Well, I've survived a week.. YEY!! I survived but also have realised that I am very very English. I already knew I liked my brews probably a bit more than the average non-English person but I thought that was the extent of my Englishness.......
3 things I really need to get used to (and I'm sure the list will grow!!)
1. Queuing. No one knows how to do it here, or if they do they just can't be bothered!! I like the order and fairness of a system. This week I have got very cross when I've been pushed in front of, been in a queue for a long time then get to the front and they ask me to wait until they've dealt with the person behind me....Grrrrrrr.
2. Public transport. Matatus are mini buses owned by random people that follow the bus routes, except sometimes they just go where they feel like. When it rains you get chucked off so it can fill up with people going the other way.
3. Crossing the road. Basically you have to be assertive (I can already here some of you groan about me being assertive crossing a road). No one indicates and it's busy so you just have to walk and hope the cars slow down!!
Right now I should probably be preparing for next week. Planning to do a health audit of all the children in 2 days so we need to be prepared!! From that information I can then do some health education based on what we find. I'll let you know how it goes. Hopefully it will be organised chaos rather than total chaos!!
So, just in case you were wondering.....yes I did arrive safely!!
Iw was the first day in school with the kids today. Marie found me 2 children who need operations!! I went on a nice walk to the local clinic with one of them today. I'm going with the social worker and the children to the local hospital on thursday to take them to see the surgeons and hopefully get an appointment. They've not had the treatment they need because their families can't afford it so the money we all raised will be helping to pay for the treatment of these 2 girls so hopefully they will be in a lot less pain in future! Watch this space!! (And thanks to the people who gave me money!!)
I was jumped on at break time today by a group of kids from baby class and nursery wanting cuddles and picking up. I think I now have a little fan club being the new muzungu (white person) who has very strokeable hair (they wouldn't leave it alone!!).
For those of you who know me this very well and know how clumsy I can be this next bit will either make you laugh or groan! Today I used my first aid kit for the first time.......on myself!! I slipped in my flip flops at school and stripped all the skin off my knee (which is now filled with dirt! Yummy!). When I got home I decided my it needed an extra clean (coz it was still minging). I thought the toilet lid was a good place to sit as I could get comfy whilst scrubbing my very painful knee and have access to water. Can you guess what happened?????? Lets just say the pieces of the toilet seat are now one the floor after being fished out of the toilet bowl. Apparently Marie, the lovely person I am living with, now wants to take extra life insurance out as she now realises what a disaster area I am!!!!!!
Gotta go to bed now. Up early tomorrow. I'll leave you with a picture of me and one of my new friends.
Today is my last day of frantic organising, packing, making sure I donít forget something vitally important, etc etc so why am I sat at a computer writing this??
As some of you may know we have had issues with packing my stuff. It seems that people have been so generous that I could probably fill my baggage allowance with donated stuff and none of mine!! I would be willing to wear the same clothes (unwashed) everyday if it meant I could take everything but Iím sure the people who have to be around me for the next 10 weeks would have something to say about that!! Today will therefore be a day of magical packing (Iím hoping my bags will turn into one a bit like Mary Poppinsís bag), or having to decide what stuff can wait until someone else goes to Kibera.
Just a bit about the school Iím going toÖÖ Itís called Spurgeonís Academy and filled with over 300 gorgeous, amazing, very smiley children from the age of 3 (I think) to 16ish. All the children have lost AT LEAST one parent to HIV/AIDS. Many of them live with relatives who very kindly take them in, and a few of the children have no-one to take care of them at all. My little boy Eliud (heís not really little, heís 13) who I sponsor lives with his mum and siblings in Kibera. His dad dies of AIDS related illnesses and his mum is very very sick. Most of the kids live in situations like this and still manage to enjoy life, love playing football, love school, have fun, do normal kid things and be very smiley. Iím sure they know something about life that we donít.
While Iím there Iíll be doing a health audit of all the students, checking out what health and sex education they have in school and some other stuff but Iíll write about that as I do it!!
So tomorrow (the 4th of may, you get it??) is my last day in beautiful
so, I was at work the other day when one of my collegues asked me how long it is until I actually go to Kenya. My reply was something along the lines of "oh, er......dunno really.......a while yet", and then I counted and was quite shocked to find it was 12 DAYS!! Today I counted and got rather concerned that I didn't need my toes to count, just my hands. Hmmmmmm I should maybe start becoming a bit more organised (and yes mum, I know you've been saying that for a while but you also know I work better under pressure :P).
Decided that I might take this opportunity to tell you all a bit about Kibera. Kibera is the largest slum in Kenya just outside Nairobi. Over 3 million people live there and apparently approximately 700 people die there every day. I got slightly concerned when I found out the average life expectancy is 54 years old. If my family lived there I'd be an orphan. The housing is made of tin and mud and are owned by land lords who charge extortionate prices for a teeny tiny little room. There is no sewage or sanitation systems so you have to avoid walking in the river of human waste and general rubbish (last year I nearly fell in it several times, yummy!).
I think I'll leave you with that image. Don't wanna information overload you all :)