Today was our third full day at the worksite. We woke up at 7 and had a breakfast of tea, trail mix, oatmeal, fruit, and eggs. After breakfast, we all headed out to the worksite excited about the work that had to be done. We did not have Hugo, Ian, Jungi, Rob, Madeleine H., Virginia,Julia, and Laurie because all of them were with their homestay families. The rest of us either shoveled gravel or picked up rocks or laid bricks on the perimeter of the dining hall. Ross helped us get involved with the brick-laying and we felt more involved with the project once we started laying the bricks. We made sure we were careful and the masons were still there if we needed any help. We took small breaks here and there to get re-hydrated and take a rest. We had lunch around noon and then took a two hour break to avoid the blazing heat of the sun. Many of us either did laundry or played cards. (by Ud)
After lunch, we made our habitual coke run. That cold, refreshing and classic glass bottles revives everyone’s spirits. We then hung out with our local friends as we practiced spear throwing. This was one of the funniest experiences of the trip so far. Several of us nearly were decapitated by hurled javelins that flipped and spun uncontrollably in the air. To say the least, we weren’t very skilled in this aspect of Kenyan life. Afterward, we headed back to the cafeteria construction to lay bricks, move rocks, and mix cement. In the afternoons here, it is surprisingly hot; we sweat it out and work through the exhaustion. By the end of the day, we are all sore and awaiting a 1 gallon shower. We all agree that these showers are the most rewarding ones of our young lives. Refreshed, we head off to dinner. There, we are greeted with a variety of local food as well as American flavors. We soon head back to the dorm and fall asleep almost immediately. (by Connor)
So far, I love my time in Kenya. The hard work is surprisingly exhilarating. We have made many bonds with locals. Today, while practicing with the spears, my friend, Chris, gave me a throwing club to keep. We exchanged much laughter as I tried to hit a target but instead tossed the club 40 feet further than intended. Chris then threw the club and hit the bucket first try. Just to embarrass me further. Although dirty and tired, these bonds make our trip totally worth it. Even as I write this, I sit here talking with my friend Moses as he reads on over my shoulder. The friendships we make here are amazing.
Next update will be Monday morning U.S. time, as we are headed to Losijo Lodge out of cell phone and internet range. We do have the sat phone with us in the case of emergency. We will be taking a well-deserved break from the work site and also going on game drives in the Shompole Conservancy Area. The group is doing great and the work the kids are doing is very inspiring. This is a fantastic group of students -- Ross Wehner