Tuesday, September 1, 2009

A Day in Nairobi

This morning H2O for Life members met with Kenya Rainwater Association. They were the implementing partners for the 2007-08 school year on three of our school projects. The US partner schools working through KRA were: Highview Middle School, Irondale High School and Centennial Middle School-all located in Minnesota. Two of the schools were visited by us last Saturday. We hope to visit the third school, time permitting, next week.

Kenya Rainwater has a long history in Kenya. They are experts on rainwater harvesting, and we are very pleased with their project results. We were delighted to see that their June edition of thier monthly magazine has Entonet School on the cover- a project supported by H2O for Life and Highview Middle School. The article has beautiful photos of Entonet students and the water tank and a thank-you note written by a student.

Beatrice Nkeyian, student, says in her letter:
"There before we used to walk for more than 4Km to fetch water and sometimes we even miss school because of water and this may even lead to poor performance but now you have converted the kilometers to some meters. You have pulled us from nothing to something."

We will post the article on our website soon.

We have 5 school projects available with Kenya Rainwater for this year. Let us know if your school or YOU can help!

We had anticipated a visit to a school project, but when we found that the targeted project was a 4 hour drive (one way) over bumpy roads that we had already covered- we decided to forego the visit. We know that we can trust KRA to complete great projects in the future.

Val Johnson and I decided to walk around Nairobi! We stopped to get a city map, and with the help of a young man from Kentan Safaris, we headed to the City Market. Once we arrived at the market, we were on our own! There were rows and rows of shops- all stocked with jewelry, wooden carvings, bowls, baskets, purses- all the crafts available in Kenya in one place. The standard mode of operation is BARTERING! We were strong and only bought the items we really wanted! (I'm sure at an inflated price, but that's ok) We had fun talking to the vendors. I had an "Obama" bag, that was the impetus of many conversations. In the market, President Obama's face appears on batiks, kangas(cloth used as skirts) and paintings. People in Kenya love Obama!

The market sits next to a meat and fish market- the smell was not very inviting. We did manage to take a few photos of the meat slabs hanging in the open air. It will make us think twice before ordering meat tonight.

We stopped at the Norfolk Hotel for a late lunch. It is an historic hotel with many photos of Nairobi in the early 1900's. The lunch was delicious. We decided to walk a few blocks after lunch but found that crossing the streets in Nairobi is a real challenge. The cars careen around the corners, and move very fast! After crossing a few streets we decided our safest mode of transportation back to our hotel was a cab!

Tomorrow we meet with the Assistant Prime Minister of Foreign Affairs. Our meeting was arranged by the Prime Minister's brother, Jimmy- whom we met in Minnesota! It is a small world. We look forward to learning more about the Kenyan Government. Now....if we can only find out what happened to our laundry, we may be able to dress appropriately for our meeting tomorrow.

Ulale Salama! (good-night)

No comments:

Post a Comment