Zuri Watoto Wote

a day with the PCDA Maasai Community

Posted in Uncategorized by Lynn Ouellette on 01/25/2014

 

Our view of the Great Rift Valley


Looking down into the Rift

 

Flying over the Great Rift Valley

 

We spent a wonderful and productive day today with the children and Mommas of the Maasai community of PCDA.  The drive took us away from Nairobi through Kisserian and on the border of the Great Rift Valley and beautiful countryside. It was not unusual to encounter herds of cows or goats, groups of donkeys in the streets of the nearby towns, lumbering through the street market, crossing the road or sometimes even blocking the road as we headed to our destination of the Maasai community. What was remarkable was the huge change we encountered when we got there. Just a year ago there was a small tin school house with dirt floors and only two classrooms, but now through the help of grant from an organization called Child’s Life in Ireland, the community has a brand new, much larger, upgraded school. This has enabled them to register as a community government school which provides them with support in the form of a principal and two government paid teachers. The two teachers who were at the school previously continue to teach there an live in the community and but are trying to get certified so that they can become government funded. They currently have only small income so getting such education is a huge challenge for them, but they are very dedicated to the school and getting certified would not only improve their standard of living but also improve the standing of the school. 

New Olepropil primary school

 

The children know us well now from prior visits, so we were greeted with great enthusiasm as soon as we approached the school in our van. These children are so adorable and are very enthusiastic learners. We spent time singing with them, playing educational games and distributing their new backpacks. I always get assigned the role of photographer which is just fine with me. Taking pictures of beautiful, spirited is a pleasure for me. Their new backpacks were sponsored by a Montisouri pre school in MD so each had a “letter” from the student who sponsored it and contained crayons or colored pencils. The children were VERY excited to receive them and worked diligently on return “letters” to their young sponsors. 

 

In their classroom


Many adorable faces


when you are happy and you know it….”

 

Playing a game to remember objects

Hiding their eyes while objects get taken away

Loving the new back pack

Drawing for his backpack sponsor

We always do some kind of outside play with the children which is a mixture of laughs and giggles, enthusiasm and really great athletisism. In the past they have beat the KEST group in so car for two years in a row. But this year the handing out of backpacks took some extra time and the KWST team was spared the humiliating of being beaten by a group of preschoolers! Instead we handed out bubbles for them to play with on the school ground and those were a huge hit! 

Bubbles!

Before departing from the school so that we could meet with the Tuko Pamoja Maasai Mommas, we did some group photos of the children proudly wearing their backpacks. There many thank you’s as they headed off to get porridge in the new kitchen all toting their different lunch bowls. 

Maasai children wearing their backpacks

Backpacks!

Next we headed off to visit the Maasai Mommas self help group for Tuko Pamoja to meet with them about the success of the past year, give bonuses, and talk about continuing to grow in the future. The women were well prepared for us to purchase their goods for the next round of sales. They had some exciting new products including some beautiful beaded leather dog collars. I don’t have a picture of them, but my dog will have one!We had also heard from philip, the Director of PCDA that the women really need and would love a shelter for meeting and working together. They bead in the very hot sun with a little blotchy shade provided by one acacia tree and when the long rains come they get poured on and have no way to stay sheltered. All of the other TP groups have a sheltered area.i had enough donor money designated for whatever I thought was a worthy cause so I was able to pledge a modest amount that would be enough to build a shelter as soon as they open a group bank account. We also support year round porridge for the children, helping them it have the necessary school supplies and their required school uniforms. The women were very excited about the shelter.  As we did at our other TP site visits we talked about our upcoming Workshop for Women on the following say, who will be attending and that we have added the opportunity for them to have a sales are for guests coming in and out of the Dimesse Sisters retreat. As we always do, we ended with spirited singing and dancing and a prayer as is the ritual in Kenya for beginning and ending any gathering. 

the Women’s workshop was an amazing experience of all the women’s group learning, sharing ideas, looking at each other’s products and was a great success, 

a true reminder if the mission and spirit of Tuko Pamoja, “we are together” that touched our hearts and had us all in tears for being moved by the experience before the

 day was over. Check back to see some video clips of the Maasai children singing and stay tuned to hear more about the workshop.

Hugs for the bonus!

Group photo with Tuko Pamoja Maasai women

 

 

 

 

6 Responses

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  1. billbeckett said, on 01/26/2014 at 6:37 am

    Lynn, what great stuff you’re up to!

    Like

    • Lynn Ouellette said, on 01/27/2014 at 12:48 pm

      Thanks! I have so many incredible stories to tell. And I am planning write a blog post about how the Kenyan people have responded to the loss of my son with such kindness and caring.

      Like

  2. billbeckett said, on 01/26/2014 at 6:39 am

    Wow, what a wonderful day.

    Like

  3. Barbara Sutton said, on 01/26/2014 at 10:28 am

    Thanks for writing so well about your days In Kenya with these amazing women and utterly beautiful children. I’m keeping all of you in my heart.

    Like

  4. james Weathersby said, on 01/26/2014 at 12:02 pm

    Blessings on your continued work-
    Godspeed home!

    Like


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