Thursday, December 15, 2011

Working overtime

 Although I have been to Kibera before, today's visit was a new experience. The seasons have changed. The recent rains have made the mud pathways even more uneven and bumpy now that the sun have dried them out. The paths are filled with rubbish; you can't really take your eyes off the route for long. Time has no meaning in Kibera. All your senses are working overtime; it is quite an intense experience, so a mornings visit seems like a full days work.

The office for my friend's project Kibera Mpira Mtaani, the study room (filled with 6 newly-donated computers) and the TV room (remember-I wrote about how the project is becoming self-sustainable before) are all above eco-toilets. So, as you can imagine, with the heat comes the intoxicating smells. You try not to show you have noticed. To screw your face up. But keeping the conversation flowing becomes difficult.

Thankfully we didn't stay there long. Vincent (one of the local employees and founders of the project) showed us the new tents and chairs the project has bought, which they can now hire out. Then we moved onto the 'classroom' , where the project holds after-school workshops and homework sessions. Local schools are now in their long 8 week holiday, so children are happy to go somewhere to read, play and learn in a safe and stimulating environment. As it is Christmas time, donations of bright and colourful books have filled the book shelves since my last visit; families are making spaces for their new toys and presents. The 'classroom' is really a very happy place to be. It is a relief to be inside it.

Anisa and I both made play dough for today's visit. The play dough seemed to go down well. A few cheeky chaps did of course want to try to eat it, but soon realised it wasn't a good idea! Helicopters, planes, girls with long hair,chairs and baskets were created. I worked on a snake (!) for a while, then spent the rest of my time picked the play dough off my hands!

Merry Christmas greetings were passed and goodbyes (until next time) said.
Fun was had by all, including my friend's adorable little girl, Yara, who visited for the first time today.

PS-I was offered this very cool t-shirt, but I reminded him that it may be a little small! :)

PPS-If you feel like you have not done your share of giving this Christmas, you can make a donation here to the project.


  1. Hi lovely! I'm missing my bloggers! Thought I"d drop by and check out your lovely blog. Your photos are amazing. I'm certainly feeling a big trip in my near future :)
    Happy holidays.. Nothing like a good reality check to put superfluous holidays like these in perspective :)

    xo tash

  2. ah tash-feel so fattered that you have visited! thanks! hope you will be back to blogging soon!
    merry christmas x

  3. I must be so fulfilling to do something useful. We westerners are so spoilt. It is like fresh air to read you. Merry Christmas.


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