Monday, July 6, 2009


Trying to explain the things that I have seen and done since being in Mutumbu seems almost impossible but I give it a shot.

Mutumbu is a small rural town about 2 hours out of Kisumu on a Matatu (kind of like a mini bus but th ekenyas manage to fit over 25 people on one). We are staying in a compound behind the 'white house' where I will be living after the action project. The house is like a kenyan palace. There are three bedrooms although we only use two and the third one is the sick bay but thankfully hasnt been used to often. There is a small kitchen with a gas top stove which we cook all of our meals on. The food has been pretty awesome. When we cook it's usually pasta, stirfry and burgers. We get lunch cooked for us which is more local food like chapati and potato, a spinach like dish, beans, rice and we have even given ugali a try. On Pips birthday we made pancakes as a substitute for a birthday cake it was pretty awesome. So back to what the house is like... there is a dining room and lounge room where we hang out after work. The bathroom is well basic... we have an inside toilet which we use at night otherwise there are four drop toilets outside with no lights and lots of flies so that's always an adventure. The 'shower' is inside we each have our own bucket in which we fill it up with water from a big drum and then that's our shower. We are helping each other wash to wash hair. Sometimes we might boils some water and have hot showers but that takes a while. The water drums are refilled everyday by a guy that comes with smaller drums and then fills our big drums.

So our day to day life...

Monday: we usually spend monday building it takes us two days to finish a house. We get up at 6-6.30 walk to the community centre by 7 and either walk or boda boda to the worksite and start working by 7.30 have lunch at 12 and finish at 3. We start by caring wood its pretty heavy and can take alot out of you but we are pretty good at working together. Once all the wood is on site the fundi (local laborers)help us to construct the frame. They build the roof while we finish of the walls. The next step is to make mud sometimes this is easy sometimes this is a challenge. If we have to get the water ourselves it takes alot longer as it means that we have to walk to the water source and carry buckets of water something that white people are just not very good at. I dont think our necks can take the weight but we get there in the end. Sometimes the water is already on site so its just a matter of the locals mixing it together and then we make mud 'bricks' really just balls of mud and put them in the frame.

Tuesday: We usually just finish muding on tuesday which usually only takes us until lunch time and then we either go home and hang out or go and do some other volunteer work depending on how we are feeling.

Wednesday: is similar to mondays as we start building a new house

Thursday: is pretty much like tuesday we mainly mud and get home early.

Friday: we usually have off to complete our individual projects and visit different places.

Saturday and Sunday are always different we sometimes go into Kisumu we have been to a national forest and this weekend we have been packing because we are off to odede the next village.

I havent decided what I want to do for my individual project yet but I have had a look around and some schools, a baby home called Rangala which really needs help but visiting there was one of the hardest things I have ever done in my life. Gemma a girl that has been volunteering since feb runs a HIV and AIDS and drug abuse classes that I went along to which was really interesting because the people attending don't have much knowledge on the topics and really want to learn. There is so much I could do in Mutumbu when I get back and I am excited that I will be able to work on my own project when I get back.

Kakamenga Naational forest was amazing. We spent two nights there in this awesome huts with no electricty. We had hot showers and western toilets so we were all very happy. We walked in the forest as a group and the next morning went on a sunrise walk. The sunrise walk was just so beautiful and the photos just dont do it justice. We walked up a rather large hill and got a 360 degree view of the forest as the sun was rising.

Since coming back from kakamenga we finished our last two houses in Mutumbu. There are a total of five now which is pretty cool. We held a sports day at one of the schools where we played lots of games and the kids were all very excited about us being there and about learning these new games. We had three legged races, potato sack races, potato on the spoon (we couldnt encourage egg on the spoon because that would be a waste of food) and some other games.

We are off to odede today which is an hour out of kisumu in the other direction away from mutumbu. I really love mutumbu the people are so beautiful and inspiring and I am really looking forward to getting back there. I have a washing mama who well washes my clothes and although she doesnt speak english I spend a bit of time with her and her family. She is going to cook me chapatis when I get back to the white house which I am very happy about.

Well I must be off now as I have a lot of things to do in Kisumu before we head of to odede. Keep me posted on whats going on back home.

Peace and love

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