Sunday, 25 July 2010

The Training Week

I really don’t know how detailed to make this blog…hmm I’m very far behind! But fortunately I’m actually quite up to date with my actual diary so I can use that to write this.

First I’ll introduce all the people in one go.
• Tenteleni Volunteers:
Hannah, Cathryn, Becca, Lucy, Mia, Glori, Rachel, David, Will, Ben and Johnson
• Shiriki (Kenyan) Volunteers:
Christine, Maxi, Sammy and Victor
• Project Coordinators:
Sam and Emma (and Peter who is the Kenyan PC but doesn’t seem to do that much!)

We all met up in Sooper Guest House (the cheapest place to stay) and went out for dinner (which is the only option as there’s no kitchen) I had a whole fish with coconut sauce which was AWESOME!!!

11/07 We met up with the Kenyan volunteers and they were really shy and awkward. We went altogether for tea. I chatted to Christine and she is really nice and just laughs a lot  We got a minibus to the Univeristy (2 hours away in Kakamega) – the journey was sooooo bumpy!! We sang lots of morbid children’s songs (led mainly by Cathryn) and stopped to be tourists at the EQUATOR ( !!! ) We had our own rooms in the student halls which was nice but sadly there were only squatting toilets which was quite a challenge to get used to and we all bonded over techniques e.g. get down low! Or try standing backwards… clearly every squatter is different and we all have to find our own style! (We discovered mid week that there were western toilets in the library so we made regular trips there when necessary) lol…

I don’t want to talk to much about the training itself cos it would be a bit dull..we had talks on the education system, safety, group bonding things, HIV/AIDs, volunteer role and KiSwahili and Luo lessons (the tribal language of the area). Each evening we had a different activity run by ourselves. The first night was ‘trust games’ so like walking along in the dark holding a string which bizarrely culminated in a odd ‘passing the ball’ dance off and it turned out that Sammy is an AMAZING dancer! The second night was my group and we made a murder mystery!! It turned out brilliantly!! It was set on the pirate ship ‘SHSINKI’ and I was the cabin boy who was deranged and a mute. Other characters included the bitchy cook, crazy old drunk, psychologically disturbed old pirate, new captain, dead captain ghost and posh captive. It went on for so long and I got so into my character and I was really enjoying it! When they were guessing the murderer (which was me) they got so into it (especially Mia) and it was soo funny and no one guessed me! The last night it was Sammy’s 19th birthday so we got him a cake and balloons and played party games. He really enjoyed it and said it was his best birthday ever and he had never had a party before!

We left the Uni on Thursday 15/07 and on the way stopped at Kakamega rainforest and saw MONKEYS!!! Also I should mention that the group is really good! There are no cliques and I really get on well with the Kenyan volunteers (especially the girls) and generally there is a really good dynamic and lots of different personalities :)

Saturday, 17 July 2010

The Safari (journey)

Well hello...I'm in Kenya now and in fact it was over a week since I left from Heathrow! It's gone so quickly! I don't know how much time I have to write this since we are going to 'hippo point' to see some hippos (i can only assume) so it may have to be a 'to be continued'...

i dont really like writing this cos it feels really impersonal but it really is the best way to tell as many important people as much information as i can other than just 'im here everythings fine'

So Pan brought me to Heathrow, after I had moved out of the Caithness house flat the day before and i met up with Cathryn (a girl on the project who goes to SOAS uni) in the airport. We sat together but the plane didnt leave for an hour so we were late arriving to Cairo which meant that our 1 hour changeover had become a 20 minute changeover and near impossible task!! we were ushered swiftly through and basically got to the plane as the last few people were stepping onto it! I had taken for granted the luxury of the first flight and not even made use of the inflight entertainment and now I was on a plane which not only didnt have entertainment but i didnt even have the luxury of a seat!!! all the foam was missing so i was being tipped forward and falling out of my seat!! i tried my luck to see if i could move to buisness class but to my dismay the plane was full and the flight attendant really didnt seem to care about my plight!!! the nice young italian next to me offered to change seats but he was too nice so i said it was ok..(why am i putting so much detail here...this is louise's influence!! i need to learn how to summarise!!!) anyway i realised that im very intelligent and suddenly had an idea! i fixed my pillow under the seat and it was fixed!! i was congratulated on my ingenuity by my fellow travellers.

Anyway we arrived at Nairobi airport at 3.30am and were met in the airport by a random man who had cathryns name on a card....(i should say here that cathryn and david had arranged for this to happen and we were going to the hotel where ben, hannah and david were already sound asleep) on the way we saw lorries in the middle of the road that had crashed and leaking, cars crashed, and at a roundabout a man who was dead in his car. We slept and in the morning Ben, David and I went for a walk around Nairobi. It was soooo busy and really dusty that we were almost choking! we wandered all around and went to see these artifacts and photos in some museum which was interesting. we went back to the hotel and went to the airport...for the 3 hour wait for a 40 minute flight..and finally we arrived at kisumu airport which was all outdoors and the smallest airport ive ever seen!