Day 4 at Nkenijii School

Catch up here: Day 1, Day 2 and Day 3.

This post doesn't have much to do with Nkenijii but I'm keeping the title for continuity. The post recapping Day 5 will be very much about our time with the Nkenijii students.

After volunteering at Nkenijii in the morning and then lunch at Siana Springs, our group hiked over to Mpopongi, the school Maywood Rotary used to invest in.

Don't tell my parents but for this excursion (because we were on foot), a guard armed with a rifle accompanied us.

Although to the walk to Mpopongi only took fifteen or twenty minutes, it was mostly uphill. As a result, most of us were winded upon arrival. The altitude got me every time!

Upon arrival, I was impressed with the presentation of Mpopongi students who greeted us with songs. Like all of the Kenyans and Maasai we met, they were warm, friendly and seemingly glad to have visitors. These students also appeared to be well-dressed with just about all in red school uniforms. I quickly got the sense that the school had more financial support than Nkenijii.

School leaders were eager to give us a tour. They were proud of the classrooms' electricity which was powered by solar panels donated by the government of Spain. They also showed us the "computer lab" which presently only had a large donated CRT style television, set to an African hip-hop station, but one day will [hopefully] house computers for students.

It was troubling to learn, though, that the school was without a source of clean water in spite of previous investments to that end. Some combination of vandalism and theft had left the water tank and piping non-functional.

I was about to get very, very thirsty for I had mistakenly thought our little excursion was going to last only about an hour.

Once our tour was complete, we were led to chairs in front of which the entire student body had gathered along with village elders.

Mpopongi students

Mpopongi students

After what I took to be a sales pitch (e.g., "come back and support Mpopongi instead of Nkenijii"), the students performed songs and dances, traditional and non, for us.

One student did impressions of Kenyan leaders. In spite of us not speaking the language, his talent and charisma was obvious. 

After the presentations (and the ceremonial gift of a goat!), we walked to Mercy's home which is called Rotary House. Mercy, her husband Roland and their wonderful son Llewellyn keep a lovely home. Mercy gave us incredibly sweet presents. This is one of mine.

They also kindly gave us cold water! Unfortunately they wouldn't let us keep darling Llewellyn.

Llewellyn with Auntie Julie

We love that boy!