A Travellerspoint blog

t.i.a.

rain 20 °C

no idea where i left th last post so sorry if i repeat!

took the day off on friday to deal with a monstrosity of dsgusting hair. sat for 8 hours with this crap in it (i did leave the house a bit, i was SO ashamed it looked horrible haha) then washed it twice and its AMAZING! still! over a week later! oh happy day! but really, thank god its better haha

on friday night we went to 'friends bar' in ngong (we would have gone to nairobi but we didnt feel like going out til about 10 when daniella was like' i want a drink' and so did i, so local it was!) spent 10 and got sufficiently drunk, it was a good night! and 'bad jack' came with us (he paid to vounteer for 6 months and according to him has been about 40% of the time. the rest he spends running and in random peoples houses...) (definitely found out yesterday that it is a very dangerous bar and people are murdered there. gooooood) on saturday daniella and i snuck some vodka into the house (we are not allowed to drink there) and had it with mango juice. FUN TIMES!! then, later that night met new volunteers from canada and northern ireland (and we were tipsy, oops). took them to churrch and to nairobi on sunday.

on Monday i was taken to the maasai!! met 2 other aussies who were placed with me (what are the chances!) and the family. Maggie is the mum and is lovely, rose is the cook and is gorgeous and mercy is the launder and is so cute! playing cards with her is the best, she just giggles the whole time! went to school on tuesday and after sitting around for an hour finally got up and had a look around. however as it was the first day of the new term, everything was being set up and we werent given classes. we were told to go back the next day. in the afternoon the kid, marice took me for a walk where, after beleiving she saw a hyena, she freaked and basically ran back. me, being in thongs, lost on in a particularly muddy spot and had to dig around with my hands to find it haha

so on wednesday we came back and told to go home. again. (so we went for a walk to the dam and through the bush. i swear to god, every bush, shrub and tree has spikes. we had to avaoid everything which was impossible!) then on thursday, sam (aussie boy) asked to teach pe which has no teacher so we did that in the morning. and we found out the science teacher for class 4W and 6 was away so we took those classes. first time teaching!!! it was good! and i hope to teach science to older classes like 6 so it was good experience. thinking i might sit on in class 7 social studies cause the teacher is really friendly ( so far we've found a lot of the teachers dont want us in their classes in case we judge them or for the older kids, because they have exams...). but social studies is all kenya related so ill be doing a lot of learning as well!!! ah well.

said a very long drawn out goodbye to thais. she was meant to be taking a 4000ksh taxi on thursday evening. price rose to 5000, decided to take the matatu in the morning (7am) then taxi from ngong. it poured all night and morning so that fell through. she was meant to be picked up by taxi at 12, wasnt til 4. crazy times in saikeri!!! but really thats africa. today, to get to ngong, we waited 2 hours for a matatu that didnt come and was picked up by cattel truck along with about 40 other people. some were sitting on the edge on the roof. i have never been so squished in my life. was the only white person and was very amused!

also, ill have a photo on facebook soon, but the school was given money for a gate and fence a couple of years ago. the gate was built and the money for the fence went into someones pocket. good, kenya good. tia haha

also, thunderstorms here are amazing!

Posted by alexD 01:55 Archived in Kenya Comments (0)

huband cradle of hope childrens home

sunny 25 °C

so for the past week and a bit have been at Huband Cradle of Childrens Home helping out and entertaining the kids. we have done balloons, streamers, clay, footy, drawing, paper aeroplanes and SO MUCH MORE. its crazy. and the kids are gorgeous. but luis (the guy im volunteering with) sent out a fb message to his friends in Germany and raised 96000 shillings!! so we paid 1 months rent, 1 years health insurance, for beans, rice, soap, detergent, everything, its crazy. and Irene the manager was so grateful she started crying at one point.

