Day: Thursday August, 11
Is that them? No it isn’t. False alarm. What about them? Nope. Wait is that…? Yes it is! It’s Grace! “GRACE!” She can’t hear me. I’ll get closer. She looks right at me, then looks away. She didn’t recognize me. Must have been the beard. “Grace? Grace?” I tap her on the shoulder and she jumps. I see the other members of the travel team briefly before she tackles me with a hug, which we soon form into an awkward group hug. It’s good to see these people again.
We spent the day touring Amsterdam, sampling the Dutch pancakes and cheese before departing. The flight was rather boring and uneventful, and no one was able to sleep sufficiently. I watched The Lego Movie.
Day: Friday August, 12
After arriving in Nairobi and making the necessary preparations we embarked on a nine hour drive across scenic Kenya. Unfortunately, no one was able to fully appreciate it as we were all sound asleep. This was surprising as the road was as rough as a cactus. In order to wake someone you would have to either yell “ZEBRA!” at the top of ones lungs or punch them in the face. (Don’t worry Mom. There was no actual punching.) We arrived at Borderpoint Lodge, where we tried our first Kenyan cuisine (10 out of 10) and soon after we crashed, exhausted from the day.
Day: Saturday August, 13
That weekend was fairly uneventful. Other than a short walk to quire some water, we stayed within the Borderpoint Lodge. While out we saw numerous people working on various projects, such as welding or cooking items to sell. We later came up with a plan for the upcoming weeks and double-checked the information within the construction drawings and Pre-Implementation Report (Shout out to the team at home for putting it together. See pic of full printed version below). We came up with a list of things we needed to ask and to find onsite. That evening we ate dinner with David, Professor Mahiri’s son, who welcomed us to Kenya. We later relaxed, exchanged stories from the summer, and played cards.
Day: Sunday August, 14
On Sunday we all awoke to the sound of The Kenyan Gospel Church. That morning we met with Professor Mahiri and discussed working within the country. We left that afternoon in order to buy groceries in Migori. After that we went to visit Ms. Paul, the head teacher of Muchebe Primary. She introduced us to her family and we had a small meal with her. I have never before met such a kind and motherly person. After talking for several hours we returned for dinner and sleep.
Day: Monday August, 15
We woke early Monday to drive to Komosoko Primary. There we met Ms. Josephine, the head teacher of the school, who welcomed us with open arms. We discussed our plans for the upcoming days. Ms. Josephine approved fully with the plans, though she requested there be an extra tapstand near boundary of the school property in order to let the community have easy access to the water. This was not in our original plan, and we spent a while working out if this was feasible. We are excited to say that it certainly is!
In the afternoon, Daniel, Grace, Larry, and I stayed behind to take notes on the building and land, while Julia and Cameron left with the translators to conduct survey individual households on our plan for the rainwater catchment system. We later regrouped, had lunch, and swapped roles, with Dan and I conducting surveys, and the rest marking off the area to be dug for the concrete slab. We returned to Borderpoint at about 5:30, where we ate dinner.
Day: Tuesday August, 16
The team headed over to Komosoko Primary School for a meeting with the Komosoko Primary School Board of Management. In total, nine members were in attendance (with more community members arriving later). We discussed the plans for construction and the community’s financial contribution. We also discussed possible future projects in Komosoko.
That afternoon, we went to Muchebe Primary, Ms. Paul’s school. Our last two rainwater catchment systems were located at or near the school. The systems were in great shape and the school’s system was almost full! Ms. Paul said that since the implementation of the second catchment system on a nearby shed, she has been able to use all the water at the school system for the children, and have community members use the new systems. Household surveys confirmed that people were using the public system at the shed.
The team finished the day tired, but excited to break ground (literally!) with the start of digging for the foundation tomorrow.
A picutre is worth a thousand words! See accompanying images here.