Sunday, January 30, 2011

Before: Kitchen

This is probably the best picture for the actual color of the walls thru the whole house before painting. They were grey and gross...

Before: Sitting Room

The patched crack is there.....

After: Sitting Room

So fresh and so clean clean!! Thru the door is the bathroom and shower room and then the hallway to the spare rooms.

After: Sitting Room

My bench looks so nice next to the new wall color! The lighting makes the paint look darker here, but it's still the same color.

Before: Sitting Room Wall


After: Sitting Room Wall

This is next to the front door. Doesn't the free calendar look so nice now?!

After: Hallway to Spare Rooms

The paint looks whiter and lighter here because of the light. The paint brightens up this whole area that used to be really dark. The sun reflects a lot now.

After: Kitchen

It looks so clean!

After: Kitchen

Nice and bright now!

After: Sitting Room

And now it's gone!

My Painting Crew

From left to right: Lorenzo, Arielle, and DeAnne. They are peace corps volunteers from around my area and they came to help me paint. I paid them with many thanks and food. :)

Friday, January 28, 2011

A Rough Day With Some Perks...

Tuesday didn’t start off the best. It was one of those days where you wake up knowing that you should just stay home and do nothing. I was woken up by my roommate, one of the secondary school teachers, telling me that there were sweet potatoes that I can boil and eat. Awesome!...but not at 6:30am. As I’m getting ready I hear the back door open. Anytime a Kenyan approaches a house they always yell out “Hodi!” to announce themselves. I heard no “Hodi”, but when I came out of my room I found the milk man…yep, a guy who brings fresh cow’s milk in the AM for my roommates, and he was about to pour milk into my “treated water ONLY” pitcher that he got off the table from inside my house. I quickly stopped him and gave him something else. Then, I reluctantly went into Malindi to run some errands. It was a very risky drive into town because the matatu driver thought it would be a good idea to race a huge bus to the next village. It’s a very bumpy, rocky, and uneven road mind you. Finally in town and my day gets a bit better. My last stop was to buy more paint for my house. After waiting for the hardware store to reopen after lunch (1.5 hours), I saw my friend the Hardware Store Guy, Hussin. He gave me a huge discount on the paint and brushes. He always treats me well and I’m sure it helps that I’m a girl, white, and can speak a bit of Giriama, so he enjoys my visits. He also gave me money for the tuk tuk (three wheeled golf cart looking thingy) ride to the stage. At the stage, I caught the bus that my conductor friend, Masudi, works on and he gives me free rides. The day was looking up! Back in Jilore, I rushed over to see the headmaster at school before he left. He looked over another proposal that I had finished and approved it. So, I emailed that off. Yay! I was so tired and beat from the day that I went home to go to bed early. Oh, but no so fast…..after I got done bathing, I came back into my room and found evidence of a rat eating a mango that I had on my desk! When I came into my room, it had scared him off, but that also meant that he was still in my room! So….I went on a hunt. I set a trap with a piece of mango as the bait and was about to set it up on the floor when I heard a sound from the window. On the window louvers was the sneaky bastard! I placed the trap on the window sill and I left the room, closed the door and just waited….it took about 10 mins for him to take the bait and SNAP! goes the trap. I was proud that my plan had worked, but then extremely grossed out because now I had to get rid of the body…yuck! Grossed out the whole time, I took trap (rat attached) outside. Finally! After all these events, I went to bed and ended such a rough day!

The next day turned out to be A LOT better! I was able to speak to the MP of Malindi at a fish pond opening and he said that money will be arriving in two weeks to start renovations on the dispensary. This means we’ll be receiving money for electricity installation, a new roof and painting inside and out to start the project! I also passed along the proposal for the resource center and he will be getting back to me next week about what he can donate. Sweet deal, it was a good day!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Mango Season!

Here is the size of mangos that are in season now. You get your 10 shillings worth! Mangos tend to be a full meal for me sometimes too. So tasty!


This is the bench that i had made. I wanted something different and the layout of the sitting room wasn't good for a sofa. This bench is perfect for relaxing and it's wide enough to be a bed for guests....mosquito net included!

My new bestie, Maggie

This is maggie, the pastor's wife's sister (they have 8 kids in their family). Maggie moved to jilore from nyanza province to go to school this year. She is in class 6, which is like 6th grade. She is super smart and fierce! She makes me laugh all the time and she is one of my favorites here at site.

Safaricom cell tower

This is the wonderful, finished and working cell phone tower! I'm so happy that i don't have to stand in one corner of my house, with one leg bent, and an arm in the air holding a metal pot inorder to get reception anymore.... :)

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

It's been a while!

Lots of things have been going on so here is an update post!

The holiday season was busy and very fun! Since schools are on break in December, it was slow at my site. I did a lot of planning for the next school term that starts in Jan. I will be starting a boys and girls forum in the secondary and primary schools. This will be a chance for the students to write down questions anonymously and put them in a box. In the forum, the questions are pulled out and discussed. This was a great activity that I did in college when I was an RA. It opens the discussion to go anywhere about anything, and the kids don't have to be embarrassed to ask. I'm starting a salon club for the girls in boarding at the secondary school. Thank you to everyone who gave my mom old hair appliances. The girls are very excited about receiving them soon!

I traveled to Loitokitok to visit my home stay family or my Kenyan family as I like to call them. It was great to see them for a couple of days and I enjoyed playing with my little sister who is talking up a storm now. I found that my Swahili speaking level is at a 2.5 year old's because we had some great convos that I understood completely! haha A large number of other PCVs from my training class came out to the coast for Christmas and New Years. It was so fun to be around each other again and not have to worry about going to training the next day. For New Years, we were in Diani Beach. There was a huge party at the beach bar 40 Thieves. They brought in 13 or so South African DJ's that performed for the 24-hour party. It started at 9pm New Years Eve and went far into the following day. We had an in with the DJ's, so me and some friends ended up hanging out with them a bit and making friends with a couple of the guys that live in Port Elizabeth, SA. I plan on traveling down there after peace corps and having a tour of South Africa with them! Check out Guns N Lazers They are amazing!  I worked on my tan while hanging out in Diani and I'm happy to say it looks good and dark!

Back at site, I returned to find that the cell phone tower across the road from my house is up and running! I have awesome reception now and it makes my life so much easier! Still working on getting electricity to the dispensary tho.....The market is doing well. It's mango season here, so they are selling them like crazy! They are huge and delicious! Right now they are being sold for 10 shillings each....that is .125 cents US. I'll be posting some pictures soon to show you the size of them!

My main focus right now is getting the Resource Center funded. We were awarded a grant of $500 USD from the organization Kids to Kids! This is a huge help, but we still have a lot to go until we have the full amount raised and Peace Corps can release the funds to us and we start building. So if you haven't donated already, get to it! It's a simple process through the peace corps website Search the project number 615-182. If you are really eager to raise some money, start a collection jar at work, find that spare change in the sofa, or go door to door, tell a friend, etc! haha It's girl scout cookie season too I've heard, so instead of another box of cookies, donate that $4 to the project! If you know of any organizations or people that are interested in donating to Kenya or this type of project, let me know and I can send you more detailed information on it. Donate Donate Donate! Thank you to all that have already donated too!

Other than that, life is back to simple in the bush. I'm working on doing some redecorating to my house. New mosquito netting on the windows, painting the inside, and putting up some shelves and such. I also had a bench/sofa/bed made for the sitting room. I'll put up some before and after pictures. I'm excited for this too because its much needed! 

Hope all is well at home and I'll be sure to write more often.
Much love!