Meet Joseph Wambura:
Joseph is our driver- shuttling us between our living quarters, our project in Komosoko, the market in Migori, and anywhere else we need to go. Besides his skills at navigating the less-than-ideal Kenyan roads, we also love Joseph for his excellent (if limited) taste in music.
Tuko pamoja - the ubiquitous phrase repeated over and over again, a sort of mantra of the Komosoko leadership and community meetings. We are together - a head teacher affirms with her leadership, the School Management Committee, belosi elders, chiefs, peacekeepers, church representatives, and community that their debates are not divisive, but that rather they must discuss and then operate as one.
These past couple days have gone by in a blur. We’ve made a lot of progress on the implementation of our new rainwater catchment system. The concrete is curing, the gutters have been sealed, the trenches have been dug (some of us have blisters… well mostly Roan), and some pipes have been laid! We’re expecting to continue laying pipes, and the six ginormous water tanks should arrive early next week.
Hamjambo from Isebania! Despite torrential rain, delayed research visas, and a couple bad traffic jams, we made it into Isebania at 9pm last night! Isebania is the last town on the road leading to Tanzania and has its own marketplace (where we bought a lot of water today – 8 cases for $24!). This morning, we drove into our partnering village, Muchebe, which is down a side road from Isebania. Muchebe is a rural farming village, with the biggest crop historically being tobacco.
Our team is so excited to be leaving for Kenya on this Tuesday, August 11th. We’re all meeting for the first time this summer in JFK airport and flying to Amsterdam, with about a twelve hour layover. We hope to potentially explore the city and try some team building activities. We depart again that evening and leave for Kenya. Once arriving in Nairobi, we’ll activate our phones, exchange some money, and prepare other supplies. Then we begin our 6-8 hour drive to Isebania and Muchebe.
After a glorious 8 hours of sleep (at least double what I've been getting the past week between exams and travel), we began our day in Migori, a larger village 20 minutes away from Isebania. We met with James, a manager at Alliance One International (the company that owns the shed on which we hope to build another rainwater catchment system for Muchebe), to discuss the feasibility of our project proposal. James was very welcoming and supportive of our project, and he particularly noted his shared focus on sustainability.