Friday, October 30, 2015

Week One at Omwabini...

A very full first week at Omwabini is complete. Accompanied the students to the Kitale Animal Preserve, basically a sanctuary for deformed animals. About 60 staff and students went by bus that used to be a lorry – lovely transformation. 

The younger students’ tour was not as extensive as the older ones and ended at a playground for about 1 ½ hours. The most ancient playground equipment brought memories of my own childhood. The children enjoyed it so much as it was all new to them. 

 I have been able to open the library/activity centre for the children from 3:30 to 5:30 daily. Puzzles, games, drawing/colouring were among activities enjoyed. We established that Friday’s would be movie day off my laptop. PTL that the power didn’t go off till we were finished. Next week I"ll bring some popcorn. Good that popcorn is so readily available made with all the maizeJ 

Today was split between typing final exams with the school secretaries and enjoying time with the students. God has so richly blessed the planning and implementation of activities, and it’s going to be wonderful to put these tired feet up for a rest. -Carolyn 
    Tight quarters in the library

Office staff and our pile of prepared exams

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

New Adventures in travel...

Today I took a one way trip to a town called Bongoma with Mama Mary and some of her relatives while they were on route to a family funeral and then found my way back using local transportation methods. Fortunately James' sister Millie was with me to help me navigate my way around or I may still be there. This was another new Kenyan adventure for me.

I had my first ride in one of the little three wheeler buggies called a tuk tuk. It took us from the center town shops and stores to the edge of town.

The view from the passenger seat of a TuK Tuk

We then literally packed ourselves into the into a small Toyota van called a matatu for our ride back to Kimilili.

There were eighteen of us all packed into this van. I couldn't believe that many people could fit into a small van without some of us dying of suffocation. We did drop off a few passengers on our way back at crossroad hamlets like the one below

For our final leg of the trip we, along with our supplies, climbed onto a small 125 cc motor bike taxi called a piki piki. We were fairly successful in replacing some of the supplies that is in luggage still held somewhere by KLM .

I've met with the boys that will be joining me for the Applied technology classes after school this past Tuesday. They are an enthused bunch. I'm looking forward to our time together. The students are in their exams this week and part of the next. The class time for applied technologies will continue to increase after each exam is written. This gives me extra time to make some much needed repairs on Omwabini's vehicles and equipment and it does give me time to get set up for lessons in this environment.

Thankfully we now have decent internet function. This allows Carolyn and I to update everyone through blogs, and keep us connected to the outside world..

By Carolyn: I have spent my days becoming familiar with a small resource/library center that was set up by previous volunteers. (Hope I'm doing it justice, Diana and Lorraine:) The primary students are able to come in after classes in the afternoon to do enrichment activities, games, and puzzles. Not being a teacher, I have a new appreciation for those dealing with so many students at one time:)
Other than these start up and luggage snags things are working out very well.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Field trip for some of Omwabini classes

The school year here in Kenya runs until the second week in November. This year there is a bit of a last minute scramble to prepare students for the year end government exams because some time was lost due to a teachers strike earlier in the year. This will give me some time to help revive some of the equipment in bad need of repair.

Sunday afternoon we accompanied a class on a field trip to a interesting spot near a town that is about an hour away called Kitale.  This place that can be best described as a cross between the former Renfrew's Storyland and a Ripley's believe it or not museum. Its main attraction is a collection of animals that have abnormalities and are cared for and displayed at this place.

                                            Three legged cow

                                                                                                                                                                                              Four legged chicken

This outing also gave some of the orphans a first time opportunity to walk through a department store and see "just what is out there."

                                              There are no nuclear power plants nearby so I not sure what happened

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Omwabini Rescue Steps - Latest Developments

It has been very encouraging to see the developments here at Omwabini Rescue Steps Orphanage and school since our time here three years ago. James, Mama Mary and all are making great strides toward preparing the orphans for life outside of the orphanage both with a quality education and a sound Christian upbringing. Three years ago there was only an elementary school and an incomplete High school structure with no high school classes.

The state of the highschool when we left in 2013

 Thanks to answered prayers and the very generous support of many of you they now have desks, government required uniforms, high school facilities and food in their bellies.

A quick tour of the high school late Saturday shows the new desks that have replaced the small plastic serving tables they were using earlier

 The last time we were here Omwabini cared for about 300 orphans. That number has grown some but  an encouraging aspect is that now about 15 percent of their of their student population are fee paying students  

They now have  214 high school students  and 216 the elementary grades students. The latest developments sppe well of the quality of education provided here and their push toward more sustainability.

Friday, October 23, 2015

And we are back.... Omwabini Rescue Steps

Arrived at Omwabini Rescue Steps at  Kimilili Kenya late Thursday afternoon, about 48 hours after boarding a KLM bus in Ottawa and not much worse for wear.
Yesterday's 10 hour van ride from Nairobi to Kimilili took us through some beautiful Kenyan countryside and reintroduced us to their way of life.

It was great to see everyone again after nearly three years. The little ones all look the same as we remember them but about 10 inches taller.

Please pray that KLM can work through the confusion that left three of our eight bags in Montreal

We are very much looking forward to working with the good folks here.