First 48

If you put too much energy into the negative you’ll miss the positive

1:20 pm  – After an overnight flight and a six hour layover we finally arrived in Nairobi, Kenya.  We departed our plane and I stopped at an ATM to get cash for our workaway host.  The cost being $5/day for room and board and three meals/day.  Our host is waiting for us with a sign among a crowd of people and drivers shouting for customers.  We ride to her home and she tells me more about the school.

1000 Shingles = 10 Dollars

We are shown our room which is in the back of the home through a separate entrance.  Our room has one bedroom in a back room and a bed and living room set in the front.  We also have a separate bathroom with a combined toilet and showerhead (no hot water or toilet seat but, okay, I can handle that for three weeks).

After a short nap, we go into the home and meet the other volunteers.  Three are from Australia, two from Denmark, one from Italy, and one from Turkey.  My mini, being the friendly outgoing individual that she is starts a Q & A session.  After getting to know more about everyone dinner is served.

The next day we have a communal breakfast and head to the school.  The 37 students are taking their final exams and Friday will be their last day.  This school is the only one that is still open.  I’ve been told the government is forcing schools to close early.  Our host is concerned because many of the children only eat when they are in school and the early closure means that the students will be without a meal for up to six weeks.

Once we return home it is storming heavily and by the time we gather for dinner the power has gone out.  We have a candlelit dinner.

6:20 am – I wake from my sleep when I hear my daughter throwing up.  I jump out of bed, untangle my way through the mosquito net, and hit the ground.  I feel like my legs are being weighed down with cement.  I barely have enough strength to get to my daughter.  I find my phone and put the flashlight on and help her into the bathroom where she continues to throw up.  I go into the house and get her some water.  I try to clean up as best I can in the dark as the electricity is still out.  After I take her temperature I take mine.  Our host offers to take us to the hospital but I decline and tell her we’ll wait 24 hours.  We spend the rest of the day in bed and only wake to eat.

Playing doctor

The first 48 hours weren’t what I had expected.  I was disappointed to find that the school would be closing and that I wouldn’t be needed; however, the host asked if I would be willing to help run a program for the children during the break from 11 am – 2 pm so that they can still provide meals and enrichment to the students.  She’s still waiting for the okay from the Chief.  We woke up feeling fine.  My mini was able to keep her breakfast down and my body had stopped aching.

Today, we went back to the school and since exams are over the students had a free day.  I reached into my bag of icebreakers and old Freedom School activities and we had a great time playing, “Betcha Can’t Do It Like Me,” and “Zip-Zap-Zop,” they taught me a few songs in Swahili and some new games.  Tomorrow will be their last day.  Several of the students said they’d never had a sandwich and none of them had every tried ice cream.  For lunch tomorrow they’ll have sandwiches and with a few ingredients and Ziploc bags we’ll teach them how to make their own ice cream.



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