Wednesday, February 14, 2018 – “Small House with a big heart” by Susan Czyzo

In Kenya, driving durations can only be taken as estimates as many different circumstances can impede progress to a final destination. On our second full day in the country, we made good “Kenyan” time to our first clinic setting despite encountering several random police checks, vibrant market towns where as a foreigner you don’t know where to look, and stretches of what felt like hundreds of consecutive speed bumps. The beauty of acres and acres of tea plantations helped make this long drive significantly more pleasant.

Ndanai Small Home
Six of us made the trip to Ndanai to meet and greet with the students, staff, and administrators of this home for children with disabilities. We were welcomed ever so warmly by the manager, Mr. Justus Tanui, and his visiting guests, the students of the adjacent school, and last but certainly not least, the students who reside at the home during the school terms. Their striking eyes and bright smiles made us wish we could have made it there earlier.

As five of us were first-time visitors to the home, we were taken on a tour of the space to get our bearings. Two dormitories, a kitchen and cafeteria, and a physiotherapy room make up the home. Lovely, well-kept gardens, a grassy area, and a sports court complement the indoor space. Around 40 children live here and attend classes at the adjacent school, 10 of which are new as of January 2018.

It wasn’t long before Jessica, the musician in our group, had her violin out and was leading the children in song. It was wonderful to watch the connection she was beginning to make through music. I’m certain our entire time at Ndanai will involve a lovely, upbeat soundtrack.

Joanne, one of our physiotherapists and a return visitor to the home, led a team effort to find more appropriate crutches for one of the new children. With the help of Thomas, the rehabilitation assistant; Loren, our kinesiologist; and one of the older students, they were able to find a pair of more suitable crutches and saw them down to a smaller size. It doesn’t take long for our team to get their hands going!

The children were fascinated by my camera and I already have a few assistant photographers on board! All in all, we spent a wonderful afternoon at Ndanai, leaving feeling welcomed and appreciated, and eager to return tomorrow.

Here’s a few pictures from Keith Leavitt:

Brian, Evelyn (community social worker), Lawrence, Peter (Head Teacher), and George stand in front of an elementary block that is badly in need of renovations at Gilgil Township Primary School.

George, Brian, and Lawrence try their “hand” at operating the manual water well drill on the grounds of Tulwap Primary School. The hole is currently 120 feet deep and the prospects of reaching water soon is strong.