Wednesday, 9 March 2016

Kenya: All Done!

Well, we're all done; 5000 bedkits delivered to needy children.  Our final distribution was at a local school in Nairobi.  The children were all dressed when we arrived and very excited.  There was a constant buzz of excitement in the air.  We started with some songs, a play and dance by the children that got everybody in a great frame of mind to start.  We handed out our 700 bedkits in 2 hours, we're a well oiled machine and it will be sad to have the distributions all done and the group starting to go their separate ways.

some songs being sung

The children watching the songs and dances
SCAW Team Planning Distribution

Bob speaking to the children

Excitement as they receive their bedkits

With about 1200 personal pictures, we'll have memories for a long time to come.

Team Kenya 2016
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Kenya: Nairobi - part one

We completed our first distribution in Nairobi, a pleasant hour and a half drive through heavy traffic.  We took many side streets to get to the site; glad I wasn't trying to drive there myself.  The distribution was in a unique environment at an active commercial building.  We commandeered the back corner lot for our photos and had the children come out of the building where they changed, back through the mall to get there bedkits and out the garage entrance.  The distribution went very quickly with lots of help from our local team members and our driver.

waiting for the distribution

Getting ready for pictures

Happy 80th Birthday Doug

The excitement mounts.

Handing out bedkits
We had one young person waiting until the end to see if we had enough bedkits for him, our 701st child this day.  It worked out well that we matched out where he also received a bedkit and was rewarded for his long day of waiting.  Finished off with a nice lunch and visited some local stores, including a private residence where Massai jewelry is made.  The proprietor, Vicky, is an exceptional person that helps the Massai people out with many of their challenges.

Looking forward to our final distribution tomorrow, with mixed feelings.

Team Kenya 2016
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Monday, 7 March 2016

Kenya: Masai

washed out road
We had a nice weekend to refresh and had a long drive on Sunday to get situated for our distribution today, including a long drive over dirt roads that had been previously washed out a couple of months ago and that were still challenging to get through.  Kudos to our driver, Charles.  Our distribution was at a school in Masai country.  We handed out 600 bedkits to the children who were overjoyed by this event and the celebration that went with it.  We even had a young girl who should have been home sick, but made certain that she made it to the distribution to receive her kit.

The entire village came out to celebrate the distribution and were very colourful in their native dress.  We had a nice lunch and another long drive to get back to our base camp.  We saw lots of wildlife on the drive and the weekend and have lots of pictures of elephants, giraffes, gazelles and the like.

Team Kenya 2016
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Saturday, 5 March 2016

Kenya: Bungoma

We're half way through our distribution with 3,000 bedkits delivered and 3,000 happy children and families.  This day's distribution was in Bungoma, definitely an area of need, and was at the end of a long drive.  It was a hot day (28C) with a steady breeze that kicked up the dust on occasion.  The children were ready and waiting when we arrived and definitely tired by the end of the day.  Following the distribution we were entertained by songs from the school children. 

Followed up with a lunch at a local Rotarians home and a short drive to our hotel.  Looking forward to the weekend to refresh for the final push.  Hard to believe we're halfway already.  There's so much need here, we could undoubtedly deliver many more bedkits before we would meet all the needs.  Thanks to the donors that have sponsored our program.  Your donation is definitely filling a need.

Our Helpers
Team Kenya 2016
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Friday, 4 March 2016

Kenya: Gil Gil

We did our distribution in Gil Gil today.  1200 bedkits in record time; about 5 hours.  Included in the group were 60 special needs children. We had lots of local and Rotary volunteers to assist us and they helped immensely with the various stations.  We thank them very much.

After the distribution, we visited the Kenya Restart Orphanage.  This is a great facility and provides a home for about 150 children from newborn to teenagers.  The orphanage also emphasizes teaching and learning for the children to give them a good start on their adult lives.  The children put on a great demonstration of dancing and singing for our entertainment.

It was a very satisfying day.

Team Kenya 2016

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Thursday, 3 March 2016

Kenya: Distribution Two!

2nd day of distribution; at Nyeri.  It was a hot day and started with a little rain with the threat of showers throughout the day, but the rain held off for our distribution. We gave out another 600 bedkits.  It was an energetic group of children but well behaved and once the children got the knack of the routine the distribution went very quickly.  After the distribution, we had a nice lunch at the Outspan Lodge and visited a Cheese Factory.  It was a long day to get in the vicinity of our distribution tomorrow, crossing the equator along the route and passing through the Great Rift Valley.

Team Kenya
Children Anticipation

Lovely Serenade of Thanks

Doug and his three bedkit recipients 

Great Rift Valley

At the Equator

Tuesday, 1 March 2016

Kenya: Day 2

On the road by 6:30 am and 4 hours journey leading to our first distribution on the hospital grounds across the road from the Makindu  Sikh Temple.  We had a Sikh prayer to begin the distribution and handed out 600 bedkits.  The children were well behaved and very appreciative of the bedkits.  We spent the night nearby. Ate lots of vegetarian food.

The next morning we headed Emali to visit the children who received bedkits last year.  It was a rugged hour drive up the mountain to their school.  The children of the school of 350 students were very excited to see us white folk and swarmed to the group about as fast as we could exit the vehicle.  From the school we walked a small path up and down the hill to visit some of the children's homes.  The previous year's bedkits were being very well used and the children and their parents expressed great appreciation for our gift.  It was a bit of a climb back to the school that let us know that we're not all athletic cross-country runners, with the exception of 2 of our group.  Kim had some excitement with Army ants but was fine.

The headmaster noted that the student's marks had improved appreciably since the period before the bedkits were distributed.  This was some solid evidence of the positive effect of the bedkits and improved sleep on the children's learning and great news.

All in all it was a great couple of days and the time with the children was very moving.

Team Kenya 2016
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