Saturday, 17 February 2007

Post Valentine's News from Kenya

Hi there,

Ok I didn't get to sit down the other night and prepare my email to you so it is off the cuff and probably a bit disjointed.

Valentines was fun, I wandered round town in my 2 hour break and there were so many people wearing red and carrying flowers I felt a bit left out. I shouldn't have though, everyone was in jovial spirits offering to be my valentine, how nice is that. You will be pleased to know I attended a Board meeting that evening and then went back to my room and did loads of sewing! How romantic.

I am having a few personality issues with one person at SCANN who last time I was here was fine, this time I think she finds me a threat as I am working closely with 'Management' and she has spent the last 6 years getting by doing very little and getting paid for it. She is making life a bit hard and I am later to visit Yasmin to report on the problems. I could manage the situation until she started using the boys as pawns in her game which is now making them suffer. Something I think you will agree I WON'T put up with.

This has been a great month for SCANN - we had some visitors from America who are based with a Foundation called CEDAR which actively helps projects to educate children. They have visited us before last year and spent 6 months going round Africa looking for projects to help. out of the 50 they looked at they chose 3, SCANN being one of them. They have signed an undertaking to cover ALL educational costs, including books, uniforms, school fees (including college and University) for ALL 130 boys. They are looking at minimum comitment of 5 years. As you can imagine this is a huge undertaking and has enabled us to breath a huge sigh of relief. The boys at SCANN are hard working as far as education is concerned and the worry was how to fund the boys as they grow through school, college and (as one boy has shown it is possible) UNIVERSITY.

I have been amazed to hear how boys set watches and alarms to wake them at 3am so they can study BEFORE going to school. They put our kids to shame. I have often been asked to help with studies for the older boys, the major problem is it is usually MATHS - you all know me - this is my WORST subject and looking at the level they are working on - there is NO WAY I can even think about helping - I have no idea what it is all about! I am actively listening to the younger boys reading and helping where needed with English and creative work. That's about my limit..... I feel so useless on that front. If any of you strong in MATHS want to visit please let me know.

I am hopeful that whatever problems that I have been facing will be sorted and I will be able to continue my work - I often think about the small boy with his face to the kitchen window telling me that I am here at SCANN to make it a better place. I am not sure if it was a statement or a request! When I am feeling low it is what I think about most.

February is a busy month birthday wise and I hope all those with birthdays have had and will have a great time, know I am thinking of you.

My sister Nathalie is crossing off the days now until she comes to see me. I wish her well.

The boys at SCANN are having a great time in their PE lessons using the kiddies bikes, it was such a small thing for me to arrange for the bikes to be serviced and it is giving so much pleasure I constantly ask myself why no one sorted it out before now.

I am hoping to go to Mount Kenya for some mental relaxation for a few days next week with Ailsa, I do need it or I will go crazy, after my whacky conversations with Kimberley I think she will strongly agree!!!

I managed to MAJOR flood my rooms this week, it took me well over an hour to slop all the water out, the water actually came over the top of my shoes. I must find a way of remembering to turn off the tap after trying it - when the water is off. I must admit I was very stressed, over tired, angry and very rushed off my feet, I cried in frustration. I spent the next day wringing out two huge grain bags of donated clothes that had been sitting in my store and hanging them out to dry!! I am hoping that they are now all dry as left them out overnight as went for an evening off to Ailsas, we didn't go out just chilled watching dvd's.

If anyone ever asks me if I had a good 'holiday' in Kenya I thing I will have to ignore the comment as I don't think I would be able to answer them, this is the hardest I have worked in my life. Coming home will feel like a holiday.

Note for Martyn at First Drinks, have found the only chinese restaurant here, apparently it is very good, so will save that for a special occasion, ummmmmmmmm crispy aromatic duck!!!!!!

As you may know we are all becoming vegetarians here, after my last trip I must admit it is something that I am doing anyway, we are having problems with meat being associated with Rift Valley Fever, something like our mad cow disease I think. There goes my only pleasure - peppered steak is now off the menu at Hotel Merica!

Oh just remembered, NATHALIE, don't forget your bikini and suntan lotion, we W
ill get to hotel Merica for sunbathing at the pool, I am taking the week off....!!!!!

There are two fund raising events being planned for SCANN one is the week Nathalie is over here in Nakuru - not sure if I will get to that one, the other is in Nairobi in April a huge affair should be good. I thought whilst lying awake in my bed last night that I may get the small boys to do the HUNGRY CATERPILLAR - Kimberley did it at school and it was good. Just got to get to grips with sorting the props!!

Love to you all, take care, most of all embrace life and have fun.


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