but ill describe the kids for you (at least the ones that have made an impression haha)
Bella: 2 1/2, cutest girl ever with the biggest eyes. she started off by always wanting to be held but is slowly getting over that. i cant decide if im happy or sad!
teddy: 5, very cute but violent and today he just cried all day and wanted to be held! he fell asleep in my arms,then i put him to bed and he wanted me there so i lay down with him till he fell asleep,
Susan: 5, cute and quiet
Barbara: 14, quiet, introverted, looks sad a lot. if I could take anyone home,she would definitely be high on the list
jengo: for bad reasons, he's creepy!! i know that's bad to say but far out, eurghhhh haha

and there are heaps more but I cant be bothered typing it up :S

had outreach weekend last weekend where on Friday we went to KCC slum and looked at the school and feeding project they have (they have heaps more like women empowerment as well). it was great! we went to the school and then to the actual slum which was about 10 minutes away and had a look at some jewellery the women make out of newspaper. its actually really good and you couldnt tell unless you knew! on the way i collected a young girl as heaps of kids followed us back to the school. bad idea. about half and hour later found her crying because she couldn't get back... so picked her up and carried her back with Luis and the guys from Singapore and the rest of the slum kids. but i felt so bad, it was pretty terrible! after KCC we went to Hells Gate National Park where we took a bike ride to the Gorge and then walked through the gorge. we saw Pride Rock! and zebras, gazelles, buffalo and natural thermal springs, one of which was boiling. had a water fight with one of the staff called chomlee. it was fun! on the way back we had the option of taking the car or biking back to the entrance. there was NOT enough room in the car so i biked back. and died. there is a photo taken by one of the girls in the car and i actually look like im about to kill someone as i bike back haha, but at the end i was glad for the exercise.

on Saturday we went to the IDP camp, internationally displaced persons camp, where people who were displaced from there homes due to post election violence in 2008 have come. they have lived in tents for 3 years and the government keeps promising to do something but its never going to happen. it was inspiring and sad to see their happy faces. we helped give out ugi which is flour water and a touch of sugar ot the kids which was fun. they were gorgeous. there was also stuff to but there like bags, bracelets and these hanging things,hard to describe but Australia wouldn't let them in... after this we went to Gioto Garbage slum. as we drove up i thought i would cry. it was so intense. there is garbage everywhere, its how they get there food. there is school but the roof has caved in and they hadn't had drinking water (or any water) for 3 days because they cant afford it. the volunteers who go there actually cant bring water there, because the Kenyans don't have any. there were bags for sale too and we went into a house. the slum was a dirty, smelly, fly ridden depressing place. the houses were falling apart and it must be full of disease. my innocence is definitely shattered somewhat!!

on Sunday it was mean to be Muzungi (white person) night where we cook the food (there is 5 guests in our house at the moment) so we went out to get stuff and then the maid (yes we have a maid. don't ask. i am SO pissed at this...) cooked.... so we moved it to monday. got home to find the 7 people we were meant to be cooking for had blossomed into 15. i was fuming as we had already bought stuff and had to buy more, with our own money!!! for people we'd never met! so we went and got noodles and thought they could shove tasty healthy food up their asses haha. had a bit of a teary at the corruptness of Kenya and the attitude of the people (case in point, Luis leant Isaac his ipod for the day, (Isaac is at our house a lot) and then the next day Isaac went into Luis's stuff that was in the wardrobe, took it, and then gave it away!!!!! and was surprised when Luis said he wanted it back. Kenyans are WEIRD people) but then had such a fun night. it got to the point we were like 'if this tastes bad' ,oh well, we'll live, we had music playing and were dancing around the stove in a tiny kitchen. great!! then that night we watched titanic :) (well, me Tais and cool Isaac did haha)

