#22 Not Much Going On July 22, 2015
It has been 5 days since I last posted. It has been quiet here, and I enjoyed being a lazy bum over the weekend. Form 4’s are taking their mocks and form 3’s are now taking their end-of-term exams. Form’s 1 and 2 begin in a few days, so there’s not a lot for me to do at SFG.
Yesterday (Tuesday) I checked out several hotels very close to me. They’re not as fancy and posh as those down by the lake, but the prices are very reasonable, particularly if one pays in shillings. One place is the equivalent of $30 per day with continental breakfast – compared with $250 to $350 per day in the fancy ones. One of our Kenya Help board members is coming early in August with her daughter and a friend. They want to see SFG, meet the staff and students and just help out for 3 days. They are all quite good in English and the timing is perfect, because the form 4’s will have completed their mocks and will be “revising”. I proposed to Ruth (principal and English teacher) that the 3 of them could work with the lowest performers to help them improve their writing. She jumped at that, so I think our visitors will be kept very busy. I will be revising with math exams, so will be busy too – probably working with the lowest kids as well.
Today I stayed home and finished (FINALLY!!!) my 2 copies of the 2014 KCSE. ARGH! Some of those questions are really hard. I spent over an hour puzzling out one construction question. But, I finally sorted it out and was very proud of myself.
Good news about Mji Wa Neema. I’ve mentioned there are only 2 children here, Joseph and older brother Lukas, and intermittently kids who are on long holiday or are waiting to begin whatever school has accepted them. There has been a lot of controversy about whether to close the home or admit more children, but now the decision has been made, a new committee has been named and some necessary repairs begun. The first is replacement of the stoves, which were moved from the old kitchen maybe 8-9 years ago when the new kitchen was built. The stoves were old then and finally were so burned out they became unusable. Julia and the kids have made do with a jiko, which is a small cooker that uses charcoal and one stove, but if the home fills up again, that won’t do. A man was hired to install new stoves and today completed the job, although the insides, which are lined with stones and filled with mortar, must dry until Saturday. This is an important step. Here is the new stove. The white surface is a protective cover for stainless steel and will be removed soon. Judy had raised the funds to build the new kitchen and a lot of other renovations and is now raising the funds to pay ½ the cost. The other ½ will be covered by the parish.
Celina has been here since I came. She graduated SFG in November and is waiting to begin nursing school in Sept. In the meantime she has been an incredible helper to Julia and to me as well. I had given her a sweatshirt I’d bought at SFO, having forgotten my shirt, hanging in my closet. I knew it would be cold on the plane and in fact, even though it was too small I wore it the whole time, except in Dubai. She had asked me to take her picture in the shirt, and today I finally remembered. She loves the shirt and wears it often, as it is cool mornings and evenings now.
You may recall I had written about one of the boys who come every afternoon to borrow books, has a uniform sweater that is so raggedly, it’s hardly a sweater anymore. One of my readers was so moved by this story that she made a very generous donation – enough for 30 children at Milimani (next door) to get new uniforms. This is a school serving the children of Naivasha who either can’t be admitted to private schools because their performance is down or because their parents can’t pay the fees. Despite classes of up to 100(!) children, the school does well. Most of the Mji Wa Neema went there. I made sure that my raggedy reader was one of the recipients as well as both Joseph and Lucas.
Tomorrow is the day we go to present them. It’s being done through Empower the World, and one of the board members owns a major uniform shop in town. He gave us an incredible price break. He’s so generous – was the donor of all the uniforms we presented about a month ago to students in other schools around. Tomorrow’s blog will have a picture of him presenting to one of the recipients.
Tonight is Rotary, so will have some dinner and get ready to go.