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Old 07-30-2013   #31 (permalink)
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What an amazing experience for you! I just ordered the book on my Kindle. Thanks for sharing your trip with us.
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Old 07-30-2013   #32 (permalink)
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Brava

The trip of a lifetime for sure! Your pictures are wonderful, and I LOVE how much actual interaction there was.

Thanks for taking the time to do this.

I can't wait to hear more....
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Old 07-30-2013   #33 (permalink)
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well, thanks for reading...I am not done yet!

Still to come are the safari photos too...and I have some amazing ones. There was a couple of guys along who had WAY better cameras and far more talent than myself, thankfully!


Please forgive me if I start repeating myself ...a risk you take when you do installments over several days.

We visited several schools over the week....a girl's secondary school, a couple of primary co-ed schools, and a co-ed secondary school. Free the Children has focused on girl's education but of course the boys are also educated.

The ratio of girls going past grade 8 has been steadily improving since they began their work in the area almost a decade ago. The biggest problem was the girls simply didn't have TIME to attend school- they were walking up to TEN MILES a day to fetch water for their families from the river. The charity drilled 8 bore holes in the area with a source at each school, so now the girls can attend their local school- and go home at the end of the day with a container full.

(Not to mention it is FRESH and CLEAN drinking water. Before, everyone would get water from the river- where people still wash their clothes and where their cattle and goats drink from. They actually believed if they fetched water after dark- that meant it was safe to drink. As an obvious consequence there was a lot of sickness and disease from this practice. Education is a beautiful thing. )


Another challenge in school attendance was often kids would walk home for their lunch- and just not come back- either due to the long trip or they would have to help at home. So now all the schools have attached gardens/greenhouses and they have school lunch programs- problem solved.

These photos were taken at Kisaruni School for girls.







These two girls were our tour guides.....VERY impressed with their eloquence and obvious intelligence...and they LOVED attending school.



This particular secondary school was by scholarship only and they lived on-site in dormitories- the one we helped build a teeny bit of one afternoon.
I loved this poem...seems men are the same everywhere....



After the tour we gathered in the assembly hall/lunchroom for a performance of singing and dancing.




Then a short tour of the attached farm for the lunches and also food to disperse to the community. All schools had these.





The work is mostly done by the schoolkids in turn along with volunteers from the community, in coordination with the Kenyan guys with ag degrees from Nairobi University that FTC hired to oversee all the farms in the area.

One afternoon we did a little picking at one.







Cocotel- this is Winston!


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until a week on Isla Mujeres!

until 2 weeks in Huatulco and Puerto Escondido!

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Old 07-30-2013   #34 (permalink)
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Love your pictures! Thanks for pointing out Winston. I'll be able to picture him as I read about him. Can't wait for more of your TR.
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Old 07-30-2013   #35 (permalink)
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Love your pictures! Thanks for pointing out Winston. I'll be able to picture him as I read about him. Can't wait for more of your TR.
He is a great guy. I have several other pics of him and Peter, who was our other warrior who was with us all week. They were both wonderful.
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Old 07-30-2013   #36 (permalink)
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Another day we did a tour of the Baraka Health Centre. They perform minor surgeries, have a dispensary, and deliver babies and have a maternity ward.

The doctor said that many women still have their babies at home with a midwife...but many women who do use the clinic will come in, deliver their baby, and walk home carrying the baby, sometimes for miles, a couple of hours later. Yup....a different world!

We quizzed the staff about the local health care stats. We were shocked to find out that the average life expectancy in the area was 47.




child exam room



Another afternoon we went to a community where they all met us at the road and danced and sang us into the meeting area they had arranged, with a tent and chairs and then speeches.

it was a little overwhelming but VERY cool. someone has video of this song somewhere, the song was lovely.



We helped cement in the sign for their new farm...




and Missy got to receive our gift...a goat. This is goat #1. We stuffed him in the rear compartment and brought him back to Bogani.


These are black-faced vervet monkeys - there was a troop of these living at Bogani. They were often spotted on the walkways before we got to them, or playing in the trees overhead. One night one THUMPED on the tent roof and freaked us out.





One night I woke up about 3 AM to hear hyenas yowling/laughing. Creepy but very cool!

as far as other creepy crawlies, we had to watch for biting ants and one night there was a small spider in one of our sinks...but that was it. No snakes- there was a bunch of mongooses at the camp that kept them down.

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Old 08-01-2013   #37 (permalink)
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Another afternoon we went to Enerelai community (Maasai) for more touring and speeches and they also put on a really good show of singing and dancing.

We also got yet another goat.







This man was the local school principal as well as elder in this community and he was sort of the 'MC'. he did the tour of the school as well, a different day.

