Inspired Words

These are the experiences of our volunteers in Kenya.


June 5: Digging Holes, withdrawing cash and Blackout Birthday Party

Posted in Kenya on June 8, 2009


Today, we work at Ngaya to plant onion seedlings and prepare sack gardens – a contraption of rock and soil to plant things in. When we finish, Rocky tells us to dig holes around the schoolyard to plant trees.
“How many holes?” We all ask.
“100,” Rocky replies with a straight face.
We’re never able to tell whether Rocky is telling the truth or joking. He has such a serious demeanor, but he’s also notorious for playing practical jokes. We laugh, half hoping that he’s joking. At noon, Nathan comes round and offers to drive Anisha and I to Naivasha so I can withdraw some much-needed cash for the team. Getting shillings has proven to be a big challenge because the nearest ATM is 45 minutes away from Maai-Mahiu. There’s also a 40,000 KSH limit on each withdrawal, which is equivalent to about $600 CDN.
When I get back to the project site, the rest of the team looks exhausted and are ready to go home.
“We’ve dug more than 60 holes,” Kayla drones.
Still, the rest of Ngaya’s garden needs to be weeded, so I convince everyone to work through the afternoon. In two hours, we finish hoeing the entire garden and we pat ourselves on the back for our efficiency.
Tonight, we’re just relieved to chill out and relax at the hotel. It’s Kerwin’s birthday today, so we’ve bought some cupcakes and iced them with chocolate peanut butter. After dinner, we’ll stage a blackout and the plan is for Holly, Kayla and I to come out from the kitchen with candles, cupcakes and party hats. Then it’s off to Rocky’s tomorrow for part two of the celebrations, where Kerwin will slaughter a goat.

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