next day was tuesday and i just couldnt go to the orphanage (i feel like im paying to babysit! it gets a bit overwhelming at times) so i went to Nairobi with Portia and Daniella where we went souvenir shopping and got lunch. that afternoon something happened with the flush. we died a bit. someone made an international call (in the toilet, understand? local call? international call?) and THEY LEFT THE DOOR OPEN!! it got to the point all us girls needed to pee, but werent going into the toilet so we ran out of the house to one down the street. funniest hour of my life. so much laughing. this day was also Portia's last!! but it would be a funny memory to go out on. at about 5 i left to go the orphanage to spend the night! they made us chappati which was SO GOOD and it was a fun time. went late and the kids go to bed early so that was good. but today, expected the insurance men to come at 9 to give us the receipt for the health insurance, and then we would go to the market at 10 to get the stuff and would leave around 2. didnt happen. insurance men werent coming til 4, didnt leave to go to the market til 10:30, guy with the car to take the stuff to the orphanage was and hour and a half late and the insurance man didnt come til 5:30!!! haha what a day. but tomorrow we\re taking the kids to the monkey park so that should be good (and interesting, neither |Luis or i have been there. we have NO idea what we're getting ourselves into :\ ah well)

now we are up to today where we went and bought all the food for the o

Posted by alexD 09:03 Archived in Kenya Comments (0)

keenya

overcast 15 °C

im here!! and for ONCE customs was easy :) fun times.

so got to the immigration place and was taking a sneaky peek at the girl next to me's immgration form and i saw she was australian and volunteering! was it awkward i then asked if she was australian and volunteering, thus indicating to her i was indeed looking at her form? probably. but we got talking and went through immigration and met the man from the fadhili community and it was a good way to start the conversation! we drive through nairobi and went to the volunteer house where we met some other volunteers (suprise suprise!) and then promptly fell asleep. i was not so much jetlagged as hadnt slept for like 36 hours...

the next day everyone went to their placements and 5 of us sat around waiting to be taken to orientation. there we sat, school style with 17 other voluneers and learnt about kenya, the programs, the people, the language etc. met some really nice people, on from texas, another from england and some... interesting people, but im not with them now so hakuna matata (haha) we went to the nakumatt which is a HUGE shopping centre with EVERYTHING. clothes, electronics, food, EVERYTHING!! its crazy! also it has muzungu food which is nice (white people food haha)

was informed that the maasai volunteers had temporary 2 week placements because it is school holidays, so i am volunteering in Ngong which is about 20 minutes out of nairobi. its quite developed, although there is a slum really close to us. my host mama is called naomi and there are 2 other girls staying there, a boy called luis from guatemala and a boy christened 'bad jack' because i think he never actually turns up to his volunteer work haha. ive met one girl called porscha from america, and luis, but havnt seen jack or danielle.

so on saturday we went to a giraffe centre where we got to feed the giraffe and we saw people kiss it. we had a hot dog for a snack which was interesting haha. and on sunday we tried to go to chucrch but got lost and then we tried to go to the ngong hills which are like 7 summits thought to be made in a number of ways, 1 being it was the dirt left under gods fingernails as he created the earth and another being god stumbled over mount kilamanjaro and these were the indents of his knuckles... but we got there too late so are going next sunday to do a 10 hour hike :| wish me luck...

monday, we went to our placement in Huband Childrens Hope Home (or a variation upon... no idea of the actual name) where we met the kids, told what we could do, then were left to our own devices. it was SO hard to think of what to do, and when we tried to get them in groups it just failed. massively. so we thought of a few things then let them take it from there and vary it to what they wanted to do. they had a football tournament in the afternoon (thank god! i dont think i could have done another 2 hours) but we left at half time where they were 5-0 down... :S we went to the nakumatt to pick up supplies for tuesday (today!). we got paper, coloured pencils, streamers, balloons and lollies! today we got out the ballons which they all LOVED. but wanted more when they popped... and we got the paper and pencils out and they drew for a bit. basically it was much easier. we also cleaned the floors in the living room, kitchen, and office. and then luis did some more cleaning while i played with the kids and then the young ones had a bath and i had to cover them in vaseline... weird. apparently its to mask the smell HAHA. but it was really fun. the older ones also took my camera and took SO MANY PHOTOS with it, i have to go through them all!!

so, photo's soon i hope :) bye for now!

