Barry Castle!!!

Hello there intrepid blog readers!

First off an apology… (but not News of the World style!)

Dan & I have not exactly overwhelmed you with updates, infact this is my first!  I’m sure you can guess why, a combination of unreliable internet connection & just being really really busy!

Soooo, what’s new at KKV 1 year on?!

Well, the major change is that the mum in House C (Janet), has left & a new couple called Jacob & Marion have come in to replace her.  They are much younger than the other parents & have only been here from 4 days before we arrived, so we haven’t had much time to get to know them as they are only just settling in themselves!  But yes, they seem great!  Its a big upheaval for the kids but they are strong characters after all they have been through in life.

The new school building (or Learning Resource Centre (LRC)) is almost done, the dedication will be on our last day here on 31st July.  It really is fantastic & surpasses my expectations, with classroom space for up to 80 kids (double the current capacity of KKV, they want to expand!), offices, a library, staff room, study areas & toilets!  It just adss to what is a fantastic facility over all at KKV!  I’m really impressed!

Remember last year I told you about the major road building schemes happening in Nairobi thanks to the Chinese?  No?  Scroll down to last years blogs!  Well they’re progressing but are a long way from finished.  The part that goes next to KKV is though, but isn’t a major issue thankfully as its sunken into a man made cutting.

What is just amazing however is that as soon as the ground is leveled out for a stretch of road you can start using it, even though its just a dirt track!  And then they close it again when they’re ready to tarmac!  As yet there are no road makings, thats obviously someone elses job so, well, you just have to wait for them to get round to it!  The roads are crazy, i’ve said that before, but seriously…the other day it was chocca-block on our side of the road, all 3 lanes snarled with rush hour traffic.  So what do some people do?  Well they decide to claim one of the lanes on the other side as an imprompteu contra-flow!!!  Obviously! Only cleared when the Police turn up some time later!

How is Dan doing?  Well I’m waiting for him to get tired!!!  From the moment we arrived he has completely thrown himself into everything with passion & enthusiasm & the kids LOVE him!  He’s a natural, the best big brother these kids could have asked for!  And when we go to new places & meet new people (many, many, many!) he just loves getting to know them & making new friends.  And just as Emma & Merryn did last year, he’s become part of the family at the Sterns.

He does have slight issues with remembering Swahilli words & greetings, but goes for it all the same!  My favourite moments have been when he’s tried to remember the most common greeting (‘Habari Yako?’ – How are you?).  First he asked someone “Barry Castle?!”  & then whilst we were driving through a congested slum area he leant out the window & tried again but instead it came out as “Harry Bako?!” – to see the bemused faces was timeless!

Before I go, one last thing many of you will want to know is how were the donations received & how are we spending the money raised by the Wave guys & gals?  Well the books are brilliant & the kit the same (they played a tournament in it today).

And the money is being split 2 ways, first off by taking all of the kids out on day trips (they very rarely get these).  The pre-schoolers went to an animal orphanage for the day, we’re taking the older boys up a volcano on monday & everyone else out to one of the national parks (where there is everything from caves to boating) in our last week.

Secondly we are looking to buy a printer/photocopier for the LRC plus other resources needed still needed.

Oh & how am I doing?  Great thanks!  I’m back at a wonderful place with people who have become wonderful friends to me over the last 2 years. I love it here.  And Dan’s not too shabby company either!

Lots more I could say, maybe i’ll blog again sometime!




The Great Adventure To KKV!!!

To All My Brother’s and Sister’s

This is the first time Ive ever blogged OOOOYAY!!!!! I would like to start by saying a BIG thank-you to Our Awesome God for providing for me to come to KKV. When we were at the airport  Ian was absolutely buzzing to get here, I know now why!!! It has been a laugh, a second from the Sterns to the kids and I didn’t realize how funny Ian is.

We arrived about mid-day there time and checked into mama Lydia’s and had a little sleep. Then we headed off to KKV. When we arrived we meet Molly, Lydia, Christin and Anna. Nothing could prepare me for what happened next, a stampede of beautiful little children running at myself an I an it was Incredible feeling. From then on it was an hour of madness running to the jungle-gym to the faith house and back again. It was great to help out at football practice too. We then had a lovely evening chilling with the Sterns.

Then next day I let Ian catch up on his beauty sleep while I washed my clothes and had some breakfast at mama Lydia’s. Then we walked to KKV, Nairobi has some stunning scenery. The afternoon was filled with helping with a bit of school work, I totally forgot how much I loved algebra!!! It was Essy’s birthday so we made her a birthday rap, guvna b watch yourself brother!!!  After some more football we had pizza for a birthday treat for essy, it was lush!!!

