26 January 2009

Monday Means Work

...to some extent.

Today was as productive as the days were last week.  Sue and I sat around trying to learn about the way that the SJC works with the goal of figuring out what we can do for the next year.  So far, all roads lead to grants.  The prospect of this is exciting, but we have another meeting tomorrow afternoon.  This will involve Sister Judi, Sister Joy, Neto, Sue and myself.  Finally, we will hash out all of the responsibilities that need to be fulfilled by the four of us (Judi not included in the four).  I have come to understand that Neto is responsible for the day to day operations and leads play therapy.  Joy does administrative work to keep track of all the clients and to make sure that they are still coming for therapy.  If not, she goes to the homes to determine why.  That leaves funding for Sue and I.  Sure, there are probably things we can do here and there.  Such as book keeping during the day, but this will likely be the majority of our work.  I am ready to have something to do where I can feel like I am making a contribution to the center.  Thus far I feel like an observer who is trying to learn about the center with no real intention of making a contribution. Polepole. Polepole.

The afternoon involved taking pictures of birds with Michael's camera, making potato chips, taking out the trash, and again being mobbed by the group of girls.  The girls saw me from a distance and ran yelling something I could not understand.  I realized that they wanted to have their picture taken, again.  I refused and they revolted.  I ran for the cover of the house, but they are so small that they can fit through the gate.  My last resort was to barricade myself in the house and ignore them as they screamed and yelled through the windows.  I dealt with it for awhile but my patience wore off suddenly and I bust out to sternly instruct them to leave.  Obviously, this only half worked because I do not speak Swahili.  They got I was upset and quieted down, but did not leave.  I decided to give up and just sit and read.  I snatched my book and sat to read when I heard them say something to the effect, "He has a bible."  For some reason they thought I had a bible and dashed off.  Out of only what I assume to be fear of disturbing a man reading the bible.  I hope this is true and I will have an easy way to get rid of them in the future. 

Taking out the trash is a bit different in Kenya.  There are no trash men that come and pick up your trash.  In fact, there are no landfills for trash.  If your trash is compost, you have a heap or toss it into a garden or the ground.  Paper and plastic goods are kept in waste baskets until they are full.  Once topped off, you empty the waste onto the ground and apply fire.  Yes, trash is burned here in Kenya.  Sorry all of you environmentalists, this is not the place for you.  It is not China, but there is nothing to protect the environment.  In fact, the trucks emit a disgusting cloud of soot from their exhaust.  Fortunately for people on foot, the government passed a law a few years back that says truck exhaust pipes cannot be in the back.  So where do you think they moved the exhaust?  To the side of course.  "Which side?" you ask.  The side of the road makes most sense, preferably in your face as you walk.  It is more disgusting that you think.  The smell makes me sick.

We enjoyed a lightning storm tonight yet again.  I enjoy the weather here.  It was cool this morning, comfortable in the afternoon, and a solid t storm at night.  I am attempting to post a video of the thunder and lightning from tonight.  I hope it works!  I also was able to take some pictures of some magnificent birds.  I will get them up as soon as I can.  We have a nice couple who have made a nest in our storage portion.  They sing back and forth each morning and perch themselves on our clothesline as we sit in the afternoon.  Names will come soon.

Weekly projects:

  • Get a cat
  • Get a rug
  • Make a sweet bed couch