Saturday, 6 January 2007

Happy Start to Year in Kenya

Introduction: for those of you who are reading this for the first time. This is my second trip to Kenya this time as an independent volunteer. I enjoyed my work with the boys at SCANN so much last year that I returned home and sorted out my affairs enabling me to return. I am now living at the project in a room with seperate shower room, toilet and kitchenette. I am working as before but the project is providing me with subsistance allowance for food and free accommodation. For this I am working in an administration and 'jack of all trades' capacity. Hours - extremely long..............

Hi Everyone,

Well, I have arrived safe and well. My flight was at 10.05 and I was still having a drink and chatting merrily at 09.30, forgot that we left for the airport later as I booked-in on line. We had rushed goodbyes and then I queued for the x-ray, I waited agitated as the q was huge, removed my laptop from the bag as requested, then my camera, then the woman also wanted my belt, my jacket, my zippy and jumper, I asked if she wanted me to strip and she said 'no thank you'.
At 9.45 I was seen running with laptop thrown in bag, belt and clothing over my arm, holding up my jeans - to the gate, there was only a hand full of people in the q and they had called 'last call'. Wont make that mistake again. The flight was rough, major bumpy, we struggled with food and drink was slopped everywhere, an ill timed trip to the loo was a disaster!!!

I was worried about meeting the boys again, unsure of their reaction. It was great, lots of hugs, YES, I cried when I left and cried when I returned. Everyone thinks I am mad, but its OK I know I am!! :-) James Mwangi, the boy who was ill when I left, has grown stronger, he hugged me so hard, it was lovely, he is now training with the big boys when they do their warm-up for acrobatics.

I have been out and bought material for net curtains for my 'new home' at SCANN, as it is ground level and there are so many enquiring eyes around! Yesterday I spent all day sewing the hems by hand as I didnt have the sewing machine returned to me yet. I have a two burner stove with a huge gas bottle, the pipe was missing and so I wasn't able to have anything hot. Yesterday, a 'fundi (repairman)' arrived and fixed it for me, I hunted for my matches only to find that I had left them behind, all I wanted was a cup of tea!!! One of the teachers luckily had a lighter so I had my first cuppa it was fab.

I am sleeping fitfully as there are so many dogs in the area that roam at night, they start the two dogs at SCANN barking and no one else seems to notice. We have the water on rotas in the area and yesterday afternoon I went to use the tap in the sink and it was running dry. Last night at about 11pm when I was fast asleep I was awoken by a sound of crashing pans and water running. I leapt out of bed and found the kitchen tap at full blast, needless to say there are many things for me to get used to here. My shower doesnt work, but I dont mind cold water, it is actually tepid, so not worried, the 'fundi' is coming back to repair it - whenever!!

It is taking some getting used to being at SCANN 24/7 with the boys, I keep having visitors and have to deter them as they are not allowed, they would eat me out of house and home.
We had two acrobats from Nairobi visit us yesterday, they did a demonstration and then did a workshop with the boys and got me to join in, boy am I aching! I have been asked to do some work with music and dance to help with the shows that they put on, think they are asking the wrong person, but when I am all they have, they have to make do!!

This morning I was asked to dig out the hair clippers that were donated (THANKYOU) and clip the boys hair ready for school, they all have a grade 0. I am so worried that I am going to cut them, but no blood so far, phew! One of the small boys wanted his trimmed, so I did a heart shape, he is still running round with it, not sure it went down too well with the 'management' but everyone else thought it was great! I will trim the rest when I get back to them later today.
If anyone should like to write to me, they can get me at:
Susannah Chandler

Please do email although I may not be able to reply to all your messages.

Love to you all, take care. Boy is it hot today!!! he he he he he he

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