Today’s blog title beat out several others by being a little bit holy in addition to being really funny. I almost named it:
“You have gotten so fat!”
or “wow! what have you been eating”!
or “you look very strong now”.
or my personal fav and commonly expressed today: “YOU ARE NOW SO BIG!”
basically, i knew it was inevitable to avoid the topic of WEIGHT with old friends in kenya. i tried to explain winter layers and micahs job at dunkin donuts, and american becca and other factors but i got words like “cuddly” and “really fat” thrown at me today like nerf darts in the funny bones (all the funny bones i currently sport).
today was nonstop sunshine painful sunburn broken hearted action. I got the closest ive ever come to being squished between two matatus (aka run over) and even the conductor looked scared as he walked me backwards between the two vehicles..difficult to explain. I also rode one in the dark with the doors wide open to the highway beside (new experience for me).
remember today started with dishes, prayer and situps at 4:30 AM!
step 1: get the laptops i brought to mathias. Done and done. We had tea and were happy together. remarkably great meeting.
step 2: Walk to central church to meet Rev. Oure about the school (he wasnt there at central). walked from prestige to there to no avail.
step 3: go to embakasi.
i realized why men wont pull over and ask for help when they are lost in a car. Because when asking for directions, men give them INCORRECTLY TO YOU. So they must assume other men will give wrong directions too! Today every man i asked directions from in Nairobi gave me differnt answer and it took 3 hours to get there: 1 hour stumbling around nairobi (happens every time i go to embakasi or mwiki) lookin for number 33 matatu and 2 hours on a bus (to go about 9 miles.). how ya like those mangos? I asked a woman and she pointed me in the correct direction.
Step 3b: put up with fat jokes from the schoolmaster.
step 4: visit the kids! this involves bringing candy there (my great ideas are neverending).
I went to Embakasi to visit the kids in our school. The area is being destroyed by the sewage water everywhere and people are moving away. So right now there are 8 little toddlers sitting in a small room learning together. Every single one is ridiculously adorable and most of them do not eat. So today we wanted to figure out what it might take to feed each one daily for lunch and to do so, purchased rice and chapati all around. it only took me 300 shillings! in other words, about 30 shillings a kid. in other words, about 40 cents a kid per day.
step 5: watch the kids eat, then toddle outside the little cubicle we made for the classroom and march in a little line to the nap cubicle. each dived onto a mattress like a little filled penguin.
Step 5a: buy lollipops (more of these). hand these to the schoolmaster.
Step 5b: attempt to get back to the city. took 2-3 hrs there and now i had to go all the way to railways, then get a new matatu to ngong loard (meaning road but we say and type loard as r and l’s are exchanged). at this point im so hot and burned that i look like a lobster.
step 6: talk to the district superintendent about a.) a feeding program and b.) a wall to block the water from coming inside the school.
Rev. Oure told me that long term, a 5500 dollar investment in a new wall to block water is silly, since it is truly not a safe area..in the fall every kid and even fred the teacher got malaria and its terrible there. with the amount a wall would cost, we can get a new building! I gave them enough to feed the kids for 1 month. They were chanting CHA-PATI not realizing i was watching and 2 were throwing their arms in the air.
If you want to sponsor a kid, it’s 5-6 bucks a month. if not, i might have to do it myself. or put up their photographs! :D.
the kids steve feeds are 2.40 per month because theyre outside of nairobi.
step 8: try to make action items so we can start the evacuation/feeding of kids. I left enough for a month, but we also took responsibility to determine how to get the money there long term and also to look for a new schoolhouse. (we built the cubicles (partitions) and chalkboards and tables, etc. so all we need is a big openish school space.).
step 8: meet lawrence! we couldve talked all night i think. One of those “pick up where we left off” friendships i guess.
Step 8b: marvel at lawi NEVER having pasta in his whole 26 years so far.
step 9: go meet isaac in the city and realize i need to get home since i have no outside key and the wakias are trying to go to bed! Really short adventure that involved a cab and a quick conversation.
step 10: vent to jo about hungry children, men and futures and matatus.
step 11: blog and update.
step 12: try to upload pictures (not started yet).
all in all, prolly spent 6 hours in public transport and all hours in the blazing sun!