After a few days sleeping in airports and countless bus journeys down sandy, rock filled roads (the term road is used loosely here) we finally arrived at our village, only to be met by the most amazing singing and dancing from the village elders as they welcomed us from all corners of the globe. We were shown the mud houses where we would stay, the place from which we should draw water and the showers which consisted of a bowl of water (if the well was not dry), some banana leaves and an empty sack!
When night fell, the sky was breath taking. It was as though I could see every individual star as it twinkled in the pitch black sky. When night falls in a place with no electricity, the stars look like diamonds, and you should really not forget your torch. Unfortunately I had, and would spend the next two weeks stumbling around in blackness gaining lots of bruises.
After boiled yams and sugary tea for breakfast we began our first day at work. We were working with the locals to build a dam. The rains in Kenya have failed for the last two years and people are desperate. Everyone is crying for water, with no water there are no crops, no crops means no food, without food there is no life. When the rains eventually came (which they didn’t this year either) we were building a dam to collect the rain water for the villagers. We dug all morning, tools were scarce, the local kids dug with their bare hands, making leaf baskets to use as buckets, the strength of five year olds putting me to shame!
Jeannine, Kenya 2009