Final Report from the Kenya Crew – 29th July 2016

Entasopia; Week Three: 23- 29 July, 2016

Today, Friday, the ‘Kenya crew’ heads home to Ireland. It has been a memorable few days since last writing.

Sunday was spent at Magadi, near the lake so-named thirty-five kms from here. A small incident, Zac attempting to befriend a stray cat, was the first of many events to make a mark that day. The cat scratched him with the result that he had to be brought to hospital to get an anti-rabies injection. It was a safety measure insisted upon by our friend Joel and easily facilitated at the Magadi hospital. We also participated in the local Catholic mass, enjoyed the dancing processions but found the service long. Our friend Patrick Shanni, Operations Manager at the Tata chemical plant, Africa’s largest bicarbonnate of soda operation, gave us a tour of this amazing ‘furnace’ before hosting us at his club. This latter must be modeled on the old colonial clubs as it has a full bar with soft chairs, a fine swimming pool, and most appreciated by the boys, a sit down toilet! Such a facility had not been enjoyed for two weeks. All members were then given full Maasai ‘kit’ by the ‘Shanman’ as a sign of appreciation for their work at Entasopia, the fund-raising done in Ireland and their overeall generosity in relating with, especially, the children. We left for Lale’enok and got our signature photo as the evening light faded on hot springs at the southern tip of the lake (which is a flamingo breeding ground).

Monday to Wednesday were work days at Entasopia. On the first we had to adopt our Plan B with the children, teaching English, as the solar power system failed and the computers couldn’t operate. It allowed us introduce other activities and materials that we had prepared. The subsequent days teaching computers started to be boring as there was little left to teach. It is something of a good complaint as most of our pupils (aged approx.11-15) can now type, save and find a document, copy and paste from Wikipedia, play computer games and are generally enthralled by computers. One afternoon we were invited to speak to the equivalent of Third Year about their future and their studies. It is reportedly a problematic Year group who haven’t seen the connection between the two; our guys seemed to convince them to work!

Yesterday, Thursday, we paid a final visit to Oloibortoto and saw where 7.5k of our donation has gone – into a fence and water pipeline. Consequently animals will be kept out, plants will be able to grow, there will be shade and an ample water supply in the school and the children will be able to keep clean. Thanks for donating! The changes make for another significant transformation of the school. We also received many tributes at Entasopia: from the Principal for motivating the students and encouraging them ‘to think big, think globally’ and even consider moving out of their country; from the Board of Management and Parents Committee for supplying computers, training and thus opening a future to these bright children; and from the children above all. They were effusive in their appreciation of the ‘crew’.There was a great relationship established among the young people and a lot of that has in fact to do with the friendliness and effervescence of the Kenyan youth. Our guys were also excellent in relating with the young Kenyans most notably in their free time.

Joel brought us on final hopeful searchs for elephants, at dawn and at dusk, but we had to suffice with kudu, waterbucks, warthogs, impala, deer and zebra. We had been woken by the growls of lion and we’ve not done badly with that species. The boys enjoyed a final swim in the Ewasanyiro river and were very sincerely,toasted, rightly so, by Lale’enok staff for good behaviour. This leaves the way open for the future.

Now we must load the land-cruiser and try to get the flight on time.