Tuesday, 12 September 2006


Hi Everyone,

just to let you know that I arrived home safe and well. I think that it became obvious from my emails that I would be looking to return to Kenya and Scann. I have managed to secure a temporary contract with MOL Shipping until Christmas, during which time I will be trying to sort things out in the UK for me to return to 'my boys' in early 2007.

If any of you wish to have any more information regarding my trip then drop me a line and I will arrange to provide you with as much detail as I can, if any of you are interested in sponsoring or donating any funding to SCANN or help with my next trip please let me know, anything would be gratefully accepted.

I found it very difficult leaving SCANN when I did, as James Mwangi who is a very frail 4 year old fell ill during the week before I left. I arranged to take him to a doctor who arranged various tests, mainly as there were no parental records available we weren't sure if there was any hereditary problem.

I paid for blood and HIV test, also x-rays. The X-rays gave no indication of TB which was a worry and luckily the HIV test came back negative. Mwangi was however showing he had malaria, as he is so small and not strong enough to fight any slight childhood illness, malaria will cause him problems.

The Monday before I left Kenya I spent all morning at the hospital getting the X-rays, in frustration had to sit through a power cut which prevented the films being developed, eventually got the X-rays only to be told that they needed to be 'read' and confirmed diagnosis by a radiologist elsewhere as the hospitals one was off site that day. We got boda bodas across town with X-rays in hand to wait in line for the radiologist to read the films at a cost, of course. We then had to get a cab to the doctor who had initially requested the tests. Mwangi was put on antibiotics for a chest infection and malaria tablets to help his illness.

Luckily SCANN has a doctor who has agreed to provide services free of charge to the project, however, any medicines, tests or hospitilisation has to be paid for, this is one of the reasons why they take so long to decide to take anyone to hospital or for testing.

Whilst things like this are frustrating they are part of everyday life in Kenya, everyone there accepts that this is how it is, people rarely moan or complain.

James Mwangi is only one of the 130 boys at SCANN. They all have their own story, their own burden, they are all lovely, happy and determined boys. Whilst SCANN provides food, clothing, a place to sleep, education and an upbringing the staff there struggle to give 'quality time' a shoulder to cry on, a hug, an ear to listen when advise is needed, some of the older boys just want someone they can confide in. They seem to have chosen me for this role, whilst it in itself is a burden I am happy to help.

The four months that I spent there made me realise how impatient we have become and how dissatisfied we are with our lot, everything here has become so materialistic the small things that can give pleasure are rarely noticed or appreciated. I liked the feeling being in Kenya gave me, don't get me wrong, it was no holiday, no tropical paradise, it was the hardest work I have done and other than having my children, it was the most rewarding. Kenya was somewhere where I began to realise how to appreciate life again. I liked who I was there.

Sorry to ramble on but I felt that I needed to close off from my journal and when my emotions were high before I left, it was not possible.

Thank you all for keeping in touch and going to the trouble of reading my emails, some of them must have sounded a bit crazy.

Hope to catch up with you all soon,

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