31 May 2016
The first day of building classrooms and what a start! Beforehand we were told that we are trying to build two classrooms in our time. However, upon arrival, we learnt that we need to build three! One has partially been built, but the walls need erecting.
Now over the previous two years, I have learnt that Kenyan builders take there time and supplies were not always available. I wasn’t very hopefully that this would change. However, I was very wrong. The builders were s…uperb, given us all the tools, cement etc that we needed straight away.
My day-to-day working life is sitting at desk from 8.30-5, I’m not a builder, a labourer or enjoy D.I.Y. But I love building the classrooms. I have done since my first visit in 2014. I love mixing cement, carrying large boulders, building walls, everything! But I know that I couldn’t do it for a living, so why do I enjoy it Nakuru? I suppose I know it’s for something important, a purpose! Something for children and future generations. We are changing lives doing what we are doing.
During the day, we heard a bell ring, the start of morning break for the children. We decided to have a break too. We joined the kids for a game of football. During the ‘kick-about’ the ball unfortunately hit a toddler in the face. I comforted the child, giving him a cuddle and calming him down. Afterwards I tried to give him a teddy to make him feel better. But he didn’t understand what it was and cried once more. I’ve always said that a child should have a teddy to comfort them in the times of need, why should these children in Kenya be any different, it’s heartbreaking.
After our lunch break, I decided to visit the classrooms. In one of the classes, no teacher was present, so I took it upon myself to take the class! Something that I have never done before. I didn’t like the idea of children sitting there at a school not learning. I was unprepared and nervous. Firstly (and luckily) a fellow volunteer had cut out some teddy templates, so with the help of lollipop sticks, glue and eyes, we made some puppets. The kids loved them. I then decided to teach them some English, so I drew a human body on the blackboard and asked the children to name the body parts, firstly in English and then in Swahili. So not only was I hopefully teaching them, they were teaching me. They seemed to enjoy it and I certainly did. We then did some multiplication with 7, 8 and 9 times table and finished with people spelling their names on the chalkboard. At the end of the lesson, the children thanked me with ‘hi-fives’ and cuddles.
I finished the day by helping the volunteers with the classroom build, levelling the floor. A great but tiring day. A superb start to the big build.