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the house of poo, composting, broken eardrum

KENYA | Wednesday, 7 April 2010 | Views [976] | Comments [1]

i crossed the boarder with ease as i stepped back into kenya only to leave my baghdadi friend on the other side denied by ugandan reps. so sorry for him but smiling that im back and rested. customs always gets my heart beating but this time i had a full fledged easy gateway back to kenya. while waiting for others to cross i sat on the bus and had a great time delivering gifts to children out my window. i purchased gum, pineapple, bananas, and other small goodies in twos. after id eaten one, i would hand the remainging to children who beg pleading barefooted in the muddy swale surrounding our bus. i even passed a few coins out to one boy who looked to distraught to ignore. it was my first time i actually gave gifts openly to the sorrowful youth and hawkers. its often discouraged to give to these street kids as they call them as it can be a dangerous onset to theft and mobbing of others. being so high up in the bus i felt safe and i really felt happiness as i saw their smiles at even the meagerest of offerings of gum and sweets.

finally i arrived in yala village to join jojo in his remote village with granny the 80+ years young granny who got up early each day to work in the shamba (farm) tile 5 or 6pm each night where she seemed the age of 25. she was so inspiring it was hard for me to relax around her. i got to help with the planting of maize and creation of two large compost heaps for helping the soil fertility. this was a great segway back to rural village life but the best was only to come...

after a few days we met with jojos family only a few minutes walk on a dirt path. while there i enjoyed immensely the ability to smear the house as they say. this involves combinig water, cow dung, and red soils in large heaps of mush as you slap the mix on the walls of the home where the suns dries them. i had taken a shower before arriving which was a mistake as i realized it wasnt just my hands that got dirty. i had poo flying into my mouth, hair and eyes and i left feeling heavy as my clothing was drenched. but it was great to feel the wonderful raw material under my nails and see the sun dry the mix on the newly created walls of their home. i think i will build one back in america some time,,,its quite un-vegan of me though so i'll have to think hard on that one!

finally before leaving i had contracted my first sickness as the temperature dropped significantly from the hot ugandan climate. i had a tickle in my throat which moved to my ear where a mass of pressure developed. after doing hand stands and leg raises and combinging pretzels style positions during yoga to try and relieve pressure, i finally got my ear to release a bit of liquid which felt great at first. the following days and even now could be close to hell though as i found out my ear drum had burst open.

while in kisumu ready to load the bus back to nairobi, the pain in my head and jaw was so much i couldnt speak or barely function and tears welled in my eyes. jojo took me just hours before loading the bus to the local chemist to get some meds. it was funny to see that the people here (mind you africans rarely cry) were so concerened. first they asked me why i was crying, then angrily turned to jojo asking him what he had done to me. it was a funny yet disturbing experience as i couldnt explain myself and jojo had to fear that answering could cause them to beat him so we quickly continued back to the bus station where the meds settled the pain. however after attending the nairobi hospital ive found that the eardrum burst and its been nearly 2 weeks now that i have hearing only in 1 ear. i can only imagine what is like for a deaf person as communication is gravely difficult for me and i often just avoid speaking or communicating. its sad reality but i hear it will heel so i am patient for the mean time.

anyway back here in nairobi i am meeting with the local "faith christian school" and the cogolese refugees to help create proposals for their groups. these proposals will be able to be on hand for them to send to prospective organizations who can help fund their efforst of survival. its a step in a good direction but its only the beginning and i really hope this will help get their stories out there.

the congolese surprized me as they all gathered one day at a compound where i walked down the stairs to find them seated waiting my arrival. i had no idea they had organized this but i was blessed to hear them excited to see me again and offer the thanks for the contributions especially for the tea. this made me laugh. such a simple thing as tea lifted their spirits and i want to thank everyone who made it possible to donate to them during christmas in 2009. i would love to create another donation before i leave in august so anyone willing to help in any way possible please contact me or let me know of a fund raising event or project you may have in mind. these beauties deserve it and we have the ablility to help so HARAMBEE (lets all work together, kenyan motto).

peace and love

1/2 deaf but smiling

sister kena achieng

Tags: compost, congo, ear drum, granny, kenya, poop house, smearing, yala



Sorry to hear about your ear, I hope you have a speedy recovery! Love the hut building idea, sounded like you had a great time in the muck. Miss you lots, and think about you all the time...oh finally got up to Tayberry for a short work party a couple weeks ago, was really beautiful up there ;)
Love you,

  Lisa Marie May 5, 2010 10:21 AM

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