Monday, March 2, 2009

Here's What's Up!!

Currently we are experiencing fewer days with water and electricity. The government has increased the price of water to discourage use. It has become unaffordable for some. The water and electricity so off and on irregularly now; you just never know so you always have to plan for no water. Electricity is easy to live without - rise with the sun and retire with it (kind of). The weather here has been extremely HOT and DUSTY. We do get a little breeze in the late afternoon which helps.

Things are good at the children's center, money is very tight due to the world financial crisis, donors are fewer and money flow slows. Currently school exam fees (yes they charge you to take a test!!) are due so money appears to be a daily challenge. It is ow even more important that the guardian groups I am working with become more self-sustaining. Food is becoming more of an issue every day.

February 25th I did a flip chart presentation on pig farming as a business for a group of guardians in a rural area. Pig farming could be a very good business for them if they can get over the initial investment hurdle. Unfortunately, they are more concerned with feeding themsleves and the children currently vs growing pig feed. But I am giving them ideas to help them think about the future focusing on less water dependent income generating activities. Water is always an issue regardless of what you are doing. We are also focused on more drought resistent crops.

I am expanding my trash project (Tupa Taka Taka Hapa) AKA put your trash here! We worked
today 2/27/09 with a group from the County Council. We (3 volunteers) picked up trash, they lit the fires to burn it. It's a dirty project but one that can make a difference. I hope to get funding for dust bins (trash receptacles) eventually. It will be a complete culture reversal to make Kenyans in Makindu believe they are responsible for disposing of their trash in a receptacle other than the road or ditch. I commited myself to trash pick up volunteer duty every Friday at 10:00 a.m. Nairobi has big fines for littering and their streets are better so it can work here in time, I hope.

Today, March 3, I am sending 22; 11 by 17 poster entires to PEPFAR (HIV/AIDS)in Nairobi. The U.S. President's Council on HIV/AIDS Relief is having a contest with the theme Celebrate Life. 36 of our children (some in groups and some individually) drew posters based upon this theme following an educational presentation on HIV/AIDS prevention. HIV/AIDS information is presented here at a very young age usually in their second year of primary school if not before. Their school system here is nursery, class 1 - 8 then form 1 - 4. Most children finish 1 - 8 a very small percentage move on to form 1 - 4 (basically high school) mostly due to cost. Secondary schools (form 1-4) bid for the best students. Schools send out letters inviting students to atend, you must receive a letter in order to atend secondary school.

I am scheduled to attend a 3 day language emersion workshop this month. It will be a great learning experience.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ALL MARCH FAMILY BIRTHDAYS !!! Lewis, Duston, Luke, Tyler, Carter and Chase.

More soon, I hope . . . love and good health to ALL!


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