Chapati time!

Trip Start Oct 25, 2012
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12
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Trip End Nov 17, 2012


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Flag of Kenya  , Nairobi,
Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Today Paul and I spent the morning speaking to Susannah and guy about the Ark and our thoughts and ideas about ways of changing it to cope with the impending adolescence of most of them. Not that we are experts, but we have, between us, enough knowledge and experience to point them in the right direction and get people who are qualified to sort the finer details. We have also been asked to write a report and come up with a template for care plans for each child. There is no real precedent in Kenya, as the government expect that each child will be out of institutional care within three years. If that fails, as it has in these cases, there is no guidance. There are very few successful models of care homes, and certainly extremely few with an African ethos. So there are issues with the clash of cultures, and having nothing in Africa to base it on.

For light relief we went out for a proper Kenyan lunch, which was beans and chapatis for the grown ups and omelette and chapatis with kale for the kids. It arrived hot and delicious and we all enjoyed it - dinner and drinks for four for four pounds! Bargain! Spent the savings on fair trade jewellery from a workshop owned by a woman who set it up in the seventies for women from the Kibera slums. The jewellery gets sold in John Lewis etc for a lot, but without shipping costs etc you can get it here for much cheaper, and buying it through Susannah meant some of the proceeds went to the New Life Home Trust. We might visit the workshop on Friday, after seeing the giraffes.

Women here are still treated pretty badly in some parts, especially towards the costal areas in certain tribes. New Life do work with some of the 'forgotten tribes' out there, who most Kenyans would not be aware of and they aren't big enough to have any political significance so are desperately poor and neglected with very few rights or support. Women and children can be trafficked to America, and we met an American last week who works in New York with trafficked women. There is, apparently a supply route from Kenya and he was over to investigate more about it. Apparently, when the traffickers get the women to New York, this particular network hits the woman in a particular place to essentially partially lobotomise her so she won't be able to think or plan enough to run off and will be docile. They have found hundreds of women with this exact injury that was traced back to this gang. So much for the supposed superiority of western culture.

We went off to the ark this afternoon, where the kids had spent the entire day watching movies. They are on their big summer break and the carers aren't really providing care. So Paul ran an impromptu kids club and then we went off to get some shopping, in the middle of a thunderstorm.

Lastly, we all met baby ELLA today, who has been given the surname 'expectation' but in Kiswahili which I can't for the life of me remember. She's just two kg and in an incubator and posed for the photo by opening her eyes and looking straight at us. Our Ella was really pleased to have the baby named after her, although Isaac is a little envious. Susannah has said that if a boy comes in she'll name him Isaac; weirdly he really cares about this so here's hoping!

And, thank The Lord, we are all back healthy today and Obama has won the election! Double hurrah!!
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Comments

Simon on

Wow, what an experience is your trip. A total rollercoaster of emotion (even from this range) with the common thread of humanity, love and expertise that you are bringing to everyone you meet. Wonderful and humbling.

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