To school in matatu
Sixth day on the African continent, how lucky we are! We have to remind each other that we are in Africa; it is an thrilling experience for us... A fantastic breakfast has given us enough energy to get off to a good start. We get into the "Matatu", as we have been doing, to go to Maramba. The matatu is a public transport van. Each matatu covers specific routes, and locations crisscrossing the roads and streets picking up people to take them to the destinations they desire. The vehicle has a capacity of 14 people but here, where 14 can fit, 23 people can fit also; a hilarious madness that can be described as "hakuna matata” (there are no problems). With the music of the matatu, which comes out of a small speaker with saturated sound and that makes us wake up even more, we arrive at Maramba. We knew that the children drank a glass of milk every day, and today we were able to accompany and watch them take it. The owners of the tea factory pay for the milk. They also make sure that the teachers of the nursery, Purity and Agnes, receive a salary. Tea plantations are located in the vicinity of Maramba and most of the mothers of the children we teach work in it; 12 hours of hard work that is poorly paid. For many of the children, the morning glass of milk is the only food they have throughout the day.
Today the children play with yoyos, and prepare a lentil plant. We prepare them in transparent cups, so they can see how they germinate in the coming days. They hide them in cotton, moisten them, and put their name in the cup with a marker. Then we told them the story of Little Red Riding Hood; it's been an odyssey to get the children to understand us. Many of them do not understand English and Chela, our companion, has helped us translate it into Swahili. To reward and make them appreciate good behavior, we posted some cards in the class with the name of the children so that each day they put a sticker if they have behaved well. We ask the children to say thank you when we reward them.
Today, Jackie, who works for Kianda Foundation, and has studied IT, assisted us and was like one among us.
In the evening, were lucky to have a chat with Frankie. She narrated her life story and how she started the project within the foundation. She told us that she started it 29 years ago with the objective of creating a training school for women. Currently she is a community leader in the area. Much of her work consists of travelling around the world to raise funds to pay the fees for the girls who study at Kimlea. Each student spends about 680 euros a year; they pay 200 euros and the remaining 480 euros are financed by volunteers and donations that have been collected. On the 7th there will be a golf event at the Limuru Country Club and we will be there to help make it our responsibility and a success. Astonished by the fantastic work that is done in Kimlea and the amount of people who collaborate in it, we go to sleep. Kenya never ceases to amaze us.