Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Kakuyuni Puppeteers Strike Again!

They did back to back performances at kakoneni primary and secondary schools. These are the primary students seeing their talent for the first time. I got a Puppeteers t-shirt too! :)

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

A Peace Corps Story: It would only happen in the Peace Corps....part 1...it's a long one, so keep reading the posts below.

So being in the peace corps brings very different situations in one's
life that may never have occured if they weren't in PC. Thus, last
night: so i went into Malindi to work at a cyber cafe. My two friends
kingston and pastor patrick came with me to set up facebook accounts.
We arrived in the afternoon and would leave on the last matatu home
around 6pm. Plenty of time to get home before dark. So i do my stuff
and the boys get facebook accounts. We run into another PCV and chat
for a bit. Then time to head home. We arrive at the stage and find no
matatu. Hmmm...maybe we're early. The stage is clearing out and people
are packing up to go home. Another two people show up looking for the
matatu. We ask around and no one knows and there isn't another one
coming. Crap...ok so, some taxis pull up and start offering rides.
Since i'm a muzungu (a white person) they expect me to be loaded with
cash. So the first price is 2,000 Shillings. Here's the comparison: a
matatu to Jilore is 80 shillings and a mini bus is 50!

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A Peace Corps Story: part 2....

Umm...no! Luckily i'm with kingston and patrick who speak Giriama so
the negociating began. Next price: 1,500...NOPE! It always seems that
other kenyans randomly appear when negociations happen. So two piki
piki drivers, a guy kingston knew from school, and a random joined in
on the fun to rip off an muzungu. The old schoolmate kept trying to
convince me that 1st: 1,500 was a good price, 2nd: the boys have to
get home, but i could stay in malindi (one place offered was his
house), and 3rd: he felt that calling me baby as many times as he
could in each sentence would convice me to pay that ridiculous price.
I had to walk away several times to stop laughing directly in his face
b/c baby in a "wannabe player" kenyan accent is hilarious. I offered
600 for the 3 of us and refused to pay more. A good 45 mins later, and
many more "baby's", they finally agreed to 700. Sold! By that time i
just wanted to go home and hiding my American behaviors like sarcasim,
smart ass remarks, and cursing where getting difficult.

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A Peace Corps Story: part 3....

We finally leave the stage just to pull into the gas station around
the corner. This is when i let the sarcastic remarks out, but i said
them more to myself and quickly so they didn't understand what i was
saying. 1st one: "i'm glad i could pay for your fuel that costs a
faction of what you are forcing me to pay you." We finish there and
slowly make our way out of town. The one road to Jilore is dirt, has
many bumps, hills and uneven spots. We're in a low to the ground car
with 5 people. When i say slow, it was crazy slow. I'm pretty sure we
never went above 10 MPH. We stop after crawling for 10 mins and the
driver and his sidekick stop and pick up food. 2nd one: "i'm so glad i
could buy you dinner too...live it up." It took about 1.5 hrs to make
a 30 mins drive. At some points there was good music. I showed the
boys my rap skills, so i couldn't complain there. Upon arrival
(finally!), kingston pays him and has a short chat and then the
sidekick gets out and goes into the social club where we were dropped.

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A Peace Corps Story: part 4...

I asked kingston if there was a problem and he starts laughing. Then
tells me the sidekick asked if he had any condoms. Kingston said no,
but they maybe were sold inside the social club. 3rd one: "i'm so glad
i could pay for your booty call too!" lol They drive off towards
Kakoneni...the next village over...away from Malindi...going the same
direction we were just following....hmmm, so i'm pretty sure they were
headed there regardless if you are asking for condoms! All and all it
was a fun experience and i laughed thru the whole thing, but
thought....this would never had happened back at home. And thus, a
peace corps story was born. Enjoy!

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Saturday, October 16, 2010

Two new worlds opened...

This is Patrick (i call him pastor patrick) and Kingston. They are two of my closest friends in Jilore. Today i had them set up their first email accounts and showed them the basics of email. It's also their first time to ever use a computer. I've never seen them so giddy before! They did a great job. It's the little things that count. :)

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Kakuyuni Puppeteers

This was the HIV/AIDS program from the puppeteers. They did a great job acting out two skits. They really appealed to the students and kept them laughing. Then they discussed ways to protect yourself and where to get tested. I'm so happy I found this group and will be working with them a lot! :)

Monday, October 11, 2010

"Prior Planning Prevents Piss-Poor Performance"

I'm finally starting to plan and organize some of the project ideas
i've had in my head since arriving at site. I met with my village
chief to fill him in and got his support and approval. This week, i
meet with the village elders to do the same and send them out to start
spreading the word and moblizing the people. I'm using them like my
little minions (in a good way)! So, my first goal it to start a market
day. This is like a farmer's market where fruits and veggies are sold.
That will hopefully start moving some pesa around in the community.
Then getting some goat and chicken raising groups started for income
generating activities. Then getting the youth more active with
community service type work, a salon club for girls in the secondary
school, and having open forums for youth to ask any and all questions.
I'm hoping to also start an offical HIV/AIDS Support group here along
with a list of other things! I'm happy to say i have amazing support
in my village, so one of these ideas is bound to work!

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Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Witchcraft? It's possible....

Witchcraft has been the topic of convos this week! When i first
arrived in Jilore, i was told that there is a lot of witchcraft here.
The high school was going to be one of the best in the country until
it was cursed. The programs were taken to Nairobi and florished,
leaving Jilore high abandoned. Students have been known to have
nightmares, scream for no reason, and unknown scratches appear.
Diagonosis: witchcraft. Persistant medical problems like pains in the
chest or head are said to be demons living inside of you and
evanglists are called in to "save" you. They legit do it like on TV
where the people roll around, cry, and collapse. Sometimes the witch
drs come at night and move you. You wake up under the bed or naked out
in the shamba (fields). If something goes wrong or you never succeed
then you may have a curse. Supposidly, it doesn't affect outsiders,
but i've been told i should have a protection charm put on. It could
be true, but i haven't seen proof yet. But it's entertaining to hear
the stories!

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Tuesday, October 5, 2010

It's a boy!

This is a baby boy born at my dispensary today. He is less than an hour old. He looks like a little monkey!