Boda Bodas, Back to the Future, Bracelets, and Some White Paint

Waking up here makes me laugh every time.

Knock knock “ALYSSA, it’s 8!”, Jenny or Paul knock on mine and Catherine’s door and I know that I can’t squeeze any more sleep in although I may try. I know it’s time to rise, and a whole day of surprises lay ahead.

It’s funny how Kisumu has absorbed us. If there is water we might attempt a sponge bath, if not – it’s make shift coffee, some oats, and out the door we go. We find the nearest Boda boda driver (bicycle’s that you sit on the back of), we ride into down for internet access, food supplies, and project materials. This morning in particular Catherine and I walked to the orphanage with a pile of cardboard on our shoulders. It has become so natural.

Yesterday was great. Joanna stopped by for a visit before boarding her plane (destination- home), Jenny stuffed loot bags for the children (we’re giving them out on Saturday) and cleaned house, Paul met with the facilitators for Saturday (who are experienced in the art of conversation about AIDS/HIV), Steve Obeto painted the banners, Catherine and I picked up the large exhibition prints and painted the exhibition stands. Our Kenyan colleagues would laugh and tell you that we were “covered from head to toe” in white paint… I say that is a mild to accurate exaggeration. We settled down for the night with Paul’s homemade Lentil soup and talked about “Back to the Future” and the activities we will run at the block party on Saturday. We decided on a balloon game, a soccer challenge, face painting, and crown making.

In short, things are being completed around here, and I am really proud of the team. Today Paul, Catherine, Steve Obeto, and I will be framing the prints, and Jenny is working on letters for the children. Later we’ll head to the Primary school (for the last time!). There, Jenny and I will make bracelets with the children, Paul and Catherine will do audio interviews for the online slideshow we will make back in Canada.

Saturday’s party is really shaping up. Activities in the morning, then lunch, then time for the facilitators to help us start conversation with the community about the stigma related to HIV/ AIDs. After that our guest of honour Wendy Muckle will give a speech, and the Piga Picha children will receive their certificates. I think my favourite part of the day will be when the children arrive and see their photos blown up, framed and mounted on the stands. I’m sure they’ll rush around laughing trying to find their photos.

Okay, all for now. I’m off to the Nakumat (grocery store) to look for carpenter’s glue.


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