Today ( 7/07/2011)

We got up early, a blue peter badge was awarded to Ian, I joke I joke! So Today me and Ian lead chapel and Christin and Peter done worship!!! It was great we spoke about how God makes a bad situation into a Great one ( referring to my testimony) we played a game with the kids having a ball of play-doo and them making something beautiful, one sculptured Ian and another made a mirror. We finished off with a memory verse ‘ I will never leave you nor forsake you” Hebrews 13:5.Afterwards we had lunch at mama Christabel- that was some good chicken and she is an Amazing Woman of God.   I then cut Ian’s hair, Jon says he looks like a sailor ( Adam wingrove it not as short as yours was though, sorry again for that) We then had a lovely walk finished off with more football and cracking meal with the Stern’s.

I would like to Thank the Lord for providing for all his children at KKV, making dreams becoming reality with the new classrooms being built and Healing Jon step by step to the full strength of his back. In Jesus name. Amen

Talk soon. With Love Dan and Ian



Emma. Soo…Apparently I’m worth Many cows.


Soo Ive got lots to catch you up on!!

The kids at KKV are having an end of school closing day  programme so we went to help make invites with all of them all thanks to all your money donations which helped buy quite alot of the materials and ofcourse all your donations too.. soo photo will follow! next up!…The other day we went to the Market to buy gifts and things and it was such fun!! i laughed soo much i walked past this one stall and a man called me in to look at his stall and i said no sorry just looking.. and he replied..”akuna matata”  i looked straight at ian who heard too and immediatly said “What a wonderful phrase” which set us off in giggles… very good times.I officially love haggaling its great fun and i dont think im too bad at it either!  and i’ve know learn’t the word Muzungo (probably not spelt right) which means White person which i got shouted at alot to buy stuff. it was such a good day and had a good talk with a guy about the school system of kenya  and how he hasn’t been able to do high school yet and he was in his twenties which was a bit crazy. but yeah it was good. we went to help out cleaning the church and getting it ready for the next day..and let me just say… if anyone.. and i mean ANYONE complains about cleaning and setting up the church again i would fly you over to clean and set up this church myself… it was crazy we were there for hours sweeping and mopping the floor with a towel.. it was fun though we were setting up  thousands of chairs and we kind of turned it into a game so we had a right laugh my muscles are hurting now though by carrying so many chairs and they would have two services!  and to make it doubly Gob smacking there was a church everyfew mins! so lots of churches  and they still manage to get two services filled to the brim with people! the sunday service was… in one word.. CRAZY. everyone was dancing.. People had cotton wool in their ears and it was still loud for them!  they were shouting praises dancing  it was so crazy and so passionate anddd   MENTAL.   but crazy mental for Jesus which was awesome! Today was very very Interesting.. we went with the Mumma’s to the fruit and veg market and i dont think i’ve ever been stared at so much in my life i got given lots of free banana’s  and got proposed to three times… one person asked me to take them home and make me a wife. another said he would give many cows to love me,  and a rather old man  asked if i was married and then his friend asked if i would be his wife.. while he stared and smiled offering me a seat next to him. i was with a mumma called janet and she translated all what they said, they were very complimentry and was asking janet why she was stealing me away from them i laughed alot.. it was such fun and felt very… Kenyan and like we were getting into their culture! Also  I’ve decided that im going to sieve through my clothes when i get back… which my mum will be pleased to hear! and give it all to oxfam, Janet was telling me half of the things the people on the clothes stalls were selling were from oxfam and was majorly cheap but was clothing people and giving them money to buy food and things themselves. which is cool. aswell today we just has Keswahili classes with Janet some things are sinking in.. was funny we ended up just shouting the word yes in swahili over  and over again.. which sounded slightly weird…such a good day :)

Thank you for all your bits and bobs and support you have given they definatly enjoyed it!

Anywayyy  KWAHERI everyonee!


Oh yeah and look at this please…

the KKV website…


Is it cos I is Muzunghu?

Hello all you lovely Brits!

Greetings from the land where 22 degrees means its time to break out the wooly hat & overcoat!  I kiddeth you not.

So, one week in & we’re having an awesome time!  I won’t go into detail on all we’ve done as the girls have been keeping diaries so they can fill you in much better when they blog.  But i’ll try & give you a flavour of whats been happening.

The orphanage itself is at capacity & looking to expand, since last year they have taken in 2 new kids but very sadly had to ask 1 to leave for disciplinary reasons (he was 15 and has now gone to live with an uncle – although this is not ideal & KKV are still involved with trying to find him somewhere more secure).  This means there are 40 kids ranging from 2-21 yrs.

