The End of One Adventure and the Beginning of Another!

Emma_dunwoody Posted by Emma Dunwoody on Tue, 05 Jul 2011 | 1 comments | Bookmark: digg this Post this to Post this to Facebook

Apologies for how long it has been since I’ve posted a blog so now I’ll try to update you all on life in Kenya!

The time came in the middle of June to say goodbye to our home of six and a half weeks and move south to Kajiado. Our last week in Nairobi was fantastic. On the Monday we got an opportunity to teach the kids in Tujisaidie Primary School about Ireland. We gave them all maps of the world and of Ireland and told them about our very different weather, seasons, food and “wildlife”. I’m not entirely sure that I was factually correct the whole way through when they were asking about our politics but it still seemed to go down well! And of course there were plenty of questions about the English premier league which all Kenyans seem to know much more about than I do! A few days later one of the teachers asked the children, “So what did we learn comes from Ireland?”. It was very quiet until one child shouted “Mzungus!” Maybe they didn’t understand us very well after all!

One of the highlights of our whole experience so far was when we got to go with the children from Tujisaidie in Kayole to the animal orphanage. Kirsten and I arrived early at the school so we could be with the children the whole way through the day, it was well worth it! It’s not an exaggeration to say that this trip was the highlight of some of the children’s lives. For some of them their parents might struggle to provide food on a daily basis so a trip like this was such a very big treat. Even the bus journey was exciting, and 120 very excited kids on a bus can make a lot of noise! For me the day was made because of the children’s reactions to all the things that they saw, from a car dealership to the crocodiles. They loved their day and because of that so did we. (Although I did get very excited to see a baby giraffe!)

It was so hard to believe when the day came for Ronnie and Maggie to come and pick us up at All Saints Cathedral. The time we spent there flew in and we had a brilliant time. It was hard to leave all the people that we’d gotten to know during the time we spent there but we left knowing that we’d definitely be back again to see them all in the future. I couldn’t say a big enough thank you to Louise for the work she and the other UDP committee members do. Their work in Kayole is tremendous. We got to see children who have almost nothing, but because of their education they can realistically hope to go on to secondary school and university. Because of the UDP people have been able to store water in water tanks and children are able to get a school lunch which might be their only meal of the day. I feel very privileged to have seen that work firsthand.

Last week we were able to go back to say a proper goodbye to Tujisaidie School as they were on mid-term when we left. When we were leaving the principal called a school parade just for us! It was very emotional to say goodbye to the children and teachers that we’d become very attached to. We were so touched by how much they appreciated our being there with them. It’s been a real honour to spend time with the people there.

I found the transition to Kajiado a difficult one at first and it did take us both some time to adjust. Despite my reservations at first as I’d grown so used to the hustle and bustle of Nairobi that quiet little Kajiado seemed very strange at first! But it was great to meet Dr Catherine McKnight who I’d be working with in the clinic and it was so good to see a lot of familiar faces around the ACK compound from when I was here in 2008. Not a lot has changed, other than the new accommodation block that has gone up. One of the biggest differences that we found in Kajiado was how much more Swahili we pick up. From being in the nursery Kirsten knows her shapes and kitchen utensils very well while I know body parts and words like “pain” and “temperature”!

Despite my sadness at leaving Nairobi, I’m very excited to see how the next few weeks will unfold and what I will learn from my time here.

Emma Dunwoody

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raymond & carole said Thu, 07 Jul 2011 12:41PM
hi emma, just letting you know we read your update, thanks. love and prayers.

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