“Mic check, halleluiah.” As our trip is coming to a close, we would like to share all the amazing adventures and experiences we had. Tuesday night Vanessa, Ben and Deron facilitated the last business workshop to wrap up everything the youth have learned the last two weeks. These workshops covered the youth’s individual interests and goals, methods for how to turn these goals into a business model, how to network yourself, and how to start your business or make it better. Everyone was very sad that it was our last workshop, but we had a great icebreaker that Kirsty Nicole put together that made everyone laugh and come together. The ice breaker game included all of the business team and the youth participating in the workshop. We all had to write a word to describe everyone up on the board.. which it turned out, we all learned a few things about ourselves. A few of us were described as quiet, but Ben got silent, twice. The business team has also worked one-on-one with individuals to create business plans and talk about already existing businesses, like David’s delicious food stand and Edward’s dairy bar.
The Shamba and Dairy are in the mists of completing their projects and writing up reports to give to the youth they worked with. We’ve given recommendations about vegetables to grow that will help with the children’s nutrition, what plants to grow that can be the most useful for the CYEC, and cover crops that work best in Kenya and also double as cow fodder. The dairy team has given food recommendations for the cow in order to help it produce its maximum milk yield and certain signs that indicate the cow’s health. We can already see an increase in the amount the cow produces! Speaking of health, Blair and Carrie have worked closely Dan, the Centre’s nurse, and David, who has been our cook, about different health tips and practices that can be implemented at the CYEC. We hope that all of our combined efforts have helped provide some resources, insight, and thought provoking knowledge to the staff and youth at the CYEC.
Now, less about work. On Tuesday, we visited the base of Mt. Kenya and the equator in the morning and ate lunch at Trout Treehouse Restaurant. At one point, we were on different hemispheres of the Earth yet right next to each other at the same time. The treetop restaurant was quite literally a treehouse that had lots of highrats, a large cute slow moving animal, and monkeys running around. One lucky monkey got away with two rolls from the dinner table. After lunch we also got to feed the monkeys, we literally had them eating out of the palms of our hands, hehe. Tuesday was also our last dinner at the center so David made us our favorite meal: vegetables, lentils, and chipoti!! He was a great chef throughout our trip and was happy to have our company in the kitchen. The cooked Kenyan food was not the only thing we loved, Janelle got us all, especially Vanessa and Alex, hooked on hobnobs, which are oatmeal cookies with chocolate on the bottom, its heavenly. Sarah and Carly discovered plantain chips while we were here and you’d be surprised how easy it is to go through a whole bag in a day.
These two weeks have also created a lot of laughs between us. For example, discussing all the weird dreams we have been having because of the Malaria medication, or the funny quotes that come out at dinner. One of our favorites is Nicole’s, “Life’s too short to hover over the toilet.” Another favorite quote of ours happened while we were waiting in a Matatu in town and over a loud speaker came, “Hallelujiah, halleluiah, mic check, Jesus is lord, hallelujah.”
Our homes for the past two weeks were apartments at the center and luckily, we were able to make some animal friends. Janelle walked in her apartment one day to find the rooster on her counter top. He wouldn’t even shew, she had to carry him out. Janelle seems to have the magic touch with the animals though because she can make the pig topple over in bliss with one scratch behind the ear. The girls aren’t so at peace with their animal (and insect @ Hanna) friends, they have their mouse friend Timb (short for Turds In My Bag), pronounced Tim. He especially likes peanuts and pooping, and he certainly doesn’t win the best roommate award of the trip. An animal we do love is Erik, or puppy, or pupster, we’ve heard about five different names for the puppy but we like Erik and he also really likes all of us. Snake, the game of the Nokia phones, is still going strong but now Hanna has the high score, Ben and Deron are pretty upset. We love snake almost as much as the kids love to jiggle our arm fat, or play futbol.
With all the fun we’ve had together and with the kids we are all very sad to be leaving, we might even miss the rooster, who sounds like he smoke’s ten packs of cigarettes a day, at 5 am