A brief recounting of the day

It’s Wednesday, 2:30pm at Daraja Academy as I begin this blog post, though this will be posted much later.  

The day began rather early for me.  As usual in a new place and a new bed with new sounds in the night, I woke up at around 3 am and had a little difficulty getting back to sleep.  A little sudoku and eventually my mind was tired enough to make another go at dreaming.  

As my mother is my roommate and happily wakes up at dawn, I had no need for an alarm, although I usually set about 3 of them just in case.  Happily, she also likes to get into the bathroom first, so I could drift into wakefulness.  

The view from our windows at dawn is absolutely majestic.  One of the days, I’m looking forward to just watching the sun paint the world in its radiance.  There are such brilliant colors at that time of day; any painter would find themselves in wonder to see such bright hues coming into being in the natural world.  

After applying the layers of powders and creams and sprays, we were out for breakfast and then an early day with the students.  It’s a long drive, taking the students to their NGO locations:  Hope and Homes in Nanyuki (an orphanage and school for children rescued from the street); Youth Hub (organization where youth set the agenda); and Simama (home for children rescued from the street that provides an education, home, and courseling for students).  Today, the day was made a bit more complex with a visit to Cottage Hospital.  

One of the students, as a result of the travel, had a significant problem with foot swelling.  Unfortunately, with circulation challenges and tight shoes and socks for nearly three days of travel led to signifcant swelling of the feet.  Yesterday, she had her feet up for quite a while and while today they looked much better, still I decided that it was best for her to go to the doctor … and hey, we could learn about the Kenyan health care system a bit.  

I learned that government-contracted doctors are now on strike and have been for the last two months.  They are demanding a salary increase (either 100 or 300% of what they currently have).  No agreement in site on that, but this didn’t affect us at Cottage Hospital as it is a private hospital.  The student saw the doctor on call, had some lab work, got a prescription and within about 1.5 hrs of our arrival was ready to return to connecting with Simama and she was certainly ready to go.  I went with her, meeting her team and my co-instructor.  As my co-instructor and I had no work to take up, we spent time learning more about the project and the children they serve and I also did some work catching up on assignments that the students had completed for the class.  Lots more on that front to do as well.  

After our trip to Simama, we returned to campus for lunch (a favorite of mine, a maize, potato, and red bean dish) and then the students went on to their chores in the garden, kitchen, recycling work, or (at a later time) meeting with their writing mentors.  

Unfortunately for me and my mom/co-instructor, we had trouble with our house key and after a trek up and down and up again to our house on the hill, finally got in through the intercession of Moses, who knows just about every type of wildlife of Kenya, knows how to fix just about any automobile, and manages to save the day at least once every time that I’m here.  Also, he made it up, down, and back again to the house where I had left my mom to figure out the key situation in, it seemed, 10 minutes only.  I am doing many things wrong with my fitness.  

So, no recycling duty for us today.  We will join the chore schedule on Friday.  Today, I had some course management work and budget work.  So far, we are doing very well on budget, though each night I look it over again, just to make sure that we are set.  Managing finances for 15 people can be challenging.  Also, we have just begun our journey, so I’ve been trying to continue to check in with the budget to make sure that our security today does not lead to concerns tomorrow.  

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On deck for the rest of the day, the school will be having a school wide meeting, so the group will be heading on a walk to the river to talk about water conservation.  After dinner and today’s debriefing session, the writing mentor team will be meeting with their mentees and then they will have time to complete and submit their writing proposals.  So far, I have an idea of what all groups will be doing (developing content for a website and social media campaign for Youth Hub; a website for Hope and Homes; student file data entry and a brochure for Simama).  I just need to review the proposals this evening to give them some suggestions and make sure that the projects are doable.  

#twt, #Kenya, #Jan180

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