If you look at Murang'a on Google Earth it's misleading.... From the images you see what looks like occasional grey warehouses and trees dotted along the side of brown roads. It kind of looks like nothing much is there. The reality is something quite different. Murang'a is vibrant, noisy and colorful. The streets are tightly packed with brightly hand painted shops and businesses all imaginatively named and unique (a favorite one spotted last night was the 'Meat Garden Hotel').
Bike taxis buzz around the town - a 6km ride from Murang'a to Roko costs around 60p. The bikes are all fabulous extensions of their driver... Extensively decorated with slogans and bright flashing lights they often look a party on two wheels.
The edges of the streets in the center are lined with men and women all selling their produce on wooden pallets. Avocados (4 massive ones for £0.30p), thorn melon, passion fruit, sweet potato, cabbages, onions, oranges etc etc - all beautiful and fresh. People are honest about their prices and very friendly - in among the hustle and bustle you can always catch people singing or laughing together.
The other thing you can't see from the images online is the color of the actual earth. The best way to describe it is like intense cocoa. It's bright and deep in color - a bit like you have put a bright color filter on Instagram on it. In the sunshine it reminded Cassius of the dusting you get on 'top of a posh chocolate truffle'. He's spot on.
Back to today..... I spent the morning visiting each class doing music sessions. I caught a quick break for a lunch of beans and kale with Cassius, Job and the cat followed by a practice with the teachers for their song for Thursday's concert. All the teachers were amazing - we worked on some harmonies and movement and will perform Jambo Bwana on Thursday.... All the kids had their noses pressed against the windows very excited to see their teachers Margaret, Merci, Caroline, Dorcas and Zipporah in action, and Cassius and Job supervised the kids.
At 2pm the whole school met up for group practice and with another planned tomorrow we will hopefully be ready for Thursday!
Each day speeds by with so much going on and Cass is working at breakneck speed trying to get the blue house finished in time for Thursday too... Never a dull moment.
Yesterday passed in a blur. Everything has been so busy that I have struggled to find a minute to write. The end of term celebrations went great - songs were sung, certificates awarded and everyone had lots of fun. Tracey gave a lovely talk about the ethos of Roko's teaching - learning through play and education without corporal punishment (which is common place in most schools). The event was also attended by Michelle, Buddy and Blake who hail from Texas, USA. They have been great supporters of Roko and have helped with everything from providing dentists, doctors and even wiring the school in preparation for when electricity is available in the area.
Roko made sure that each and every child received a small end of term gift and after the ceremony bags of donated shoes and sandals were lined up so that the kids could start next term with new shoes. Much excitement ensued with children showing off their new footwear. There was lots of tearing around after balloons we had put up on the buildings and the kids were thrilled with chocolate we had bought for each of the kids. To quote one of the girls from the Rescue Centre - Stellah - 'Today has been a good day... a good good day'.
After the last of the kids departed in the late afternoon we were all knackered after such a long day. We headed into Murang'a to grab some food and pretty much collapsed into bed as soon as we got back to school. Today has been quiet in comparison - I can’t believe we are leaving in the morning. I managed some of our washing, attempted to cook on the fires in the kitchen and painted the bases of the last of the classroom buildings. After we leave Cyber' tonight s we plan to pop into the Rescue and Kenwa homes to say our farewells to the sponsored children.
Coming to Kenya and being part of such an inspirational project has been such a fabulous experience for both me and Cassius. I know we will miss all of our new friends so much. Most of all I want to say a massive thank you to everyone here - the children included. Thank you for making us feel so welcomed and secondly for giving us the opportunity to be a part of such a brave and life changing community. I am already looking forward to coming back again....
For a child to receive the education they so desperately need it costs around 10 pounds a month.... amazing I know.
Our last night in Murang'a.
Cassius and his Mom.
Review from #MyGivingStory