30 September, 2012

This Little Piggy

This little piggy went to market,
This little piggy stayed home.
This little piggy had roast beef,
This little piggy had none.
And this little piggy cried "Wee wee wee,"
All the way home!

Where does this little piggy live?  With the other piggies of course.....

And where is "home"?

...in Kibera slums.  

The piggies share the slum with over 1,000,000 people in an area the size of Central Park.  It is the largest slum in Africa, and second in the world to one in Mexico City.  

I get to hear the piggies grunting around as they prepare for market and roast beef in the mornings, as they live across the river from my back balcony.

19 September, 2012

Bird Coffee Klatch

A story about laundry may not be of great interest to those people with luxury of a washing machine and dryer; but for those of us hand washing all our clothing and air drying; the events that will unfold are of the utmost importance!

I never knew this, but apparent the birds on this side of Nairobi have a daily coffee klatch.  Unbeknown to me they get together every morning to share the events of the previous day.  How did I discover this great event.  Well one day I did some laundry and hung it on the line to dry.  At the end of the day I took in the dry laundry only to discover that birds had left me some interesting gifts stuck to the clean clothes.  How annoying, now I had to wash the clothes AGAIN!

After this happened two more times, we decided to wash clothes in the evening and hang them up overnight to dry; since the birds should all be asleep an nowhere near the clothes.  We thought that they were doing fly bys and getting lucky.  The next morning I got up early and took in the clothing; it was all clean....Yay!  The plan worked.

Around 7 am, I heard birds twittering outside, went to the balcony, and discovered the coffee klatch. Apparent our laundry lines make a great place to exchange the daily info.

16 September, 2012

Sorry for the Silence

Since starting school two weeks ago, I've discovered I have very little time to do anything on the internet.  Big surprise!!  I will try to do better, at least by posting pictures.  I have a few that I've just not had time to even get on the laptop.  But things are getting better at school and I'm getting okay with the time management; so I hope to have a bit more time as the term progresses.  So thank for understanding!

04 September, 2012

Teacher Talk Tuesday

First Week of School

The prep school.

So okay, the kids aren't here yet; but still so much to do.  My classroom is actually a science lab which is great.  I teach all my classes here except one; have a smart board and video projector.  Now I just have to learn to really use it well in my lesson plans.  I also have to do a lot of decorating; apparently there hasn't been someone as a teacher in the classroom for a while so need to get things down and then new things up; clean out the office, which has been the dumping ground prior to now.  There is a lab tech who will basically get me whatever I need....nice!  Anybody know how to coordinate curriculum???  I'm the prep school science curriculum coordinator.  Oh, and I'm starting a forensics club.  Any ideas??

Ready for the first day of school.

28 August, 2012

Wednesday's Walk Around Town

Traffic Jam & Politics

One of the main re-election strategies of the Kenyan government is to fix the roads.  In some places it just means grading the surface so it is smooth.  In other places it means repaving.  And in other places it means a total overhaul of the roadway.  Take Thika Road for example, it went from a 2 lane-dual carriage way to a 4 lane super highway. 

On a reconnoiter to see how long it would take me to get from my house to school next week, I discovered that the stretch of Langata Road that I will have to travel is now going through a complete overhaul and traffic in each direction is forced to travel in one lane.  The traffic problem is compounded by the stopping of matatus to pick up and drop off passengers in a one-lane road without any way for other motorists to pass.  I guess I have nothing to complain about since I will be one of those matatu passengers for the foreseeable future. 

Please continue to pray for peace in Kenya as we get closer to the election time, violence seems to just spring up around every corner.  Last week 50 people were killed over cattle issues in a rural area of Tana River, leaving 100 families without homes.  Politicians are doing what they do best....the blame game.

27 August, 2012

Monday's Musings

Mercy Were

Me with Mercy on Visiting Day.

Last year I put out the word that I was looking for sponsors for a young girl in Nairobi to attend secondary school.  Many of you responded and together were able to send Mercy to a private boarding secondary school near her mom's home.  The finances provided were able to cover the entire school year of 2012 (ending in November), uniforms and textbooks, and outfit for boarding school (trunk and personal items).  

Mercy's dorm room at school; bunks are three beds high with 20 beds in each dorm room!!!

She started her Form 2 (Sophomore) year of high school after missing the second half of her Form 1 (Freshman) year due to lack of funds; and has worked hard to catch up with her fellow pupils.  Currently, she is averaging a B- and is 14th in a class of 50 students.  Her best subjects are English, History, and Geography; while she is working hard to catch up a lost year in Business Studies.  Her teachers say that she is very disciplined and doesn't get into trouble, and that she is working very hard to improve in the subjects that she was weak in at the beginning of the year.  

Mercy (on left) with friends on Visiting Day.

We are now looking forward to Mercy's Form 3 (Junior) year, which is very important in Kenya.  It is when high school students begin focusing their studies towards the national exam at the end of Form 4.  This national exam will determine where a student goes to university or college.  Mercy's goal is to become a primary school teacher, and she will need to have a C+ or more on the national exam to be able to attend teacher's college.

Would you please consider sponsoring or re-sponsoring Mercy for her Form 3 year of school?  You can contact me by email to find out more details on how to help financially.