Thursday, July 5, 2007

Kenya - Jambo!

habari gani? (how are you)

things are going great here. it is wonderful, heartbreaking and exhausting all at the same time.

what i have seen in the kibera slum i cannot describe, i will just have to show you pictures, which even then wont properly describe. amazing how quickly i am used to balancing on random pieces of metal to step over open sewage (coordination skills don't fail me now!) it is worse than anything i could ever imagine, seeing these small kids playing in piles of garbage and sewage. the homes are mud huts with metal tops i'm on the lookout for flying toilets thanks to the warning on wikipedia! everyone there is nice and many are content, it is their home.

I am assignd to a christian school in kibera that has 3 classrooms for orphans 2 - 6yrs, there are 100 kids total. each classroom is about 10x8 ft, the kids are so tightlypacked they ahve to walk on the tables and each other to get in andout of their seats. they have no supplies -literally nothing. no books, a few pencils, and a few pieces of paper. so they spend much of the time chanting american songs or poems that the teacher got out of her one nursery rhme book or being told to be silent. school is taught in english, and the kids in my class know many words but dont know what it is is associated with. you guys know i can't sing - and one of the teachers asked me to teach them all the tune to common american songs which is quite scary - if you come to kenya and hear them sings jesus loves me out of tune you can blame me! i brought balloons yesterday and they were so excited, and last night i went and bought a load of school supplies so today i was able to teach a lesson and giev them a coloring assignment. they were singing 'mary has a little dog" and one teacher ased me if i know it and i sad yes but we sing mary had a little lamb. she looked at me so puzzled and said - but lamb's don't follow people to schoool? i just thought well, you've got me there! the kids are very sweet and so easily excited by a muzungu (white person) and love to call me by that name. it is so funny. there are a couple boys i would bring home with me if i could figure out how.

i have to say one thing on the food - at the home i stay at i can endure it. rice or ugali (mayflower-nasty) with some green mashed unidentifiable veggies. but at school they prepare the food in dirty pots outside with dirty water. they insist you eat some - the first day i had a bite of what is the worst thing i have ever eaten and all the adults and cook watched. i was holding back gagging tears it was so gross - especially since i had seen where/how it was prepared. now i have a new methodology where i have one bite in front of them and then secretly divy it up among my kids. one of my roommates that has been here 3 weeks already got typhoid in kibera and has been so sick, so i'm just chancing being rude.

tomorrow night i am staying of my dads friends friends for '"a proper shower and meal" and then to the mosque with them tomorrow night for an event. i think i get to where a burqa which would be very cool. then on saturday and sunday i am going wtih 3 of my new friends to hell's gate national park and laka nakuru - we hired a driver and hopefully this one wont get us in another car accident! one was enough!

well we better get back so we don't miss dinner. we've been eating out of the same pot of green stuff all week and it just sits out all day - yum yum!

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