#4 Saturday at SFG June 26, 2010
After writing #3 I hustled out to the road to catch a matatu and was pleasantly surprised when one came right along. Because I take the Nairobi line, I often must wait except for the busy times early in the morning and in the evening. This was 11 am.
The driver looked at my backpack. “Are you a doctor?” “No, I’m a teacher.” “Thank you very much for doing that job.” This was the first time anyone had said that.
I was a bit worried, b/c there were only a few passangers. They can’t afford to drive to Nairobi w/o a full load, and sure enough, up the road a bit they turned around to drive up again. People stand by the road and use hand signals to indicate which line they want. After a second run I wondered whether I’d ever arrive. In fact, as they were about to turn around again for a 3rd run, several passengers disembarked. The driver was very nice, telling me perhaps I should get off too b/c there were mechanical problems. This was his way of saying it might be a long time before he got a full load. I stood by another lady and very shortly an almost full vehicle arrived.
Stopped to let someone off, I noticed a small child looking at me very intently. I waved, but no response. The mother and another lady, however, returned my grin and waved. Mzungus are still a puzzlement to the little ones. Staring is not considered rude here.
At SFG I found some form 4’s in the classroom. Someone asked me to help her with a calculus problem. ACH! It has been 10 years since I sat in Jerry Brodkey’s class, relearning the calculus I’d studied in 1954. This isn’t very heavy duty calculus, so slowly it came back to me, but I couldn’t figure out why the area turned out to be negative. Will have to ask Jecinta. Next Mary asked me yet another calculus problem. I was flummoxed, but together we worked through an example and figured it out. By that time the lunch bell had rung.
I ate lunch in the dining hall with the girls. Had a bit of guthieri and some bread, while I became acquainted with the 2 girls who were nearest me. They are shy with me, but will warm up in time. The new ones aren’t quite sure what to make of me.
Was happy to see Victoria smiling and sitting with Teresia. Not sure what she was eating, b/c the guthieri did not agree with her a few days ago. Otherwise she’s definitely part of the group.
After lunch I toured the new dorm. Learned the 3rd house name is Aberdare Ranges, which is a mountain range near Mt Longenot. Mt Longenot is not far and is climbed by the students every year in November. New Dorm looks beautiful. Saturday afternoon is general cleaning time, so the girls were busily scrubbing floors, washing windows, cleaning classrooms, sprucing up the whole compound. Each girl has her assigned task and b/c tomorrow is visiting day, they were doing an especially good job. Also toured the “sanitarium”, which is Esther’s baliwick. It consists of her office, an examination room with a nice table and a ward for girls who are ailing. Proud of her new digs, she showed me each cupboard and cranny, after introducing her assistant, a student whose name I’ve already forgotten, and who’s responsibility it is to keep the area spotless, which it was.
I neglected to mention the kerfuffle at the end of yesterday’s event, when a student from Longenott was thought to be from Kenya Help. This tipped a very close score to KH. The Longenott girls complained and the issued was cleared. Unfortunately this was not until after I had awarded the cup to KH. ß
Below are a few pictures I took yesterday. Sadly, my unfamiliarity with my camera caused most of the pictures to be too dark. Haven’t tried to look at the video yet, but am not hopeful for my own efforts.
Jecinta-principal and math teacher
Peter Muigi–deputy principal
Sr Janet–teaches biology and geography
Effie–Miss St Francis Girls, 2010