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March 10th – Email Update from Debbie

Well Finally!!!! It has been very difficult to e-mail. As you have probably guessed there were no internet cafes in the village we were staying in and when we did get a ride to one, the computers were not working or I could not get onto hotmail!!

We are now back in Nairobi and I have just had the opportunity to read all your messages and feel a little more in touch with everyone. Thank you so much for your well wishes and keeping me up to date with life in Canada. I am not sure if I will have the opportunity to e-mail in the next week, so you may not hear from me again until I arrive home! Hopefully the hotels we are staying in have internet!!

It has been an exceptionally busy two weeks and we have done so much. I will be coming home with many pictures but will have to rely on Darlene for the video! She has done a lot of filming so when we do get the video you will have a good understanding of all we have done and all we have seen…

Here are some of the things we have accomplished… which truly are a drop in the bucket:

-approximately 270 children at Itegero Primary school have been outfitted with uniforms or partial uniforms

– a library and resource center has been set up at Itegero Primary School

-the roof at Itegero school has been repaired and painted

– all “hands” have been given out and we went into many classes to do hands with children… it was at that time I realized that many of the children did not know how to use a marker, even those in grade six didn’t know how to open it as they had never seen one before.

– the puzzles that the “World’s Best Grade 4 Class” did were a hit, but we had to show the grade four class we were working with how to do a puzzle that was also something they had never seen.

– one of the many questions we had were about the animals we had in Canada… thanks to my class we were able to give students an opportunity to read about Canadian animals… they really enjoyed the projects they made!

– all letters, books and poems were given out and enjoyed by the students of Itegero Primary School, many of the books that were made are now in the resource center we set up!

– we took the parachute to Itegero School yesterday. I hope the video captures the laughter that filled the whole area. What a way to end our days at the school.

– Laurie and co. your teddy bears were delivered to a hospital near Itegero.

The Staff at Itegero Primary School was amazing, it didn’t matter when we arrived or what we wanted to do at school that day, we were always welcomed and they were always ready to accommodate us.

On Tuesday we had a celebration at the school, many speeches of thanks – we each planted a tree – the Canadian flag was raised beside the Kenyan Flag and we were entertained by the students. The water pump on school grounds with funding from the government of Kenya was also being fixed. The atmosphere was positive and needless to say very uplifting – we were given lunch at a Teacher’s house and then we were off to clinics.

We have been told that they MIGHT rename the school after Ebi!

We have visited many other schools and have many pictures to show you of these schools… the need is very great and the things we have done are so small compared to the needs but at least together our efforts do add a drop to that needy bucket!

Children were very excited to see us, they would run up to us all the time and as I promised, I will be bringing many smiles back with us. Stickers have been such a hit the soccer balls were the best whenever we gave out soccer balls we were greeted with screams of joy!

A “disadvantaged school” which we have called “Sunshine or Advantaged School” has been given new tables and benches. It had little furniture if any cups to eat porridge have been bought a porridge rich in vitamins will be delivered to this school on a regular basis the children in this school were obviously suffering from a lack of good food.

At this school there is also a child who does not have any legs. We are trying to arrange for a wheel chair or stroller to be delivered to the school. We also gave this school all the socks and clothes that were donated.

Yesterday we were at a school for special needs and we gave them some of the bean bags we had, to teach them to throw and catch. We giggled together as they blew up balloons and gave us all hugs. It was a special day and we all left hoping we could give this school the gift of water which they desperately need.

We visited a hearing impaired school. The students were so happy to see us they came running up to us each student there got their own stuff animalWoW!! Although many of them were from the dollar store, I felt like Santa given out million dollar gifts.

Today I finalized banking. We have spent many, many hours in banks and had a lot of trouble cashing traveler chequesall school cheques have now been cashed or deposited into the Itegero Primary School bank account or the one Tim and I opened together in Nairobi. I now have a cheque book and will be able to transfer money over to an account in Nairobi and then write cheques when needed. This should be helpful when we are trying to get jobs done from Canada. The money I previously deposited in this account is still in it. We wanted to get a feeling for the whole community before we handed any more money over.

Well I suppose I could go on and on, but time is running out and I should head back to the hotel.

Please say hello for me to the students at Christmas Park and give my class a big hug from me. Tell them I miss them and I will be back soon and ready to nag

Thinking of everyone and sending my love to you all.
Love Deb