No time for tasks like bathing??

one of the students at Oduwo Primary School

Hear ye, hear ye, all are called to order, it’s been a week since we came from Nyandarua. A lot could have happened, I don’t know, all I know is we’ve just come from an amazing honeymoon, oops I mean camp. It never gets old, I have been to Oduwo before, the environment, the community, it’s always a unique experience. Maybe at the end of the day it is always the final camp because of all those unique aspects. On our anticipated day of departure, we arrived early to our rendezvous point. Well, some of us did anyway, as others came from lands far away known as K.U. one hour later, and a few of us who grew older, we boarded our shuttle and off we went to Muhoroni Kisumu. The conversation very mature, we talked about the gardens, how a man called Kevin likes Beyonce, one of us did a mercy mission. Trust me; the road trip is always part of the fun. Well, it also turns out, our being late was a blessing in disguise we arrived early in Muhoroni and waited for members of our troop who never showed up at all.

Well in the duration of 2 hours when we waited, it rained, others who I won’t mention, got hitched, and in anticipation of stomach troubles others gouged anti-acid like sweets.

Soon our means to Oduwo village arrived, a group of “Nduthi” Motorbikes, we would ride two at a time. Have you ever seen the scene in a movie, where after a trip, the person falls to their knees and kisses the ground a couple times. When we arrived at our abode, I did the same thing; being on a motorbike on muddy ground, worn out tires, and three passengers is not a good idea. We started majestically, all the bikes following a beeline for Oduwo, but little did we know what awaited us was less majestic. We slipped; half fell, and almost screamed all the way. We finally arrived to recount our tales one after the other, it was spectacular as it was scary. We made camp for the night; after so many excursions with the team, ugali has become our forte. The meal was exquisite, soon after the yawns amidst the fifa fanatics yells could be heard, but even then sleep came calling and we were all obligated to answer. We had arrived to make yet another mark on our Kenyan education system; we would not be stopped.

After the BodaBoda journey

Morning soon arrived and we were greeted with a welcome surprise, our group became larger with four new members having arrived in the wee hours of the morning. Breakfast was hastily served and soon we were off to another epic adventure. We arrived at the school just in time for morning assembly, as is tradition in Kenyan schools, we were introduced and happily we noted a few familiar faces from our past visit. Here is the funny or miraculous event of the day, we were informed that the local transformer that served power to the area was damaged. The head-teacher told us it might be a while before it was fixed, well we decided we would not be deterred, and would proceed as planned. The electricity is a big part of us, but we’re #kompyuta mashinani, we would make it work. However, Steve rallied the team and advised we pray for the electricity, we did and by the end of the day the Lord had answered our prayers. The first day was indeed quite eventful we would get a glimpse of the rest, hopefully less dramatic.

Early morning walk to school through sugarcane plantations

The phrase be careful what you wish for comes to mind, the rest of our sessions, were not entirely on course. However, we gained a lot of insight from the experience. The course work involved for the day two session was quite nerve wrecking, with tempers flaring, and schedules disrupting. Oduwo posed quite the challenge to our new method of teaching, as the children we’re well articulated in practical sessions, but no so much on theory. Aside from this lack of basic skills, we also noticed, perhaps for the first time, the perilous nature of their attire.

The children spoke of the way they had no time for tasks like bathing, as they woke up at around 3 am to tend to the farm needs, or the journey from their homes to school.

Perhaps I also feel it’s not that we saw it for the first time, rather we actually felt it for the first time, what it means to go, and make a difference. We continued to teach, but with every question or encounter, I realized that the children needed clothes more than my increased typing lessons. At the end of the second day it was decided, we would do something about it.

Beyond class and computer

Well perhaps all we can do now is try and play our part. There is a famous quote that says, “evil prospers, when good men do nothing.” My version is, “poverty will prosper, when the capable do nothing,” kids comp camp can do so much more, in a small way, when we head out to the villages to teach digital literacy, we’re breaching the gap and making a difference. A small service on our last day, to begin our Sunday session marked the inevitable end of our Kisumu camp. We had a great last day, the three classes not seeming to want to end, from one class starting a choir, to the rest riddling all the way. However soon the camp came to an end and our chariots arrived promptly. Soon we were off, vowing to return to help, more than the literacy, but also livelihood.

Our bus ride back is noteworthy, as we sort of were forcefully taken (Kidnapped) by a matatu from Kericho to Nakuru, and then starved from Nakuru to Nairobi.

Well, all is well that ends well, after arriving in Nairobi, we made our final prayer, and we we’re done with the August series. From Kibera, Vihiga, Muranga, Dagoretti Slums, Nyandarua to Kisumu, the Kids Comp Camp August Series was a success, and by far, the most fun I have had in my entire life, as well as the most inspiring. Life is a roller coster ride, a lot of ups and downs, the most fun is had during the ride, till next time enjoy the ride.

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