this is an unimaginative post for a blog :P
Posted 10 years ago
Hey to everyone. A lot has happened since my birthday. 51 kids were dunked at church last Friday, our health scheme (so every child and teacher at the school can have access to health care) started on Monday, had several trips to a government dentist and Kenyatta National Hospital. Trying to take 31 kids between the age of 4 and 14 to the dentist on public transport with only me and the social worker was quite a feat but we managed it and it was actually quite fun!!!! What wasnít fun was having to almost sit on some of the kids to the dentist could give them local anaesthetic and pull their teeth out! He was rather a scary man and he told ME off for these children having really really really bad teeth!! I donít live with them and I canít force them to clean their teeth!!
This week Iíve had 2 trips down across the railway to Kibera valley. The first to visit my parentsí sponsored childís family , and the second was to visit my sponsored childís mum at home. Eluid, my boy, walked me through Kibera yesterday, through the places Iím not allowed to go on my own, to the place where his family live. Walked down the railway, actually on the rails! I felt a bit naughty! Also felt like I was in the film The Constant Gardener! It was quite surreal!
Kibera is rather an assault on the senses, the kids shouting ďHow are you, how are youĒ, the people shouting from their stalls trying to sell their stuff, reggae and rap music blaring out from little wooden huts, the smell of mandazi and chapatti mixed with unwashed people, human waste and rotting food, the dust and flies that seem to get everywhere! I wouldnít wanna be anywhere else!! Both the houses I went to visit where tiny dark little rooms separated into 2 by a sheet. Walls made out of mud and sticks with a concrete floor. Both Pamela (Emmaculateís mum) and Matilda (Eliudís mum) were soooo hospitable. I felt a little bad as both of them struggle to feed their families and were so welcoming to me, offering me a drink and a snack. Couldnít really refuse. They both do a fantastic job with their children in extremely difficult circumstances. This week they are my heros.
Only 2 weeks to go until Iím home. Hereís a few things I will miss:
Feeling like Iím on a fairground ride when in a vehicle as the roads have so many potholes! (Alan if you came here you would never complain about Rochdale again!)
My lovely children at school
Being late and nobody minding because theyíve turned up later than I have!
Kenyan concept of time- as long as you get there it doesnít matter when!
Learning Kiswahili songs
Chasing baby class around the playground
Having a shower and seeing the water turn red!
Iím sure I can come up with a more comprehensive list for next time!!
Oh and Iím very excited about the health scheme!!!!
Friday June 29th, 1:23pm GMTPermalink
happy birthday to me, happy birthday to me
Posted 10 years ago
I canít believe Iíve only got 4 more weeks to go!!
Since I my last blog Iíve been ill a bit with my selfish disease (ME). Youíll be pleased to know that Iím feeling a lot better now and have cut down my hours a little so I can use my time effectively rather than feeling ill all the time!
At school all the kids, including the 3 year olds have had mid term exams this week! I donít know what they test the younguns on but I find that quite bizarre! So weíve not been teaching this week.
Time has been spent trying to get proposals for the health scheme we want to set up (which has the potential to cause some problems!). The rest of the time Iíve been taking kids to clinic and preparing for the dunking of 70 kids next week! Had a trip to IBS (no, not irritable bowel syndrome, but the International Bible Society) and managed to buy 70 bibles for about 3 quid each (bargain!) so all the kids can have one.
Was my birthday this week (and yes I do expect extra celebrations in UK when I return!). Marie made me a cake, which required 3 attempts! It was very exciting as it was a chocolate cake I can eat! YEY!! Iíve not eaten chocolate cake that doesnít make me ill for 2 years! My new friends at the clinic wanted to celebrate my birthday so they organised a little party. It was amazing! Susan, the pharmacist spent the morning cooking food for it. My newly appointed Kenyan mum (Dr Mbogo) did a little speech. There was singing and candles! It was AMAZING!
Oh, a few things going on in NairobiÖ..I can blog about them now that I told my mum!!
A man tried to blow up a city hopper (a bus) this week with a grenade in the town centre. No-one died apart from the bomber but about 30 people were seriously injured. Iím hoping they can all afford their treatment cos you have to pay for it here!
Also, with the elections coming up in November theyíve been some slaughters in a nearby slum (not Kibera). They are supposedly being carried out by a sect that follows a particular man whose name I canít remember!! Theyíve been letters in Kibera claiming they want 200 heads of the people there. At school some precautions have been put in place so the kids donít stay late but Marie and I are fine. No need to worry, apparently this happens all the time!
