[update from Marie]

Hello everybody, sorry there has been a slight delay in my news, I did
write on sat, however when I went to add some photos, the system
crashed…..Its a gorgeous warm sunny day here, slight cool breeze, and I
am sure it will not rain on our return today Well we’ll see……

I have just added some pictures for you……They are of my school, kids
with some hand puppets, my class group 50+, The deputy principle and the
giant advocados given to us this morning.The kitchen and view from school,
Me in my room, with Phanice, a pic of Luanda(town closest to us 40 min
walk. Another of the girls at Mercy home carrying the freshly cut gum tree
for the roof frame for extentions.

We arrived last mon nice and early, 8am as we were told, warm and sweaty
from our brisk morning walk up and around and over and up…. to find
masses of gorgeous kids looking and giggling….It wasnt until 10.30am
when the next teachers showed up, this is Africa i guess…. We – Zoe and
I thought it would be good to sit in in the first lesson, to see what
happens…..went really well until the principal, who was taking my class
7 went out to get some exercise books…and never returned! Ha, I guess
this was my opportunity to start!!!
The staff that we have met are really wonderful, very interested in our
country and what happens…..they are also so welcoming and Joseph, the
deputy has brought us many treats like a huge bag of avocados, then today
some Giant ones! Banana’s, sugar cane – makes special effort for our lunch
and morning tea……wow!
I was amazed to find out there are 93 orphans at our school, that live in
the family home and take care of the other siblings and collect sticks to
sell at the market, grow a little veg for dinner…..sometimes they cannot
attend school, as they try to get a litte work at the market or sell
whatever they have, I was so sad to hear their stories and wondering how
can I make a difference to these innocent kids? wow….we have never had
to endure the hardships that these kids live and face every day. We are
certainly blessed. I am glad the school has started a lunch programme, so
that these little ones living alone at least will get a meal a day. We
have been invited to a wedding ceremony on Saturday, one of the staff – we
havent met yet -unfortunately, this is the last weekend for us volunteers,
so we have a day planned with the girls from Mercy Home.
Time has flown by, with all the new experiences to take in. I cannot
believe that nearly a month has passed. I have decided that after my
safari to the Maasai Mara on the 27th Aug, I shall come back here for
another month, before going into Tanzania to meet up with my sponsor kids.
Just cannot leave these girls yet, they are so sad that most are leaving.
So it will be Zoe and I for another month.
The African sky is so big and bright, the star consolation so different to
down under….the thunderstorms have been loud and heavy, our room has
flooded a few times…but you get that!
Unfortunately not much more movement on the extensions – the brick work is
all completed, waiting on some $ for tin roofing. Maybe something this
week? All ATM machines were not working in Kisumu on the weekend, so we’re
hoping they will be back in order soon. One of the Americans had a
birthday so we all met up – was great to get together, exchange stories
and laughs…..we will be all going separate ways this weekend coming.
Awesome to be together.
The teachers are waiting for us to be free one weekend, to take us to see
the hippos….maybe after I return!
The days are very long, very warm, sometimes very wet….the skies are so
big and blue……..life is great. I feel so familiar – would love to have
more of the language sorted, but working on it! And have the long drops
sorted! YAY!

…enjoy the photos …