Monday, May 24, 2010

Kenya Day 4: Off to Bogani

Day 4: Hangar

Day 4: Group shot by our little plane
On our 4th day in Kenya, we headed to a small airport and boarded a 14-passenger plane bound for Bogani, near the Ngong Hills, about 4-6 hours (driving) east of Nairobi.

Day 4: The Maasai Mara River
We flew over part of the Maasai Mara. Pictured above is the swollen Mara River, full now after a long drought. Our first instinct is to of course complain about the rain, but to the Maasai, this means they can eat, that their crops will grow and their animals won't die.

Day 4: The landing strip in the Mara
By the time we landed at the airstrip, the sky looked awesome and blue. The thing that constantly amazed me about Kenya is how big the sky was. It looked big in Socorro (NM) and it looked even bigger in Williams (AZ) but here, it never seemed to end.

Day 4: Ashley in a sea of bald heads
We stopped at Enelerai School, where Free the Children had completed all the buildings and health centers. Above, Ashley is surrounded by a sea of schoolchildren. Wilson had just given us Swahili lessons so it was a great time to practice. She and Jacki sat and taught a small group to sing Don't Stop Believin.

Day 4: The original school at Enelerai
This is the original school building, which they left standing as a reminder. The floors are dusty and desks are falling apart. Up to 6 students would sit at each desk, sharing books, notebooks and pencils. The building was long and when kept up, had only one or two small windows in the walls. Housed in this building would be grades 1 - 8. The government assigns teachers per number of buildings on site, so schools were usually short on staff.

Day 4: Enelerai School
These are the new buildings built by Free the Children - each grade has its own classroom with lots of natural light and cement floors. Teachers live in small buildings at the back of the school property.

Is this looking like a vacation yet?

The rest of the day was spent touring a new health center and central water line. The health center would service the surrounding area (up to 10,000 people) and the water line would provide water to local schools and the community for a small fee. This would keep it sustainable, as the fees would help to provide salaries and repairs.

Day 4: Who am I after dinner
And of course, after dinner, another game of "Who am I?"

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