Tying Up Loose Ends
March. The time of planting, the end of the dry season, beginning of a very rainy season, more work in less time, Brett’s birthday, and Kenya’s Presidential elections. Also this is the time that Brett’s family, few friends, and future interns should be securing their plane tickets to visit. But Kenya isn’t secure and our time here could come to a very abrupt end. The Presidential elections have been steadily approaching us and although we have known this time would come, we didn’t expect it to come upon us so quickly. The threat of Peace Corps evacuating the volunteers during this time has been a possibility since we first stepped off the plane way-back-when, June 4th, not even 9 months ago, but feels like forever.
Now that the time is here we are desperately trying to tie up the loose ends of existing projects, trying harder to start and finish some smaller proposals, and we are also trying to figure out what we will do next if the worse comes into fruition. Our rabbits are healthy, safe and oh so cute. We feel more successful each time we get the message from our health volunteers “Tuna watoto!” We have babies! We have constructed two water tanks at local schools and educated the children and their families on safe drinking water and household hygiene. We’ve spent time with HIV positive women and taught them useful skills that will help bring extra income to their families. Even the little things like throwing birthday parties for our neighbors children or learning to cultivate our land for our personal kitchen garden are small successes in integrating into our community. Is it enough? Do we feel comfortable leaving this place 1 year and 6 months early?
We aren’t quite sure. Nevertheless, leave it to us to have more than a handful of back-up plans for either end result. I won’t touch on what happens if we are evacuated but if we stay we have a ton of ideas to keep busy and — in my case — sane :o) Our biggest priority right now is the development of a gravity water pipeline that will bring clean water to four different villages and close to 3,000 people. Through that we also hope to establish a tilapia fish farm – YUM! Also we are still in the process of getting bicycle donations, which is coming along really nicely. Finally, we both have hopes of getting involved in local schools to teach life skills classes on personal development. With the impending rainy season we will also have a significant amount of extra free time and I have come up with several personal projects – of course! Things like staining glass, constructing wind-chimes, finishing my quilt, and replanting my garden are at the top of my list. I also plan to work out, stretch more often and reach my long time goal of being able to do 100 push-ups — but you know how that goes! Dream BIG!
Although our time here is uncertain, as is the political climate and overall safety of this country … one thing you can be sure about is that Peace Corps has it under control and I have no doubt we will be in safe hands throughout elections. What I cannot speak to is how long 150 of us can remain hulled up in the middle of nowhere without going stir-crazy! You can’t keep this crazy bunch of individuals settled without a purpose for too long… Don’t Clip Our Wings!!
Posted on February 19, 2013, in 1st Year!!!, Peace Corps and tagged Africa, Blogging, Challenge, Children, Culture, Development, DYI, East Africa, Elections, Families, garden, Humor, Kenya, Life, News, Peace Corps, President, Projects, Seasons, Voting, Work. Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.