I woke up at 6:00 yesterday morning as the sun started to rise. We are now in Kapenguria, and I have my own room at the guesthouse at Daylight. I was able to get up and look across the far hills through the mist to watch the sun continue to rise. After getting ready for the day, I sat down to have breakfast of Kenyan tea (sort of like Chai) and bread. It was a little surreal to be sitting in a place with no running water or electricity, watching Michael’s kids play with the soccer ball I had just given them, and suddenly a loud noise jolts me. Michael has turned on the car, and changed the radio station to the BBC so we can listen to the election results. It was unlike any other time I have waited for election results to come in during my life.
Things are going well here. Monday was a busy travel day to get here, and after eating dinner, we got settled in at Daylight. Tuesday was a bit of everything—I started out the morning running with Michael to pick up supplies for the crew—sodas, water, and bread for lunch. We then continued onto Kitale (about 30 minutes away) to pick up the lumber supplies that we needed for the construction project. When we arrived at the lumber yard, we were told that we were in luck, fresh lumber (which is referred to as timber in Kenya) had arrived yesterday from Uganda. The cypress trees used as lumber are very different from what we are used to in the states, but get the job done.
We returned to Kapenguria just before lunch, and after eating I spent some time playing with the students at Daylight, who were having a pre-lunch recess. I took some pictures of the students, and then they started singing to me. It was fantastic to hear them sing—in Swahili, English, and their native tongue—Pokot.
After lunch I traveled with the two doctors and dentist in the group to the school’s other site (a rented building that we are slowly moving out of), where they did some initial screening for further follow up. Each child met a doctor, then went to the dentist, and finally stopped at me. I was handing out deworming pills to each child, and explaining through gestures that they needed to put it in their mouth, chew, and swallow before leaving the building. I think several of the kids were rather disappointed, as they were hoping it was candy, and upon biting in, realized that if this was candy it tasted terrible!
Later, I went with Michael to the small grocery store in town, and picked up more soda and water. He then dropped me off at the old location, and picked up the kids who needed further follow up after yesterday’s screening, taking them to the new location so they could meet with the doctors or dentist. While I was at the old location, I interviewed the headmaster and three of the teachers (I returned today to interview the other 2-3 teachers who I couldn’t meet with yesterday). The purpose of these interviews was to do some planning for the future—finding out what’s going well, what can be improved upon, and what they would be interested in learning from future groups that come from the US. It took awhile (and more energy than I expected) to conduct these interviews—asking the questions and making sure we were all on the same page (in terms of language, as well as the purpose of the interview—some of the teachers seemed nervous that I was calling them in for a performance review).
When the van (mutatu) returned with the kids and teachers from their medical appointments, I headed back to the new site for lunch. I conducted more interviews during the afternoon, meeting with seven teachers.
Today we met with many people at the medical clinic, the two doctors and dentist were each busy all day long, and we had to tell several people to come back tomorrow.
At the end of the day yesterday, I was informed by the headmaster at Daylight, James, that they would like to give me a gift, if that was alright. I agreed, and he informed me that he would check with Michael, as they would like to give me a Pokot name, which is an honor in the tribe, to be given an additional name. After much discussion throughout the day apparently, the headmaster came and found me, excitedly letting me know that a name had been decided on. They have decided to call me Kaporet, which means first born or pioneer in Pokot, because I was the pioneering person to start the organization, the first to join the board, the first board chair, etc. It is considered a very big honor, and makes me smile to know that it is a sign of being accepted into the group.
It’s been a great week– it will be exciting to see what the rest of the week has in store before we head out to the nomadic land in Allale on Sunday!