sorry for the lack of emails but everytime I come to the cyber cafe the system is either down or so slow it doesn't pay me to try and send anything as it will fail.
I hope life is treating you well and you are all happy. Things here have settled down and I am able to get on with life as I should. I have been asked for more information regarding the boys that went to China, sorry I forget what I have told you and what I haven't.
Last year a group of 6 of our acrobats were selected to go to China for a year 'all expenses paid' for circus training. They have just come back to Kenya and we are dealing with many many issues that have arisen as a result of them being let out into the wild world of China!
The boys whilst they worked long hours training they were given a lot of freedom that they do not experience here in Kenya, they had 'girlfriends' were given lots of gifts and allowed to spend allowances they were given on whatever they wanted. It was like paradise to them. They performed in fabulous theatres to Presidents and the like. Their world was tipped upside down, the down side is the returning to normality. Unfortunately, they arrived the day before the main management group from Scann left for Canada.
I have spent many hours listening and talking to the boys, they have all refused to go back to their schools as they have now surpassed their classmates, as schooling was high on their agenda whilst they were training. We have allowed them a few weeks to settle back to the routine of SCANN. As as result of their refusal to go back to their schools we have developed a learning programme that will keep their minds busy. I am doing alternative English (based more on daily requirements, reading, writing, form filling, public speaking etc) as opposed to text book learning. They are also to have maths lessons (not taught by me.......!!!)
The boys have come back with so much as far as personal items is concerned we have no where to store all their possessions as their lockers are too small. They have also come back with big big ideas that I am not sure can be fulfilled. They have cds with their performances which are fabulous, I will copy and bring back with me when I come. Hopefully more travelling will come their way as they were very highly regarded at the Circus School, who in fact wanted them to stay longer but problems with unrest in the country caused them to return.
I have, other than this, been busy with Dickson the boy (20 year old) who has TB. I get up every morning to ensure he takes his tablets on time and then have been counselling him as they required him to take an HIV test which he refused as he was too frightened. It has taken two weeks for me to listen to his worries and talk to him and reassure him that it is a good thing to know your status regardless of if you have TB or not. Yesterday, Dickson, his friend Peter (23) and I all went for HIV screening. It was an emotional event that no one else knew about, at their request, so in my break yesterday we went to the local VCT clinic which does testing. We sat through 45 mins of counselling, condom demonstration etc etc. We are all pleased with our results and the boys are now promoting that their friends also get tested, something that is frowned upon here, people would rather not know. I am teaching the fact that to know is to move forward responsibly with their lives, many of the boys have little family history, or family left to ask, so it is not a given that they are clear as they are not sexually active!
Well, this is a heavy email for today. To lighten the mood, my shamba is expanding, the Squash is taking over my patch, I have small fruits growing. My beans are all flowering, the potatoes too, I have tiny tomatoes on my cherry tomato plants and have since sown carrots. Everyone laughs at me in the size 8 wellies whilst I am tending my plants.
They all know that I am the crazy shosho!
Anyway, thanks for your emails.
Love to you all,
That's all for now folks!