Incase you’re wondering why 21, its because they also school them here and they will only leave when they are fully educated & ready for university – many will have missed much schooling before coming to KKV.

So, what of Judy & Essy, the oldest kids, who many of you saw in the videos from last year?  Well, Essy has one more year left before she goes to study medicine, Judy a little longer.  They are both very well in spirit, although Judy has an ongoing health problem – asthma & allergies.  But their company is such fun!

The Sterns are well also and have been just wonderful in welcoming us into their extended family, Merryn & Emma especially.  And us 3 Brits make a good team (i hope!), lots of fun & laughter & only the odd tantrum – but i’m trying to get better!

So far we’ve experienced (always a good word to describe it) their Church – just as big & crazy as I left it!  We’ve met lots of great people, & today we went to market – Kenyan style!

We’ve been kept very busy & in demand which is great – the girls will fill you in.

And to finish, a couple of interesting things…

1.  The World Cup…

So yes, i may have been asked/mocked about this by EVERY person i’ve met – ‘what happened to England?!  Were you sad?!’  I’ve been very diplomatic.  But turns out that most Kenyans were supporting England as a surrogate team – poor misguided souls!  The power of the Premier League over here is big!

But more tragically, Ghana’s loss in the quarters caused minor riots, murders & several suicides not just in Kenya but in many other African nations!  Turns out Ghana really were representing all of Africa, and all of Africa really did care!

2. Enter…the Chinese!

Heres a curious thing, there is mass road building a foot in Nairobi & Kenya as a whole thanks to the Chinese!  China predict they will run out of energy supplies in the next 20 years or so due to their population boom, so they have identified Kenya along with a number of other African nations as be an answer to their problem.  Kenya is just starting to produce oil so China did a deal to say that they will pump money & organisation into Kenya to build up their infrastructure if China can get first rights on the oil in future!

So whereas before roads were built slowly slowly in a Kenyan relaxed style, they’re now flying up all over the place!

Anyway, must go now & help with rehearsals for the KKV end of School year show!

Do comment below & let us know how life is back home, missing you all!



Emma :) “Pretty much….When I say pretty much I mean really.”

Hello!! or should i say JAMBO!!

So I’ve got three days to catch you up on!  so here we go :) This isn’t including Sunday… although there was a slight overload on the baggage weight  which was a bad on my part …but we wont go into that ha.

Monday 12th july

so i woke up on the plane today and we were like…. two hours away from landing so we were flying over the Sudan.. i think.. and i looked out the window and saw this BEAUTIFUL  sunrise and got mega excited, the sight of an african sunrise just made the whole thing seem a bit more…REAL… OH  did you know that if your filling falls out or chips down to put chewing gum into the hole and it acts as a temporary filling! always good to know when your on a near 9 hour flight to kenya YEP I’ve got toothache… but luckily i also have gum ;)  anyway..we got through visa and baggage and we met Tray  who we noticed straight away as he was jumping and waving at us  and Lydia is the sturns (family who owns the orphanage incase you didnt know) daughter who picked us up and drove us to KKV… we arrived and were welcomed by everyone.. EVERYONE is sooooo Lovely its crazy how at home im feeling already and its only been three ish days .. all the children are  awesome and really funny.. within the first fifteen mins they had taken our jewellery and our hats and glasses and were dancing around singing bon jovi..  :) after meeting and greetings we went to our rooms and had a small nap to try and catch up on the sleep we missed then went over to watch the children practice their musical skit which they are doing for there end of school closing day. A young girl called Fatima.. i think thats how its spelt  called me over to play football  so we had a kick about  for a little bit just before lunch which we had with the sturns. we stayed until after tea where we sang and worshipped and after that we popped to faith house where all the children live and visited houses  c+d  where we got completely ambushed by children.. which was lovely.. and i slightly got to grips with a few more names.  one child told me her testimony shes called Eve and she was saying about how both her parents died and she had to love with a bad mother who used to cut her and beat her.. until one day they went out and she ran along way to their neighbour and she kept her at her home and she was just saying how greatful she is to God because he saved her from the bad people..that kind of blew my mind that,that much can happen to a child so young and yet she is so happy and so over it because of the love God has for her.. made me so thankful  for my life and for her life now that it is over also they are so skilled they were sitting making rugs and jewellery  and HOPEFULLY  they will be showing me.. so you never know you may be all getting rugs for christmas ;)

Tuesday 13th July.