He absolutely was a GREAT speaker. So energetic and positive....he must be an amazing teacher.





receiving goat #2



One of my co-workers, Kirk, trying to jump as high as the Maasai men...not quite.





Wherever we went, the people were fascinated by the cameras.



After the dancing we walked to their newly established farm and did a ribbon cutting ceremony. Leanne, who is a lawyer and in charge of aboriginal relations at PCS, got to cut the ribbon.

see that gourd on the left? That contained the traditional Maasai blood and cows milk mixture, the elders performed a ceremonial spitting of it around the gate afterwards.



And Kirk got to drive the brand new tractor.




After this afternoon, we all went home spent and drained. What an utterly amazing experience, to see the things we got to see on this trip. So special.

Every night after dinner we would go around the group and give our 'highlight of the day'...every day I wanted to just say 'everything!'!!

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Old 08-01-2013   #38 (permalink)
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Wonderful stories, wonderful pics! Keep it coming.... Thanks!
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Old 08-01-2013   #39 (permalink)
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What an adventure! What did you do with the goats?!
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Old 08-01-2013   #40 (permalink)
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Thanks Jack.

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What an adventure! What did you do with the goats?!
Do you really want to know?

We ate 'em! That was our final dinner....BBQed goat. I was not impressed. The ribs were quite tough. Perhaps they gave us old goats.

FTC gets a LOT of goats presented to their groups as thank-you gifts.... so they have to eat them once in a while.


I actually assumed we would tell them 'gee, thanks for the goat, would you like to please keep it here for us?' and get out of taking them....but no, apparently they would consider that very rude so we had to take them.
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Old 08-01-2013   #41 (permalink)
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Thanks Jack.



Do you really want to know?

We ate 'em! That was our final dinner....BBQed goat. I was not impressed. The ribs were quite tough. Perhaps they gave us old goats.

FTC gets a LOT of goats presented to their groups as thank-you gifts.... so they have to eat them once in a while.


I actually assumed we would tell them 'gee, thanks for the goat, would you like to please keep it here for us?' and get out of taking them....but no, apparently they would consider that very rude so we had to take them.
I knew that was coming....
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Old 08-01-2013   #42 (permalink)
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Another thing we did one day was a 'water walk' with the mamas in one community.

We split into smaller groups- we were with Mama Jayne.

I mentioned earlier that they no longer have to get their drinking water from the polluted Mara river- but they still get water for the goats and gardens from it.


Inside her home...a typical Kipsigi mud house.




One thing FTC taught them- to set up a drying rack for utensils and dishes. They used to keep them indoors and the bacteria would sicken them....now they dry them in the sun and the UV light kills any bad bacteria = much less sickness once again...education!



Mama Jayne's house was about 2 miles from the river...we walked there...




to find some women washing clothes in the river....








and hoisted our containers.....



and walked back...WOW they were heavy. And I had a SMALL one.






After we were given a tour of Mama Jayne's gardens



group shot




Jayne had a well-kept yard.



interesting tidbit- the candelabra tree makes great fencing! You break off a piece from the full grown trees...



stick them in the ground and they will grow into a fence...




driving back to Bogani....Tuskerrrrr!





Those drives back home when they gave us beers were fun ones. I think I have a Go Pro video of us singing 'Don't stop Believin' somewhere... lol

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Old 08-01-2013   #43 (permalink)
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I knew that was coming....
They actually had said if anyone wants to watch the 'sacrifice', we could....some of the people were horrified. It ended up they did it when we were gone on our safari day so no one got to watch.
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Old 08-01-2013   #44 (permalink)
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another fun day was when we did the 'Maasai warrior training' and became honourary Maasai warriors and were given our very own congas (a sort of throwing club).


We gathered out in the open area near the camp....roughing it we were not, we had refreshments -masala tea, wine or beer and muffins and nuts.



Peter throwing his spear



Wilson with his bow (note his sandals, made of recycled tires- $1 a pair at the local market)





and posing



Peter (whose nickname was 'Black Beauty', lol) throwing the conga



me throwing the conga



our Allan group again



Some of the girls with their favourite tee shirts...I have one too but didn't wear it this afternoon



clowning around group shot...we were paying homage to Amy in the front, with the pink scarf- she is the PCS/Me to We facilitator and was SO WONDERFUL before and during the trip...I just love her!



We split into two groups and played a game where you throw your conga at a blanket spread on a tree- misses = 0, direct hit on blanket = 1, and tree hit = 2 points.

Our team won with facilitator Liz scoring the winning point - she was a bit surprised when we all hoisted her up...I love her face in these photos. Crazy Canadians!






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Old 08-01-2013   #45 (permalink)
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Love this photo!

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