Sunday, June 5, 2011

Is this real? Pinch me!

Now that I’m a year into my service, it feels like I’m running out of time! I’ve been super busy and it isn’t going to let up any time soon…in fact, more things are just being added to my plate. So now that we got full funding for the resource center, it’s time to start building….here I thought the proposal and funding search was the hard part. I’ve been running all over and harassing people for prices on materials, asking for more money, organizing the construction schedule, finding community members to do the labor, etc. It’s been a busy last 3 weeks, but it all (somehow) is coming together nicely and my team of supporters have been amazing helpers and they reduce my stress as it increases. We are finalizing and putting together our orders for the materials this week, so we can begin construction as soon as possible. I stop and think at times “Is this really happening??” I can’t believe this has come to life and how quickly I will be seeing this finished. Maybe I thought this would never happen with the amount that we needed to raise, so I’m still in disbelief. And I’m trying to keep myself from thinking that something bad will happen because this is too good to be true. I’ll be posting pictures as the construction progresses.
In the middle of all this, I left my site for the first time in about a month and a half to go to Machakos and have some fun for Laken’s birthday and to celebrate our 1 year in Kenya. It’s an 11 hour trip from my site to Machakos. I went to Laken’s site which is about an hour or so outside of Machakos. We hung out with her compound family and checked out her village. Then the next day we headed back into Machakos to spend the weekend with some other volunteers that came into town. We went to a club that was as American as you can get in Machakos with a legit dance floor, DJ booth, and tables to sit at. It was an odd feeling, and we had a great time. Andrea and Jill decorated the tables and had Laken’s favorites on the table for snacks: Ginger biscuits and macadamia nuts. The next day we walked around Machakos town doing some shopping in the small shops and in the market. I bought two light sweaters for 250 shillings…that’s $3.13 USD. Talk about bargain shopping! The next day we had a big breakfast and then separated to head home. I left from Laken’s site on the 5 AM bus….way too early. So I made my 11-12 hour trek back to Malindi and back to being busy. I still haven’t kicked the habit that I can only relax when I’m NOT at home.
This last week at site was fun tho. Wednesday was Madaraka Day in Kenya which is a public holiday. Everything was closed and people were just relaxing. Then Friday was Zone Games for all the secondary schools in the Kakoneni Zone. There are 4 schools and they all came to Jilore to compete. All the students had a great time and enjoyed playing all day and not having classes. Jilore did very well in football (soccer) and got first place for the boys and girls teams.
This weekend I finished painting my room and now get to rearrange my furniture, which is exciting. It’s a bit harder when you have to make sure you can put up a mosquito net with the placement of the bed. The house will finally be ready for when my mom comes (in exactly a month from today Kenyan time!!).
I’ll be going to the new group of trainee’s training at the end of June for a week and it will be fun to meet all of them. This along with construction going on at my site…hopefully this goes well. People think that I’ve gone home to America when they don’t see me for a day…what are they going to think when I’m gone for a week!? On top of construction craziness, I’m going to start the Boys and Girls Forums again in the school since I have been a slacker, and try and teach and encourage some mamas to cook with solar cookers instead of firewood. The dispensary renovations should be happening soon as I’m told the money will be coming in about 2 weeks….we’ll see, but I’m hopeful.
I’ve put more pictures up on Facebook in the Far Far Away album, check them out and enjoy! xoxo