Kenya Crew – Week Two – July 16th to 22nd 2016

Entasopia; Week Two16-22 July, 2016

It is now 5:20am on Saturday morning and I have been woken by an orchestra of birds.They surround the tent in a huge arch and deliver such as rhapsody of which I’ve never heard the like. I step out of the tent and a clear silver moon is straight above. Earlier it was low and immense and brown like a setting sun. The boys will soon be up because we are going in search of elephants with our trusted guide and friend Joel.

The last week has been full. From the weekend the most memorable event was the climb up the escarpement of the south east end of the Rift Valley. It was intensely hot at midday by which time we had made it to the top. We had begun our descent, criss-crossed a river and lunched at a fine waterfall. Scurrying up the bank was a challenge for all. That night we had a ‘goat party’ to celebrate Zac’s eighteenth birthday. A few visitors from McGill and Oxford universities joined us around the fire and under a very different array of stars than we are used to.

Monday through Friday, we were busy at the school and there I think we excell as do the young Maasai.They are now as keen as Irish children typically are to play computer games, use Paintbrush, etc but they can also type a document, save and find it again. They are quick learners and it must be said some of the crew are outstanding teachers. This week an ‘I.T. guy’from Magadi visited and improved some of our Toughbook laptops and confirmed that all the ones we bought from Camara (with fundraised money) were very satisfactory. One of the ‘elders’ expressed a profound word of thanks for bringing this technology to this remote and underdeveloped area. They treasure their Maasai heritage but also want their children to be participants in the modern world. The ‘crew’ are marvellous in recreational ways with the children, doing flips, throwing ball, talking, playing chess, etc. etc. They are generous with themselves.

We note that the classroom floors and ‘verandas’ are being well renovated. The ‘engineer’ is P. Shanni, a former student of the school; we are assured of a good job.

We have made four visits to Oloibortoto school to teach the teachers. It is something we did not do last year. Now those teachers have been brought into a ‘team’ with our students there of last year and, all trained, they should be able to operate as independent users. The fence for which we fundraised has been marked out and the trench for the water pipeline to the new tank is being dug.

Monday night was excellent. We went on a lion hunt at about 10pm. We came across a pride of five. They continually tried to calmly evade us but we got some good photos. We also found the giraffe they had killed the night before. All in bits, mostly bone, blood soaked sand. It was a gorry sight. Other animals were also seen, lots of gazelle, bush babies, a bat-eared fox etc.

Yesterday, Friday, we returned to Olikiramatian Arid School. It felt like the hottest and most arid place on earth and there was little shade. The boys played a full game of football in a rather blistering 35 degrees of heat. The final score was 5/3 to the locals. They had kindly supplied us with four players and it was a friendly but tough match. The Irish were exhausted afterwards and drank a 10 litres of water.

Now it is 9:30. We have seen a cheetah, tracked him for a while and we’ve seen many other animals, but the elephants have defeated us. Their dung is all around the place, many are the tracks they have left and we see the trees from which they haveDeclan Zac-and-Henry Charlie-Playing Concrete-Poured ripped of the bark but they themselves elude us.

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