Left: Max helps to build.
A very special component of this project so far has been sharing it with my family. Max, my brother, arrived in Kenya along with Kennedy and I and immediately jumped right into work on the school. He and I interviewed over 20 teachers while Kennedy worked to put all of the nuts and bolts of the land and construction in place. While Kennedy talked with the District Commissioner of Nairobi, the District Office of Kibera, and local gangs securing permission to build Max and I, along with our headmistress and teachers, interviewed hundreds of students. There has simply been more work to do than what Kennedy and I can do by ourselves. Every minute there is a phone call to make, an exciting new development, a meeting to attend, a school to construct.... there is no such thing as down time. We've been so lucky to have Max dive right in and juggle some of the balls we'd surely drop on our own.
And if sharing all of this with Max wasn't special enough, my family arrived in Kenya this week eager to lend a hand. My mom will be doing a workshop with teachers and the principal on developmental psychology and helping with the special emotional needs of our students who live such difficult lives. My dad will be helping to build furniture, and just lend a hand. My little sister Raphae will be helping to set up classrooms, and pitch in where ever
needed. Sharing this work with my family has made this time even more meaningful.
This week construction is wrapping up. We're all but finished with everything except for cementing the floor, and finishing the leveling of the ground. Teachers are busy reading a lot of material prepared by education specialist Melissa Dearborn, immersing themselves in this very different style. The kids are so excited, they wish school would begin tomorrow. On August 5th we will have our next meeting with students to hand out uniforms and interview students about their lives to share with all of you! As soon as the construction finishes we will be adding our water tank, electricity, and exploring the possibility of building a biodigester and adding solar panels!
Below: Kennedy directs the construction of the library.
Below 2: Kennedy sits with first grade student Beldin Atieno and her mother to go over Beldin's contract. Beldin signed with a smile.