I cannot believe another entire week has gone by since the Adobe Kassa. It could have been three days ago. I guess it has just been so exciting that it seems like no time has passed.
Last Monday, drove to a baboon preserve and followed a troupe of baboons on their daily path. We sat on rocks only meters away from them as they rested- little baboons playing, mothers cleaning babies, and big males sitting in surprisingly human positions, with their hands on their knees. I spent much of Wednesday, and Friday afternoon, in town. Otherwise, I happily have passed the time tutoring, observing classes, planting a bed of moringa (a type of tree) seeds in the garden, and chopping vegetables in the kitchen ever more efficiently while trying to pick up on the swahili.
My main focus, however, has been designing the adobe garden shed. I invited the girls to a couple of lunchtime sessions, so I think about half of them have given input. On Friday, Alice and Lillian came with about five other girls during lunch, then enthusiastically returned to the garden after classes, wanting to rope out the space that the shed would occupy in the garden. With about six of us cutting and hammering stakes, measuring, and eyebaling right angles for lack of proper tools (and lack of knowledge on my part about measuring the diagonals… oops!), we could all walk inside our imaginary shed within a half hour. Over the next couple of days, I shifted stakes around till the size looked perfect and the angles approached 90 degrees. I sketched out plans for the building with windows made of glass bottles and vines climbing up the adobe walls. The perfect shamba house!
This weekend, the girls have midterms, so the tempo slowed down a bit. I spent time reading, playing with the children of people who work here, and learning swahili. I leave for a Safari on Friday to Masai Mara with a couple of the Danes! What better way to celebrate my 18th birthday?
I already start to panic when I think about leaving, although I have six weeks left. I can’t imagine leaving Leila, Alice, Lillian, Benny, and all the other girls (especially those who struggle through math with me many nights a week!) I can’t imagine living the reality of life in Kenya. I don’t want to give up my perch on a kitchen stool, cutting vegetables and observing campus from a central location. But it’s so far away… And there’s so much to do first! I’m going to finish the shamba house, go on Safari, learn swahili. Most of all I get to spend more time with these incredible girls, and share more of our stories and wisdom. I get to try, somehow, to make them understand how much power and strength I think they have.
Sending love to everyone; I will (hopefully) take lots of good animal pictures this weekend!