’s birthday. She seemed quite pleased to be able to partake in one of our Western  traditions. (And it was a sweet deal for us too ;-)