A trip to the Rift Valley of Kenya where the Rotary Club of Toronto Eglinton is supporting the building of latrines and rain water harvesting tanks to ten rural schools just outside of Nakuru, Kenya. After visiting the sites we went on a safari.
Count down! – The day before the vote and tension is mounting – there has been a ban on alcohol for the past 24 hours – there has been no visible campaigning and party workers are feeling the mounting pressure. We had a visit from one of the party workers who has campaigned with Salvador, the FMLN Presidential candidate, for the past year and a half. He was a guerilla before the peace accord in 1992, and has been working for the FMLN for the past twelve years. He is currently the Minister of Education and hopes to keep his post. Valadamir spoke passionately about what the government has accomplished and what they hope to continue working on in the future. He told us that they had word from a leaked poll that the FMLN are sitting at 54% and the ARENA at 36% – not sure how accurate the figures are but if they are accurate FMLN will win and there will be a huge celebration.
As for our day, we were up at 5:30 and out by 6:00 for a trip to the coast and a beautiful little seaside resort, www.esteroymar.com The weather was picture perfect; we had a perfect morning.
After lunch, we headed back into the city for a visit with the Bishop of San Salvador, Gregorio Rosa Chavez. He was celebrating his 44th year as a priest and was a close friend of Archbishop Romero. Monsieur Gregorio talked about his relationship with Romero and the importance of listening when reaching out to help people. He told us about us the story of how in a conversation with Pope Francis, before he became Pope; he asked Francis what he thought of Romero. Francis said Romero was a saint and if he became Pope, he would canonize him – there is a feeling that their favourite son Romero will soon receive the blessing.
From there we went back to the hotel to get ready for Sunday’s vote and our meeting with Father’s friend, from the FMLN party.
There has not been a lot happening over the past couple of days. John and I met with FTC on Friday morning. They have been our partners here in Kenya over the past two years and have helped to oversee our latrine project.
After our meeting with FTC, we played tourist. We visited Bomas of Kenya, a cultural park where different aspects of Kenyan culture are displayed. The goal of the park is to preserve and showcase Kenya’s major ethnic groups. Traditional huts which represent the living patterns of tribal families in the past were set up in individual plots that were enclosed by bushes and trees – it was interesting picture of the culture. From the villages, we wandered into an auditorium to watch a dance group put on a performance of traditional songs and dance.
Monday – June 2
This morning, the FTC driver picked us up at nine for our drive to Nyahururu where we will be staying for the next two weeks while we visit the schools and check on our latrine projects. Somehow we managed to get our six large suitcases, and four carry ons crammed into the vehicle for the four hour drive.
Our first stop was at Uiguano Elementary School where the latrines for our sixth school are under construction. We met our contractor, Amos Yator who holds a degree in Engineering and is very proud of the work he is doing – both John and i were very impressed with his work, his attention to detail and his practicality. He has gone above and beyond the work set out in the original contract. Some of the latrine blocks were as far along as 90% while others are just getting started. It enabled us to see the construction at different stages.
From there we went to Tabor Hill, a spiritual retreat, where we will be staying for the next two weeks. Sorry there won’t be photos as they eat up this modem. This won’t be as interesting as India – it is just a way to keep in touch.