We were woken up and told one of the Mummas were off ill and judy who is LOVELY was back from school looking after them so  merryn and i went over to try and entertain them for a while.. we brought a bubble wand with us which they really loved playing with we made a rule that after five dunks they would pass it on  which they all did really well.. after that we all went outside and we messed around on the climbing frames and they were hanging off the monkey bars and shouting “Emma Merryn Look were monkeyys”  was very funny and very cute… shortly after they found our cameras and had alot of fun taking lots of pictures of eachother.. we ended up with lots of closeups or pictures of feet but they had a good time ! we tried out some of the stories we brought over too which they really liked. We then had lunch and helped reorder the Paces (work books) for next term for each of the classes  which took a long time.. but we worked well as a team  OH also we tried a thing called CHAI .. which is tea Made with  ginger cinnemon  andd.. nutmeg. which anna made for us.It was delicious. Anna Christan and lydia are  molly and Jon’s daughters … who are lovely  were attempting to perfect eachoters accents soo hopefully i will we able to fool anyone with my american accent at the end of the trip  haha Im not so sure they will do the same as they sound a mix between cockney mary poppins and an australian theres always hope though right?  in the evening Me merryn Ian Judy essy christan anna and sarah and  lydia sat and played word games which was VERY funny Judy  thought she got it everytime… but didnt.. OH but when she did… She celebrated like mad… it was kind of like she was swiping away bees that were flying around her head and stamping on spiders on the floor whilst laughing and squeeling cause she got it… was very funny. After that we went to bed  after laughing so much that day we were totally knackered!


today was the dreaded day… i had.. THE DENTIST .. dun dun dunnn!  :( But it turns out my filling has just chipped a little bit so it will ache slightly and i need a root canal.. not cool.. sadly they cant fit me in at all until after i leave..but my tooth is feeling lots better so its really not that bad.  Fatima was at the Physical therapist today as she has cerebal palsey.. sorry of thats spelt wrong… so we sat and had some more chai and had a good talk with Jon who told us about fatimas story… an uncle took her to a hospital because she was ill and left her there for months until KKV got a call and they took her in.. they dont know her age .. or her birthday or anything like that .. but jon said as soon as he saw her.. she was so lovely and happy that he named her joy.. (as kenyans have many names)  after that we drove  home and i met bansey who i have heard her story before.. she is a real amazing lady very strong spirited we didnt get to talk long because she had to leave.. so  i helped rub out some more books for the next term   and now im sitting in the sturns writing you this :)  No doubt tonight will be filled with  smiles and laughter too.. Having such a great time… Everyone is sooo so lovely.. i’ve been saying that alot i know but THEY ARE!  such amazingly caring people. and so crazy for God  just meeting  them for a short amount of time they show Gods strength and Love  and truth and the reality that this isnt something to take half heartedly but something that can change your life and others you interact with..

God is Good :)

PEACE OUT    Emma :)


Jambo from KKV!

Greetings from Kings Kids Village, Nairobi, Kenya!

All three of us (Ian, Emma & Merryn) will be blogging from the same site for your reading pleasure!  Feel free to comment and keep in touch please!

First up its me, Ian!  (by the way this is the same site as last year so don’t get confused by the older posts from last year!)

I’ll try & keep it short & sweet as the girls have much more to say!

But basically we had a very smooth journey from home to here & were met at the airport by Tray & Lydia (part of the team here).  Its been brilliant coming back & seeing so many friends again, i’ve definately missed them!  I’ve been made to feel very at home very quickly!

The Sterns (the American family who run the orphanage) had kept our visit a secret which made it very funny when they saw us for the first time!

Anyway, we’re settling in just great & the girls are loving it.

I’ll hand over to them in the next post…

Thank you for all your love, support, encouragement & prayers.



I’m coming home!!!

Yup, the time has come for me to leave Kenya and come back to sunny Blighty!  (whats that?  Its not sunny you say? Never!)

In fact I have already left KKV, and i’m writing to you from Alex & Amy’s house which is very near the airport.  I’m staying here tonight to make the trip in the morning a lot easier!

I said a very emotional goodbye to everyone at KKV this afternoon.  Boy that was hard!  I didn’t think i’d find it so difficult to say goodbye to everyone there, after all i’m a bloke – we don’t do emotions!  But they have all become such a big part of my lives over the last 6 weeks, from the kids to the adults, and even the dogs!  I shall miss them all terribly and I must admit to having a heavy heart as I write this.  Sigh!

BUT, i’ve had a truly amazing time here in Kenya…  I’ve met some amazing people,  been to some areas that defy belief whilst at the same time seeing how peoples belief in God gets them through, i’ve been privilledged to enter into peoples lives and learn their stories.  I’ve seen amazing beauty in the Massai Mara & Mombasa.  I’ve been to FIVE different Churchs, from Anglican to one that was taken almost entirely in Swaheli & lasted 3.5 hrs!  And much, much more…. and i’ve loved it all!

