Wednesday, September 22, 2010

What's New in Makindu . . .

Hi all!!!

All is good in Makindu. We are very dusty and windy and getting ready for the rains which are due within the next few weeks. The brickmaking season is ending and the planting season will begin soon. Some of us are looking hopefully forward to our farmers planting many other crops besides, or at least, in addition to, maize. We will see. Change happens very slowly. We are rooting for sorghum, millet and green grams and cow peas!!! Drought resistent. East African Breweries are encouraging farmers to plant sorgham as there is a ready market as an ingredient in beer. Some of our farmers are taking advantage of this idea so we will see their success, hopefully. If there is some success, others will surely follow next season.

MCC's dairy cow project is going on well. Our cow is giving more milk every day and we are looking forward to her projected volume of 15 litres a a day; currently she is just over 13. Her calf still "knows" her mother so the calf remains in a separate pen until she "forgets" her mother and is not running for her milk each time she sees her. Our other cow is due to give birth anytime now so we are waiting anxiously for that day. Our kuku kienyeji (indigenous chicken) project is getting underway, also. This is my personal favorite as it is something that all farmers in our area can easily do. The fencing and shelter is being constructed this next week and we expect delivery of 1,000 two day old chicks the first part of October. We are also working on a water catchment project at long last. I am hopeful that we will have that completed to take advantage of the rains that should come very soon. The children are also doing well. The new staff is very focused on what needs to be done to continue to make the program better and grow with the many needs of children. Currently we have 419 children under the care of 253 guardians in four sites. The program continues to provide valuable education, nutrition, medical and counseling support to children(most are orphaned)who would not otherwise have these opportunities. There are many success stories to be told about their lives. They are good friends and it will be difficult to leave them when my service is complete. Remember MCC children at and the Loitokitok children at Thanks!!!

At the moment (Wednesday) I am in the Peace Corps office in Nairobi taking advantage of computer time. Then I am going on leave for a few days. Erin and I are traveling to Chuka and Maua to visit other PCV's then to Nanyuki (Mt. Kenya!!) for a PC conference for a couple of days then back to Makindu on October 1st. It is nice to visit other volunteer's sites and see other parts of Kenya, particularly green parts that are not dusty and are getting some rain.

All else is good. Makindu has been a district for many months now and it is obvious by the fact that it is growing rapidly; lots of construction and there are many new jobs here - it is becoming less "rural" everyday. Unfortunately that means more trash and more traffic but I am sure the job market will improve for people so that is a plus. The rural parts of Kenya are my favorite as there is a stark difference between the villages and the cities. So we are leaving at a good time, I think.

I hope all who are reading this blog are well and happy. I hope you have enjoyed these and they have given you some insite into this experience. Although, I really think you have to live it to really "get it". It has been and continues to be an adventure. A very rewarding one.

Happy Birthday to my family members in September and October; Trenton, Vince, Clayton, Corbin, Gene, Paige, John, Zoey, Cole, Doug, Kerry, Jason - wow many!!!!

Take good care!! Love to all, Paula

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