Hey folks! My 5th (out of 6) term has kicked off to a great start, with 3 beautiful new faces (so far) at Nina. First, we have a new teacher – Daisy. This is especially exciting news because she will be keeping me company here on the school compound! Meaning that I will no longer be quite so lonely in the evenings. She’s about my age, and is coming here from Nairobi for her student teaching. She’s living in the dormitory with the kids, in her own separate room. I’m pretty excited to have someone here with me in the evenings, and to go out with me on the weekends. Should help this term go by much faster!
Second and third, we have Lucy and Michelle – our new milk cows! They arrived over break and are each 5 months pregnant, so we won’t actually begin milking them until they give birth – but I have already called dibbs on the first squeeze. Lucy is mostly black, and named after the wife of the former Kenyan President, Kibaki. Michelle, who funnily has more white than Lucy, is obviously named after Obama’s wife. Good names, I think J We have even assigned them “sign names.”
Over half of the kids have arrived so far, about 30 in all, which is pretty remarkable for the first week of school. Hopefully they will all be here by the end of next week. As the term begins, I have been making notes of things I would like to see accomplished before my service ends. I have only 30 weeks remaining, so time is becoming critical.
I am hoping to paint some wall murals in classrooms and the dormitory before I leave. These will include educational messages about hand washing, HIV/AIDS and malaria, as well as some more simple ones, like a map of Kenya. Along the same line, I would like to improve advertisement for the school. The first step would be to create signs to post along the road for the school, at the intersection where our road meets the paved road. I would need to create a total of 3 signs to post along the road in Ng’iya and Siaya, which would include the address, phone number and mission statement of our school. I’m also hoping to help Ambalo create business cards for the school, which he can distribute to people who are aware of deaf children being kept at home. Before I leave, I would like to establish a website for the school as well.
Lastly, I’m working on another grant to begin construction for a new dormitory on the compound. This grant seeks money from the Australian Embassy, so don’t worry, you guys are off the hook! Hopefully they will approve the grant and even though I leave in December, construction can continue under Ambalos’ supervision.
So, that’s my vision for the end of my Peace Corps service. I know it seems like a lot, and I am aware that I probably won’t accomplish all of it, but you have to start somewhere.
Check out the “Projects” tab on my blog to see more info about the projects going on at Nina!