Thursday, 8 February 2007

8th February 2007


Hi there, well having missed my Swahili lesson last week as I was with the acrobats at Egerton University Founders day, I had some catching up to do. I copied all the vocabulary down and managed even to write 5 sentences as required for homework. What I didn’t manage to do was to learn the vocabulary…… oh do I wish I had, the teacher kept talking to us individually using the words and we had to translate or do what he asked us to do. I was to put it mildly ‘shown up’ for not learning my words! I will endeavour to spend time this week doing two weeks worth of learning.

Yesterday I made a decision to pay for the small bikes to be serviced, those of you who received my emails from my last trip will know that SCANN had a large donation of bikes and whilst I was here last time I made sure the big bikes were serviced, labelled and given out to the older boys. At the same time I was aware that there were 10 small bikes for the little boys to use, sitting still in plastic wrapping as no one would take responsibility for their supervised use.

Today you will be pleased to hear the ‘fundi’ (repair/service man) is here sorting out the baby bikes so that pre-unit (the 4 year olds) and standard 1 (5-6 year olds) can use the bikes supervised during their PE lessons. I will take photos as I am sure it will be an amusing sight!

I am to hold my first staff meeting today, should be fun, not sure if any of the staff will take the opportunity to discuss any issues out in the open but they will be given the chance to anyway. Wish me luck.

Things here are starting to come together, I have organised some log books for work that needs to be carried out at SCANN, i.e. If anyone finds something not working or needs repairing, or even something that we need to purchase, we log it in the book. This is so that when the ‘fundi’ comes he can do all the work at one visit instead of coming for a missing light, then having to come back for something else. It is obviously working as on Monday and Tuesday we had the carpenter, the electrician and the plumber all here carrying out work that has been needed at SCANN since I was here last, people have been making do, some of the things are safety issues that we are now addressing that have been overlooked.

I am finally feeling that my role here is achieving something. Lets hope it lasts.

OK it is now tomorrow (9th February) as typed this yesterday, we gave out the baby bikes today for the three little ones to use, they were so happy. Afterwards we cleaned the bikes, oiled and polished too, they were proud as punch. The older boys who can use the other 7 bikes were pleased too although it was a lesson in cycling as none of them could, the little ones had stabilizers so were quite happy the older ones didn't. It was really good to watch the other boys helping each other to learn to ride, a real bonding moment.

My meeting went Ok I think, although it will require a lot of follow up work on my behalf. Last night we had a very long power cut. I was sitting as the only adult with all the boys in the dining hall when the lights went out, luckily I had taken my torch lamp with me........ unfortunately, one of the house masters swipped it to go and look for some alternative lighting. Needless to say sitting in the pitch dark with 100 boys all of whom were intent on scaring me to bits, tickling my legs and neck to make me think it was insects!!! Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. I eventually remembered my mobile, which I kept jabbing to get the screen light on, unfortunately the battery only lasted 15 mins before that too died. I managed to rally all the boys back to their dorms and found my only candle which I gave to the housemother who stays with the small boys. We all had an early night....... boy did I need it.

Today a lot of the boys had the day off school, this would have been OK if we had staff at SCANN to cover it. Today is Raphael's day off, Kombo the head teacher had to leave to discuss scholarship issues at a school, one teacher was called away. I was left with one volunteer and one teacher for 90 kids split into three classes, interesting, especially as I was down to do sewing repairs all day. (Not a lot was done) it was hard enough to get the boys settled doing anything, I think they hoped it would be party time (NOT!)

OK I've got to go as writing this I remembered the candles which I have to buy.

Love to you all.


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