Kenya - Summer 2010 :) travel blog

One of the hardest things ever - baltic shower! I was the only one that screamed, woops haha!

So today was 1st day of placement. Sidai has around 40-50 children, from one year to about 13 years. When I arrived, i was shown straight away what the mornings chores were - it soon became apparant that it was very much the children's responsiblity to do the chores, it's always them showing me what to do, the adults don't play much part. I spent the first hour chopping cabbages and carrots for lunch - and with a blunt knife, it's not so easy! It wasn't long before I saw their lack of hygene; at one point a piece of carrot fell on the floor, which gets ridiculously muddy due to the dirt outside, and one of the kids picked it up and ate it. I get the 10 second rule, but not a floor thats thick with dirt! I then was given a huge bucket of rice, i was asked to separate all the pips from it, which are the size of rice grains themselves, which was such a tedious chore but the kids soon got stuck in with me and ended up having a lot of fun, it leaves a white powdery residue on your hands which obviously doesn't show up on mine, but is really prominent on theirs, treating it as facepaint!

They have two classrooms at Sidai, with 2 volunteer teachers. I went into the older class, where they sang a song for me, it was so cute! I did a little teaching of maths with them aswell, though it was difficult with no sense of direction, and no idea what stage the kids were at.

Mama Lucy (the founder of Sidai, all women of that kind of age have the word "Mama" in front, as a mark of respect) then sent me and a 13 year old, Michael, into town, where the have just got a small shop. In here they will be selling jewellery and Kenyan souveniers, which is good as it means they are learning to support themselves rather than rely on help and goodwill from others. They also have a dvd of the children singing. At the shop, we threaded beads onto bracelets with two other volunteers from a different organisation but also working at Sidai; Catherine from England and Marianna from Mexico.

Gloria, Marc and Karen, the New Yorkers I share a room with, are at an orphanage just up the road from me, called Faraja. This is much less developed than Sidai, a lot smaller, and a lot poorer. It seems they are in much more need of help than Sidai, I may end up helping out there some days when Sidai doesn't need as much help.

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