Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Quick Update

Claire is currently working with the nurses and has gone with them to take a young girl to the hospital. When she gets back this evening we will work together on an official update. We have now been in Kenya for over a week and are starting to find our place at Nyumbani. Claire continues to spend her mornings working with the nurses (mainly working on the distribution of medication) as well as working at the respite (sp?) center where sick children from the local slums are brought in by Nymbani's sister program Lea Toto. Lea Toto are medical centers established in the major slums around Niarobi where they are assisting families with medication for their chilcren with HIV as well as helping them ensure that they can create a stable and healthy environment for their child to grow up in. There are times that the family is not able to do this and when a child becomes too undernourished they are brought into Nyumbani for medical care and food. It is one of these children that Claire has gone with to admit into the hospital.
I have been spending my mournings working with the Shamba Man (gardener). Last night during the rains a large tree fell one of the guest houses (no serious damage, but the roof will have to be mended). Today the Shamba Man and I used Pangas (machettes) to cut the tree into smaller pieces so it could be removed from the roof and then delimbed.
Monday is a Holiday due to Easter so Claire and I will begin our Math teaching on Tuesday. We will be mostly working on multiplication with them, but are not sure yet how advanced the 6th and 7th graders will be. We will also most likely be doing addition with the 1st and 2nd graders.
The curriculum in Kenya is very difficult but I have beent told that the teaching methods are where the teachers says something and the children sit in their seats, listen, and then repeat. This method tends to leave slower learners behind.
Over that past week we have slowly started to meet and talk with the 100+ children that live at Nyumbani. Between them and the staff I have already learned so much about Kenya, the culture, and people.
Anyway, I will wrap this up so Claire and I will have a few things to talk about together when we update later this evening.

Ta Ta from Kenya,
Grant and Claire

Thursday, March 25, 2010




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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Greetings from Kenya

Last night we arrived in Nairobi without any complications. Both of our checked bags arrived with us, and Sister Julie was waiting outside the gate with a sign ready to take us to Nymbani (about a 30 min. drive from the Airport).

The weather here is actually very pleasant. At night it cools off to a comfortable temperature making sleeping easy while during the day it is around 70 degrees with clouds moving in and out. No rain yet, but it did rain before be landed, and the clouds moving by look like they have rain in them.

Claire and I have a room together. It is in a complex called the Noel House named after a family that had it built. It is a two story building, similar to a motel with about 8-10 rooms. Out room is set up with a small fridge, sink, and gas stove in the front room, a bedroom with two twin beds that we have pushed together and a dresser, and a bathroom with a shower/sink/toilet. The water for drinking it taken from an underground river that they have checked constantly to ensure that it is safe for everyone to drink (we are have a pen to sterilize water, so we can make doubly sure that it is safe to drink). As long as it is sunny we will have hot water for showers as there are solar water heaters on the top of the buildings.

The children are in school for another week or more, so Claire and I will not start our teaching duties until that point. Once the program starts our duties will be to help the children with their math. Currently we are spending our mornings helping out around the village. I will the the Assistant to the Shamba Man (Gardner) and Claire is helping the nurses out with medications for the children. We have not had the opportunity to take the 10 minute walk into town to do any shopping, but we will be sure to write about that within the nest couple of days when we can do our shopping.

We have wireless Internet access in our rooms, we have been told that it can be less than reliable, but it seems to be working fine for now.

So far we have been very impressed with Nyumbani and the people who are a part of it. In the next few days I have to take some pictures so people can a a feel for where we are living.

Talk to you soon,
Grant and Claire

Monday, March 22, 2010

March 22nd, First stop: London

Grant and I just landed in London. We made it safely, even with the British Airways' "cabin crew" being on strike. The stand-in people did a great job-- however, a little less friendly and cold food. We are here for a 22 hr lay-over before making our way to Nairobi. We are at Starbucks right now and had to buy a Starbucks "Reward Card" (5 pounds) so we could use their "free" internet...grrrr (technically the 5 pounds can be used to buy a coffee later--I wish they told us that before we had already bought our coffee).

Anyways, we are meeting up with our cousins in China Town tonight and then spending the night with our cousin, Euan, in South London. We take another long flight to Nairobi, Kenya tomorrow morning and arrive at 9:30pm. I wonder if they will be serving "hot" food?

We will update you as quickly as the internet will allow us.

Claire and Grant