Posted by alexD 08:37 Archived in Kenya Comments (0)

what i have done in the last 6 weeks

said goodbye to my family for a year

had a 14 hour flight, followed by a 14 hour stop in Doha, followed by another 4 hour flight

got stopped at immigration because i didnt have the address or phone number of where i was staying in India (funny story, the address i put down form rameswaram was actually opposite to where i stayed)

spent a day looking around chennai

took a 14 hour night train to rameswaram

met joseph and his family

became a part of this family

ate lunch and dinner in an indian home, nearly every day for 3 weeks

looked at schools and orphanages, as well as individuals, the Pappa fund has helped

became a regular at "ganesh mess" where i always ordered Puri and tea, so they didnt have to ask by the end

cooked for josephs family, twice. both of which were fails!! stirfry=gluggy, bread =didnt cook and was too sweet anyway, but chocolate and
fruit=SUCCESS, luckily haha

went to madurai for the day,waking up at 4am and returning at 2am to look around and get some clothes

saw a head shaving as an offering to the gods in dhanaskodi

saw a blessing of a child

saw a hindu festival where people shoved poles though there mouths and skin

rode a scooter in India (ie, i am now on par with the queen)

treked through the nilgiri

met 2 finnish girls, 4 englishmen, and a german and dutch girl and had PROPER CONVERSATION

got VERY burnt, seriously bad blister and i think there will be a scar

met 2 french people at the train station in ooti, became friends and took the train with them

saw the finnish girls on the ooti train and stayed in coimbatore with them

caught a flight to mumbai, then goa where i met 2 swedish girls

shared a room with them

found somewhere cheaper

lay on the beach clothed, while people around me were in bikini's and complaining about the stares (its your own fault dammit!)

navigated the bus system successfully!

traveled all around goa, north-calangute and anjuna, central-panjim, south-benaulim

went to the once infamous (for drugs) anjuna flee market

bought a hell of a lot of stuff in benaulim

sent 2 packages home with souvenirs/runners

made friends with aformentioned people and countless indian children (they are the best, dont have any hidden desires except maybe to get a photo (or 10!) and maybe a pen)

negotiated a full day of travel around bangalore and chennai, with out getting a rickshaw, which is really an act of mammoth proportions

and probably more... onto the next 9 weeks in Kenya and then a proper home, shower and home cooked, western meals in England :D gooddd times

Posted by alexD 02:17 Comments (0)

chennai kiddies!

overcast 35 °C

got to chennai, finally!!! crazy amounts of travel and but pain in between, along with some... interesting male company. i swore on the train from bangalore to chennai they were talking about how they were going to kidnap me (cue bitchy face and ignoring them when they talked to me, ieb being very rude) :| but im alive so i guess not ahaha. along the way i had so much help from people!! it was great. the train from Vasco arrived at Yesvantpur in Bangalore and i had to get to the city train station to catch the chennai train. no idea how to do this, and money's getting low (seriously, my card was rejected the other day and i had to get out less...) so i got on a bus (yes, a random one) and asked if it was going there. a man said yes, that he was going there too. i was like haha cool, another creepy male... but then he introduced me to his family and i was like PRAISE JESUS. turns out he was going to chennai too, so i followed him from the bus stop, to the train and then onto the platform. they had unreserved seats but mine was reserverd, so i couldnt sit with them as these are different carraiges :( it was sad because as i said, they company i had on this train was a group of 20yr old men who were going to kidnap me...

arrived at chennai at about 8 30 last night and found a room that stinked like cigarette smoke, but was within my budget. i have opened the windows and turned on the fan, and you'll be glad to know the smell has all but gone :) also, it had a tv included in the room so it was a good deal!! had breakfast this morning, have bought chocolatre and chips for snacks and am definitely relying on kenya and walking from place to place in the maasai, as well as no access to crap food, to make me beautiful again! because right now, i am in junk food city haha

uploading some more photos :D the last of india :(

am going to post a summary of what i have done in the last 6 weeks in a separate post so by for now!

Posted by alexD 02:05 Archived in India Comments (0)

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