When I posted to my Facebook page that I was back in a Kenya I received a number of comments from my many African friends that could be summarized as “Welcome home.” The Swahili phrase is “Karibu Nyumbani”. ” Come and visit. When will I see you? I hope we can have lunch? Are you coming my way? ”
This social media welcome extended to our first couple of days here where school principals were asking if we could visit them. Even the students at one secondary school we anxious to have a school assembly to welcome us and they insisted that all of them get in the picture.
Africans are generous and excited about welcoming visitors. They extend that greeting to me but it feels more like family to me in so many East African communities.
I have a theory that there is some of my DNA that recognizes this as a place of my ancestral origin. If Monarch butterflies can find their breeding ground in Mexico without ever having been there or salmon can swim back to their birthplace to breed, I am sure that there is some little chemical part of my genes that know this as the place where my genetic being began.
Over the next three weeks I will visit at least ten communities and will try to share some photos of my visits. On Friday we went to the St Catherine School to open a new classsroom building and to the Ramula Secondary School where we constructed a new kitchen several months ago. Both are well maintained and are serving the students and teachers well. They are all grateful for the support of the many donors to the CanAssist African Relief Trust that have made these improvements to their communities possible.
Yesterday we attended a basketball tournament in Kisumu – food for another longer story. Stay tuned.
Today we are heading to “the rural” for an overnight with Dan Otieno’s grandmother, Ann. How fortunate I feel to be able to experience this association with my numerous African families.
We cross the equator every day going from Kisumu to Ramula. In fact the Ramula Secondary school is situated on the Equator!
These are the students at Ramula Secondary School, taken near the water tanks, installed with CanAssist donor support. Before these tanks were put in, the water for the school was brought in by donkey from a stream. The student have much less gastrointestinal illness with this clean water available.
Nancy looks out through the window of one of the new classrooms at St Catherine school as the kids sing and dance in celebration in the yard.
When I visited this community two years ago there was nothing here. The kids learned under a tree. Now there are six classrooms, an improved latrine, rainwater catchment and school furnishings at the St Catherine school, thanks to the support of CanAssist donors.
Signing the guest book at St Catherine School in the principal’s office. The last time I signed a document here it was in his office on a table under a mango tree.
Cutting the ribbon to open the new classroom at St Catherine school with a butcher knife. No scissors available.