I must give a special mention to Jon & Molly Stern & their family.  Its pretty scary touching down in a distant country, thousands of miles from home, on your own, not knowing anyone, and knowing that you’re there for the next 6 weeks no matter what!!  But the Sterns are just an amazing family who continuously went out of their way to make me feel part of the family and help me out at every turn.  The happiness of the children at KKV is testament to them.  They were wonderful to me.

To sum Kenya, from my own perspective (and that really isn’t the most informed perspective!), it is a beautiful land (the Massai Mara & coastal regions for e.g.) but its brought to its knees by and endemic culture of corruption that is reviled by all who I speak to (they all bring it up themselves) yet seems to be an accepted norm in the society.  For example the national Hospital has a permenant sign at the front saying ‘Kenyatta Hospital is a corruption free zone’, so if the state hospital feels the need to put that up as an official sign, i think it says enough of how rife corruption is.  Oh and by the way, my Kenyan hosts scoffed at the signs claim!

You only have to look at how Obahma deliberately snubbed  Kenya despite his family heritage and chose to visit Ghana instead recently.

Yet despite the corruption that leaves the majority of its citizens in relative poverty, Kenya is a country of great faith & character.  The people are warm & friendly and so generous in their welcomes.  And the way they dance & sing so freely cannot fail to win your heart!

I’m pretty tired right now so i’ll sign off for the last time from Kenya, BUT this isn’t the last you’ll hear from me about KKV and the rest…  i’ve taken many pictures, recorded videos of songs and interviewed some of the people at KKV and i’m intending on having an evening in September where you can come down and see all these things, maybe learn some songs (and dances!), eat some Kenyan food, hear some of the many amazing stories i haven’t had the chance to share on here and have a chance to give towards KKV and find out other ways of getting involved!

So watch this space!

That just leaves me to say a huge thank you for taking the time to indulge me in reading my endless witterings, especially thanks to those of you who sent so many encouraging messages over the last month and a bit, its been very special to hear from home all the way out here.

A an even huger (if thats a word) to all those who donated money to enable me to actually come out here, its very humbling to have your trust and support.  Special thanks of course to Georgina for originating the idea and pathing the way for me to go.

I cannot waaaaait to get home, i’ve missed everyone soooo much!!!

See you all soonish!




A happy ending to a story I told you a while back…


You may remember me telling you a couple of weeks back about a desperate situation where a widowed single mother (Roselyn) was being prevented from bringing her 9yr old daughter (Cynthia) back home from hospital because she could not pay the hospital bill that was being added to each day.

Well, on Tuesday they were finally re-united after 5 months apart when the mother was allowed to take her home!  This was a small miracle as the situation had looked hopeless just 2 weeks ago, especially with the level of corruption in Kenya meaning that local money which should be used to support women in her situation very rarely finds its way to the people who need it, leaving her with no-one to turn to for financial help.

But not long after I met her a relative of another girl in the same ward heard about the case and was moved to act.  This lady happened to be connected with people higher up in the hospital and put Roselyn in touch with a Doctor at her Church.  This Doctor and the lady then aided Roselyn in making an application for funding to the Hospital which they ensured was properly dealt with.  The result being the Hospital Insurance fund and social workers paying the insumantable bill and sanctioning Cynthia’s release.

It may sound simple but to someone in Roselyns position the doors are usually kept firmly shut, despite how wrong we can obviously see this as being.  I also discovered that Cynthia had actually had to share a bed with another girl all that time also.

When I had met Roselyn 2 weeks ago and heard her story it was just a desperate time, and she looked a woman in total despair, to look into her eyes was to see complete desolation.  So as you can imagine the difference on Tuesday was amazing, just wonderful!  I have a picture of them but can’t upload at the moment, but I will add it when I return home.

Of course Roselyn & Cynthia are just one of many cases that are yet to see a happy ending, so please keep them all in your thoughts and prayers, thank you.




hello from Essy & Judy again!

sasa?(that means hi,)  thanks for writing back to us that was sweet. you can keep in touch with us but through face book, search(Essy Wairimu).  it’s true we have enjoyed having Ian with us, he is the most fun person!  we can’t wait for you guys to come too  and then we can come to visit you if God rains money on us. that way we can know each other better. you have to come with Ian or we wouldn’t open the gates for you.ha ha ha,joking. don’t worry we will welcome you even if he is not with you.

tunawapenda( we love you). Essy and Judy