A 'typical' day in Oltiasika

Kenya_2015b Posted by Kenya META 2015 on Wed, 22 Jul 2015 | 1 comments | Bookmark: digg this Post this to del.icio.us Post this to Facebook

A typical (?) day at the Masai Rural Training Centre

For those who look after us, life begins just after 6am, as they prepare, cook and set up for the day. For the members of the team there is breakfast at 8am, with porridge/cereal/ bread and eggs. It’s important to eat well as we have a day of hard work ahead of us.

By 9:15, we are making our way down to Ben at the Woodwork shop. Ben is from the Kamba tribe and has an infectious sense of humour and fun. He still works us hard because there is a lot to do.

We began our time here re-building school desks, these look a little like the kind of desks our grandparents might have used years ago, (apologies – there are no photos but we will upload these when we have broadband coverage). These tables, which seat up to five children, are not very strong or stable, but for now they are the best available. Without them the children sit and work on the floor. We have a pile of old broken tables from which we have managed to salvage ten. Much of the wood has dried out and most of our time is spent looking for the right piece to stabilise each desk we have reconstructed.

Already, by 10am, it is getting very warm so drinking plenty of water is essential. By 10.30 we are exhausted and a much needed Chai break is taken. The hardest part of the day is the late morning shift: it is hot and dusty but the visits by people of all ages throughout the morning provide welcome relief.There is always the sound of hammering, sawing and drilling, but also a lot of talking and laughter. Not speaking the language is a problem but our mentor, Naphthali, (more about him later), and Ben enjoy translating.

Lunch is always wonderful, both the food and the rest. Then some of the team may go with Kirsty to teach a class or two, while the rest go back to the workshop. In the heat of the day, friendships are deepened. Children and mothers carrying water are more frequent now, as are groups of pupils, curious about the Mzungus, shyly giggling and staring, until a football (of sorts) appeared and then friendships are formed. It is quite terrifying having about 20 kids running at you to get the ball off you!

When we finished and delivered the ten desks, just in time for the senior classes tests, we moved on to making window frames and then to computer tables and chairs for the Education Centre the 2013 META team helped to build and furnish in Imberikani. Few of us have ever done this type of work before, but it is heartening to watch team members grow in confidence as they work under Ben’s tuition. We have graduated on to more complex work now but it continues to be great fun. We stop for chai at 4, and head home ‘tired but happy’. As for what happens in the evenings, I’ll tell you about that in the next blog.



Nicola said Thu, 23 Jul 2015 02:18PM
Well done Team, we're loving reading about what you are up to and looking forward to seeing photos and hearing more when you get back. We felt every bump in the track with you Bethany! God Bless and see you soon.

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