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!




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