Moving rainwater harvesting collection tanks and improvising solutions in Kenya.
There is a large group of Americans staying here, using KACH as a base for work at the local school – Bliss.
So they can all be together we have moved into the original IPI/KACH building, about 100 yards down the track. It means we can stay with Joy and John, where we play Uno all evening and laugh.
Yesterday some of the men from the American group attempted to help move the 10000 litre tank into position on the big gab ion basket, now complete, but where unable to.
This morning, first thing when the labourers arrived to work on the garden and elsewhere around KACH they pushed, lifted and manoeuvred it into position, lead by Joy and directed by Hattie.
As it is without lid, Hattie and John improvised one which is firmly held down by a tyre.
Hattie also created large washers for the outlet pipe out of a frisbee conveniently supplied by one of the American group. Tush was appalled at this wanton destruction of a perfectly good toy!
Hattie and Joy spent the rest of the afternoon mending broken pipes and gutters that feed directly into that tank.
One more tank to go.
We’ve become firm friends with Joy and John; Joy is 23 and John 57 and they clearly have enormous affection for one another. Before we arrived they played Uno alone, but now we all play together, around the table before bed. Quoting one of John’s favourite movies, ‘A Few Good Men’ they shout how they ‘Don’t like you very much’ throughout the game and it spills into every other part of life.
I cannot say how happy we are to have made such solid friendships with them both.
The people we’ve met here have been familiar and inspiring at the same time.
Joy is a young woman from this village but because of her extraordinary achievements has been funded to study Business and Marketing at degree level at University of Surrey in UK. As someone studying overseas her status has increased considerably, we hope this will help as she teaches people about rainwater harvesting. We have all already seen that women are responding most positively to the new ways of thinking.
John is Dr K’s cousin. He had built a life for himself in US but has returned to Kenya to take care of his mother, Dr K’s aunt and rebuild a home for them both.
Dr Karambu Ringera, we knew already and is the reason we came. Known as Mum or Dr K by most people here began this children’s home.
As a child she’d become aware of the status of women in this culture and how vulnerable they were to domestic violence, also, if a man decided he wanted another wife, his original wife could be thrown out of the family home, making her and their children homeless and destitute.
At the height of the HIV/AIDS crisis a very sick woman, Beatrice asked Dr K if she would make sure her son went to school after she died. This boy and others were the reason she began.
She was donated a piece of stony barren land in the village and within a year she had raised funds for a building and together everyone had transformed the land into a garden which still is an essential part of the farm for the food everyone (up to 100 people due to the involvement of the local community) eats.
Dr K holds a PhD in Human Communication; University of Denver and was recently granted their Lifetime Award for her work.
She is currently touring US, speaking and teaching, spreading the message. The children miss her and she holds regular Skype conversations with them.
Saira is the Matron, she is always there, always on duty. Making sure the children have clean bedding, supervising them while they complete their homework, making sure they feel loved. She is warm and laughs easily with her quick sense of humour.
Lydia presides over the kitchen. She is from nearby but lived for many years in Nairobi. She is stylish and mischievous.
Nancy, kind, warm and swiftly accurate with a machete (the multi-tool of choice here)