We kind of had school today, we kind of didn’t. This is the second week of the term but kids have been slow to arrive. We had assembly this morning with our 30 kids (out of around 90) and all the classrooms were finally unlocked today but not all the tables were in the classrooms. So, Classes 4, 5, and 7 were in one room……and there were only 10 kids total.
Kenya starts their new school year in January so all the kids have moved up a Class (my Class 4 kiddos are now in Class 5).
More kids arrived this afternoon so I think I’ll be able to teach tomorrow. That is if the schedule gets set up, the schedule hasn’t been finalized. I was able to grab the textbooks and prepare my lesson plans for tomorrow….woot!
I ended up just hanging out with the kids all morning and part of the afternoon. I bought in a few books that my parents had sent and the kids went crazy over them! They asked a million questions and tried to teach themselves how to draw (a couple of drawing books). Fun time! Sorry about the low quality, I was sneaking pictures on my phone.
After Class 8 completed their exams, I took off for Malindi (on the coast) to visit Sara. I was able to complete my PADI Advanced SCUBA diving certification (AMAZING diving sites!) while I was there. Then I went to Iten to visit Jenny. Iten produces a lot of well known Kenya long distance runners and a lot of runners from other countries come to train in Iten as well (high altitude center). Good times were had and I got to see more of Kenya! I also learned to appreciate what is unique to my area of Kenya compared to other parts of Kenya.
I didn’t blog at all during December so here’s a recap!
I completed my first half-marathon (for World AIDS Day)…..that I didn’t train for…..and ended up walking half of it. I could have finished it in barely under 3 hours if I hadn’t gotten utterly confused and had to follow another Kenyan who was confused as well…I ended up finishing it in a bit over 3 hours (slowpoke!) The course wasn’t clearly marked and for a good 40-50 minutes we (me + random Kenyan) were the only runners/walkers from the race in sight on a confusing course….so we just walked the last 5k of it. It was fun to run among Kenyans who are known for their amazing long distance running skills.
It was nothing like races in the States where streets are blocked off. We literally ran in the curbs of busy streets with matatus passing us (touts yelling at us) while breathing in diesel fumes. We ran on busy sidewalks (almost like trying to run in NYC during rush hour). We ran through mud. We ran on rocky dirt roads. We had to stop to cross busy streets. We ran through road construction which included having to jump down from a pipe. We ran through the slums. We had kids chasing after us. Water was given to us in plastic bags that we had to bite a hole through to drink. We had to avoid cows, dogs, and goats. We ran near Lake Victoria. We got offers from pikpik (motorcycles) drivers to help us cheat by taking us closer to the finish line. Some Kenyans ran barefooted, some ran with their purses, and some even ran in jeans.
The winner of the half-marathon race ran it in 1:06:33 and the marathon winner finished in under 2 hours.
Just such an awesome experience that I was able to share with about 10 other PCVs who participated as well.
Cities and towns in Kenya are just a whole another world compared to villages. Every once in a while I’ll go to Nakumatt (like Wal-Mart) and I will see a family who is obviously from the village. I went to Nakumatt last week and saw a family who was trying to figure out how to use the escalators. It involved screaming kids who were terrified of getting on and a woman who almost fell off trying to get on it. They were literally just standing and staring at the escalators for a good 15 minutes before they even tried to get on. Then they were so nervous about trying to figure out how to step off once they got to the bottom.
I give them major kudos for trying it! Can you imagine never seeing escalators in your life and then trying to figure out how to use it?
PRAYER DAY, KCPEs, and CLASS 8
Our school had a Prayer Day for Class 8 the day before KCPEs. Parents, a few teachers, and pastors came to pray for Class 8 students to do well on their exams.
Class 8 students are now done with primary school and awaiting their KCPE test results (this is the only thing that matters after 9 years of primary school…no other tests….no grades….very serious exam, so serious that each school has an armed officer with an AK-47 standing guard during the exams) which will decide if and which secondary school they go to this year.
I was sad to see them leave!
Another year has gone by.
When I left for Kenya in October of 2011, I thought 2013 would never ever arrive….and now it’s somehow sneaked upon me.
Time is a funny thing.
When I talk to family or friends back in the States it’s been “I’ll see you in two years” or “I’ll see you next year.”
Now……it’s “I’ll see you THIS year!”
Woot! It’s kind of a bittersweet feeling. I can’t wait to see family and friends back in the States again but it’s kind of sad knowing I’ll never see my kiddos again after I complete my service in December this year. It makes me want to be in two different countries at the exact same time.
15 months down, 11 more to go…..2nd year herreee I come!