Thursday, June 18, 2009 Comment1 Comments

Wow where do I start, so much has happened since my last post. If only I had the time and energy to write posts more frequently we wouldn't have this problem. Well I guess we will start with the big stuff:

This past weekend, the Penn State team that was still here and our K-State team plus Michelle all went to a place called Sagana to bungee jump over a river. Yikes, I know that sounds intense. The best part about it was that Paul joined us as well and even jumped. To be honest though, the worst part of it all was the climb more so then the jump. In order to make the jump, each of us had to get strapped in and climb a 65 meter crane, one at a time. As you all know the higher you climb the windier it gets and add in the shaking from the person in front of you jumping and it creates quite a climb. Once you reach the top you must then swing yourself into the basket where the British (maybe Aussie, not sure actually) man is there to talk you through it. What is funny to me is that while you're up there he informs you that if it comes down to it, he WILL push you off, so long as you give him permission. Since I am such a brave man I didnt need any extra assistance haha. And obviously I made it out alive and well. My jump did not happen without glithces however. Leave it to me to put a little scare in the bystanders. See what had happen is.....on my way down, my loosely tied tennis shoes decided to take the plunge was well and flew off mid-flight. When it smacked into the water I guess it made a loud noise (which I did not hear) and put a scare in some of the Penn State and others who could not see my jump from behind the tree line. But all in all, it was a great day and all of us were able to psyche ourselves up and make the jump. Most brave of all, DeAnna was dumb enough to be the first jumper. Actually it is probably smarter that way so that you dont see anyone else be so stupid haha. To our benefit, we were able to enjoy a Tusker or two before the jump as well as draw inspirational images and quotes on our arms to look at during the climb. My quote of choice was the always good and very cliche "Carpe Diem". Oh and by the way, I personally think the whole idea of getting a rush and such out of activities like bungee jumping is total BS. I mean once I jumped it was just a matter of waiting to be done and get unharnessed. Maybe thats just me haha. Not the adventure junkee.

This past week we have been teaching the social studies classes again as well as running the extracurricular clubs. The clubs have been coming together pretty nicely and its helped that we have had help from some local volunteers like Sam and his buddies. They have been great and have some real awesome ideas for the children, especially with art. The biggest challenges with clubs have been getting materials and resources for activities and then getting the kids rounded up each day in time. Both of those however should improve with time. In fact, Paul was telling us yesterday about a new UN initiative incolving waste management and recyclables that we should be able to implement (with funding included) soon. This is something that will fit well in Nature Club so I am excited for that. Teaching classes is something that really interests me but it is quite challenging at this point. Perhaps most frustrating is the scarce materials (i.e. textbooks). Right now I have one Social Studies textbook to use for the Upper Primary class of 10 students. This one textbook is for Standard (Grade) 8 which is the highest level of Primary school here. So obviously there is not much variety in material to cover. My hope is to use the money that the BV West students raised to buy several textbooks with varying levels in order to provide a better classroom environment for the students. I have also been thinking of some ideas that dont use the textbooks but are interesting and useful for the students.

Well last night I finally got sick here in Kenya. It was probably about time anyways and it wasn't all that bad. Towards the end of the day I just began to feel weak and ache and then got a fever. To remedy this we watched two of our last three episodes of Lost and took some ibuprofen. I dont know what we are going to do once Lost: Season 1 is over. We might have to look for a bootleg copy of Season 2 in Nairobi this weekend.

Which leads me to my final bit of news for today. This weekend we are heading to Nairobi for Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Our plan is to visit an animal orphanage and giraffe house on Saturday. Paul has been given the responsibility of entertaining us at night and today he said we would go to a Folk show that features traditional songs using modern instruments. Sounds super cool to me. That is Friday night. Saturday night it sounds like we will be hitting up a club and doing some dancing, well some of us. May take some heavy encouragement to get me dancing. Finally, on Sunday we are going to the Masai Market, which is large conglomerate of souvenir and tourist goods that attracts heavy crowds each weekend. This is a place that can easily overwhelm a mzungu (white person) and often leads to them getting ripped off big time. This is why we are going to go with Paul and Rossa. Rossa is hardcore and doesnt take crap from anyone so I feel pretty comfortable with her handling my business haha. She is great. This weekend should be very fun and I am looking forward to see what kinds of goods I end up with. We met a family in Nyeri town who make some really great jewelry out of all sorts of local materials and we are hoping to track them down on Sunday and purchase some of theirs.

Kwaheri for now. Take care everybody.
-jamie

*PS-next weekend (as in the one after this weekend) we are going on our Safari so stay tuned for that.

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