Inspired Words

These are the experiences of our volunteers in Kenya.

January 9: Very welcoming volunteers, leaders and community!

Posted in Kenya on January 9, 2013

I didn't have much time to post earlier today, so here is a little more, posted from our hotel bar. There is a TV presently broadcasting a world traveler being interviewed on his sailing boat. Laurel is comfortable in a chair talking to Marcia, while Don and Dave ask the bartender why Kenyans don't wear sunglasses. His reply, "they don't like the dust getting in their eyes when the sunglasses are on"....interesting.

Margaret is the leader of the volunteer teams that arrive to help us each day. Each volunteer is coordinated to work two days of the two weeks we are at the project. It is a lot of fun, but it has a serious side; if a volunteer arrives late, they are sent home and fined! Our small group of volunteers have it a little easier; we have breakfast at 7:30 and meet one of the reforestation project Team Members, Julius, Bernice, Lucy (Nderitu’s sister) or Margaret, who accompany us on our 30 minute walk to the project site. Nderitu, for those of you who don’t know him, is DWC host partner contact and was born in this community and coordinates the projects. He lives in Colorado, and he and his Brother David are the principle operators of Wilderness Kenyan Safaris based here as well. The team members do not accompany us because they are concerned about security, they do it out of respect for our efforts, which Margaret says they admire because we came so far to their little community, and we could have gone anywhere else in the world, but we chose her community, so she says they are so thankful!

The Kenyan countryside is lush and painted with shafts of golden sun in the morning light. Mt Kenya rises majestically before us as we walk the first part of the road. People have already staked their sheep beside the sweet grass on the roadside and children are walking to school. School is both public and private and usually located close to each other. School for the older students starts at 7:30am and ends at 5:00pm, with a 45 minute lunch break; for Kenyans, education is the key to helping the community. There are children walking on both sides of the road, dressed in various types of uniforms, some with close-fitting toques and sweaters; it is cool here at 6000 ft altitude, with daily temperatures in the mid-twenties and nighttime temperatures around 15-16 degrees Celsius.

People feel very safe here, the children walk along the roadside throughout the day, as young as four years old; people old and young site by the roadside and say ‘jambo’ as we pass by them, roosters are crowing and children scurry out of their farms to watch us, often saying ‘jambo’ and waving. Margaret says everyone in the community knows the names of everyone else, in the neighborhood of 10,000 individuals. On the days when Bernice accompanies us, for example, Margaret walks down the road from her farm, a milk jug from her cow, nearby, to shake each of our hands and welcome us to another day of work. Margaret is also a leader, “like my Father and Grandfather before me,” she told us.

Today we moved tons of broken rock into the pit, ran out of rock and waited another hour before a dump truck delivered more crushed rock. We quickly resumed our teamwork, moving rock hand by hand to the edges of the pit so that the engineer and lead hand could coordinate the placement of the rocks. It was a very full day.

Cam Grant
DWC Team Leader
Naro Moru, January 2013

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