We woke to the sound of the Iman calling people to prayer. This was a first for me and I was extremely surprised by how loud they played the prayer; it was quite the wake up at 5AM. After we ate breakfast our first objective was to get water. We walked through the town to a grocery store called Nivas. Besides a few visual differences, you wouldn’t be able to tell this store apart from a supermarket in America. You could get just about anything there. We were going to be meeting some students that OFDC sponsored through secondary education around lunch so we had some time to kill. We explored the town of Narok which is very busy. The main street is lined with various shops and has a ton of vehicle and pedestrian traffic. There was everything from shop owners trying to get you into their store to cattle roaming through the town, intermingling with the frenzy of people.
We met Josephine and Rachael, two students that OFDC sponsored, for lunch at the hotel we were staying at. They were extremely happy to see Nia again. Josephine has been interning in Dadaab, the worlds largest refugee camp in the North-East part of Kenya. She is currently working towards her law degree and wants to specialize in humanitarian law. Rachael is a secondary school teacher teaching religious studies, history, and government. She is able to support her family and pay for her siblings’ school fees. It was amazing to hear their stories and how hard they have worked to get to where they are now. It was easy to see the effect receiving an education had on them. They both spoke with such passion and confidence about the work they are doing and what they have been able to accomplish since graduating from secondary education.
The town of Narok early in the morning.
Rachel on the left and Josephine on the right.
We walked with Josephine and Rachael to the main road and said our goodbyes. Our next stop was to visit Tinina, a student OFDC is currently sponsoring in school, at St. Mary’s Secondary School (yes, it has the same name as Milicient’s school in Bomet). The school was about a 20 minute walk and was just outside the center of Narok. The school had a large gate you had to pass through in order to get on the grounds.
Since it was a Sunday, all the students were at Mass when we showed up. We could hear them singing while we were waiting with one of the teachers who was busy grading papers. When Mass was finished, we met with Tinina and she showed us around the campus. Tinina is a very beautiful girl and hopes to one day be a singer. The girls usually eat lunch after Mass, which meant Tinina was missing it to show us around. We insisted that she got her lunch so she quickly took us over to the kitchen. They had 4 giant wood burning stove/pots that contained large quantities of food in them to feed all the girls in the school. The top student was in the kitchen facilitating the cooking and distribution of food. We said our goodbyes to Tinina so she could eat lunch and we headed for the gate.
Right the Head Student of St. Mary’s Secondary School and Left Tinina standing in the school’s kitchen.
Outside the gate we waved down a piki piki (motorcycle taxi) to take us to Polunga Primary School. OFDC has done latrines, desks, uniforms, and repaired a rainwater catchment at this school. The motorcycle ride was an enjoyable one; it was about 15 minutes and we avoided the main road as much as possible (which is very nerve racking to travel on). No students were at the school because it was a Sunday but we were still able to enter the grounds and view the projects that were completed thanks to our facilitators and supportive donors. Nia showed me a bridge that was once standing. It had been completely destroyed by the river that often floods when the rains are heavy. The children that used this bridge must now use an alternative route to get to school which is most likely a longer distance and more dangerous.
We headed back to town to get some food and rest. We navigated our way through the busy streets towards our hotel, along the way we purchased some handmade bookmarks that we use to show appreciation to our first time donors. The vendor that sold us the bookmarks said him and his family made them and that the money would be used towards his childrens’ education. The people in Kenya are amazing, they are all such hard workers and are trying their hardest to make it in life. I’m truly inspired by the determination and kindness that people in Kenya possessed.