Claire McAdie: Claire McAdie’s CommUNITY News no. 4

Mary, John, Liam and Claire
Habari zenu? (how is everyone?)

Things are all going well here in Kenya at the present. We have been back at school for a few weeks now. During my first week back though I was robbed (again) on the way home and my mobile phone got stolen. Such a bugger. The guy was faking to be sick and wanted to swap seats with me to be sick out the window. Really it was just to get to my bag. So I have learnt another lesson. Phil was robbed last week too and had 5000 (Kenyan Shillings) stolen.

Tonight we are heading out to a Luo night at Carnivore. There is going to be a book signing of a new Luo-English dictionary which I am planning to get as my Luo is not very good. But after spending a week up there without Phil over the holidays I was forced to learn a bit. I can greet people Ber ahinya and tell someone that the rain is coming Koth biro. I learnt the last one from a song though. It is such a beautiful sounding song. It is even on an ad here – for Guinness. The only good ads here are the ones for beer. We have been waiting for this Luo night for ages as we keep missing them when they do come. All the Luos in the Nairobi area will surely be there. It is Luo music, drinks and food – should be interesting. Luo music is absolutely beautiful. They say the Luo language is the most romantic to hear of any African language.

Liam had his 9th birthday. I can’t believe it. Where has the time gone?

The year 7s and 8s proudly display their new books
[Added after the night] We went to Luo night and it was really good except Phil was really sick and so we didn’t get to dance and left at 11pm so didn’t get to stay long at all. Hopefully they will have another one that we can go to. I got my Luo dictionary and also got to meet the author and get it signed which was good. So now I am able to learn some words and shock everyone in Siaya when I go there and speak (a small bit) to them.

Liam had his 9th birthday on the 22nd. I can’t believe he is 9. Where has the time gone? When we came he was only 7. But I guess we only have 7 months left here so time is definitely going fast. Liam had his friend Jeffrey come over tomorrow and we all went to go and see Pirates of the Caribbean 3. The boys are so addicted to those movies now. So that is what he wanted to do for his birthday.

The past few weeks I have got 2 donations – 1 from Daylesford Primary School – THANKS CAROL! – and one from a group mum spoke to – THANKS MUM! – So I have managed to get textbooks for all the class 8 and 7s for English, Maths and Kiswahili. We also got maths sets for them – it has a compass, protractor, ruler, rubber, sharpener and some other little maths tools. They are so happy. They have never ever got a brand new book before and the most expensive was only around $6. Most of them couldn’t even afford the second hand ones which cost not even $2. This amount is just so far beyond their families. So it was really nice to get this money and being able to do that for them. They are such amazing kids. Most of them have absolutely no English spoken at home and it their 3rd or 4th language but they try so hard to master it and many of them do really well at it. I know teachers shouldn’t have favourites but there is one kid in class 7 and he is so funny and a real darling. He carries my books to the office after I have their class and makes sure I have a chair.

They have never ever got a brand new book before and the most expensive was only around $6.

Duke (who carries Claire's books) and Francis
I am in charge of all the art classes from class 4-8 at the moment but am soon taking over extra duties by taking over PE and also assisting in computer classes. Just last week we had electricity installed in one room and got two computers put in there. They are the oldest computers I have ever seen but they will do the job of giving the kids the very basics in computers.

I hope you have enjoyed all the photos I have sent. I have just realised that I am only in one of them. Sorry – I am usually the one behind the camera. I will have to get some pictures taken and send them. Maybe with the next email.

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If you have come to help me, you are wasting your time. But, if you have come
because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together. - Lilla Watson