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Saturday June 16th, 9:17am GMTPermalink
Posted 10 years ago
Firstly, to those who happen to read my ramblings, I apologise for being quiet for the last week or so. We've had a pretty crazy week including an extremely infected wound on a 4 year old child which, if it had been left any longer, would have probably resulted in him loosing his foot or leg!! I took a picture of it because I'm not sure I've ever seen anything like it before!! I know that to most of you that will seem pretty gross and odd but, you know, I'm a nurse and I find minging things interesting!! If anyone wants to see the pic let me know :P
I've taken over the first aid and looking after the sick kids so I spend a lot of time either at the clinic or with rubber gloves on cleaning cuts etc
We had a lodger this week for a few days- one of the girls from school. Her dad has been very very sick for the last few months. We went to visit him at their house in the depths of Kibera. Was very eye opening. I just don't understand how people live like they do in a place like that. The dad had had diarrhoea for 2 months and had such bad oral thrush that he hadn't eaten for pretty much the same amount of time. He looked like a skeleton. We took him to clinic where he tested positive for HIV. He stayed at clinic for 2 days and today went to work apparently!! The staff at the clinic were amazing. They knew Marie and I were paying for his treatment and that we pay for the kids so they waived the cost of some of the drugs they gave him.
It was a pleasure to have a young visitor around. It made me a little sad that we had to show here how a shower worked, stop her washing her body with a pumice stone etc. She had a good break from Kibera though and something to take her mind of her dad (who would probably be dead by now if we hadn't have helped him).
Got a little in trouble with the co-ordinator of the school who said that we shouldn't be helping parents, that the children are our priority so we should put all our efforts into them. I'm just happy that the little girl still has her dad, who is the only family she has. In the words of The Doors "I do not regret the things I have done; only the things I did not do". Or something like that!
The last 2 days (Friday was a public holiday so no school), we've been painting 2 rooms of the clinic to say thank you for everything they do for our children and for the time they spent doing health checks. Both rooms look amazing! I didn't know I could decorate!
Both me and Marie have been feeling ill this week and are shattered today so I also apologise if this post doesn't make a lot of sense!
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Saturday June 2nd, 5:38pm GMTPermalink
i do like to be beside the seaside
Posted 10 years ago
Had a friend of Marieís visiting this week, Katherine, so we had a little trip to the coast this weekend. We had a dayís safari and a day and a half on the beach! WOO!! I LOVE THE SEA!!
It was definitely worth the travel sickness and the sunburn (I did have factor 25 on but apparently that wasnít enough!).
Shimba Hills (where we went on safari) looks a lot like Wales with African animals randomly placed (so Katherine says- she is welsh!!) Itís very green!!
It was slightly concerning when we got out for a 2km walk in the middle of the reserve with a ranger who had a big gun. This was just in case an elephant charged us!! The gun had real bullets, and not tranquilisers, as they wouldnít work quickly enough if an elephant attacks us! We were all more worried about the elephants than for us!
The 2km walk from the bus and back consisting of Katherine jumping at insects, me getting bitten by every insect possible and Marie needing her asthma inhaler more than humanly possible was well worth the destination- a beautiful waterfall, in the shade (which I was loving!).
Than had a little trip to an elephant sanctuary run by the local community- I love all these little community projects!! The locals use the dung of the elephants to make paper which is a novel way of recycling! Maybe someone will invent dog poo paper and clean the streets of Manchester!! An interesting fact about elephants- Male elephants have 7 noises for vocalisation and females have 22 and are therefore much better at communication, much like their human counterparts!
Another interesting animal fact- Male weaver birds spend a lot of time and a lot of effort building a nest, if a female weaver bird doesnít like it she destroys it! That amused me!
The beach where we stayed was heaven, full of insects loving my blood, but definitely heaven. The starfish were every colour imaginable! Snorkled for the first time and after swimming too deep and choking on sea water the once I soon got the hang of it! It was another world amongst the coral and the colourful fish. Fell in love even more with the sea!!
Back at school tomorrow but itís nice know the whole of Kenya isnít like Kibera (although out taxi driver did get bribed by the extremely corrupt police!)
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Monday May 21st, 5:11pm GMTPermalink
a very big retard
Posted 10 years ago
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Thursday May 17th, 1:19pm GMTPermalink