Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The new look JNMCC

Jambo - Habari (from Marie)

... You have probably seen my few pics on facebook - but wanted you to have a look at these first - ah where do I start........

I took a taxi motorbike from Maseno to Mercy Home - girls came running with open arms, huge smiles and big cuddles - tears flowed.......then when I looked down at these gorgeous girls, to my surprise - they were all new ones! LOL

Major structural changes - I hope you can see from pics. I was amazed. when I asked Edward why so many new starts - a brick chicken coup - computer room, tailoring room, and new small place for Edwards dad (his home is crumbling slowly) and a few small other rooms......he said that various volunteers wanted to leave something so ..we have many projects on the go - but lookin great and a real advance for the future. The chicken coup, pc and tailoring room have potential to earn some money - yay!

Yes things have gone up there as well as world wide - food has gone up a lot ... However the girls are vey healthy and well. And I cant believe how much they have grown - the little ones like Melissa and Iyeta - Wow.

.... the girls are all on the board overseeing the running of the place as well as other board members.

..I donated a laptop .. it runs on windows XP, and fairly up to date. They also have a dvd player now - I wish I had known as I would have got them Lion time! Anyway - If anyone can keep there ears to the ground, and any older, unused or uwanted laptops are going out - collect them for whoever goes next. This way they will start a net cafe - and lessons to all the girls as well as outsiders - bringing in some needed funds. ....PLEASE please please - a few texts or letters to the girls to let them know we havent deserted them. This is one of the saddest things - I am also at we get caught up in our fast paced lives, and yes we think of our wonderful time, and wonder how they are all doing - life there is slow - they fear that they are not thought about when us volunteers leave - so even a short sms to say hi is always welcome. ....

We are so fortunate and blessed to have lived with these great girls and experienced such a colourful way of life.......
Love and smiles always

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2009 Group Programme

Numbers are starting to be confirmed but we'd still appreciate more help. Please remember to send in details of your arrival times.

Here is relevant info you may or may not already know.

Please contact GDS safaris directly via the website if you wish to book a safari after the Programme ends, from 31 August. Similarly with diving off the coast or climbing Kili or Mt Kenya. I'd like to emphasize that you need at least a week for a Kili climb but Mt Kenya is "doable" in 2 days, with Mary Kariuki at your side.

Internet access can be found in local towns at approx $1 an hour but mobile communications are much easier, with the right phone. Please remember internet access in rural locations is by poor satellite bandwidth only so sending photographs back can be "challenging"! A prepaid Kenya SIM card is the most convenient and economical solution while you're in Kenya. If you want to make international calls you will need an international SIM, again, you can get these in Nairobi.

US dollars are acceptable in Kenya but you'll need small local currency in rural locations. You can pay your host for food etc in either currency, they will be able to buy a lot more for their money than you, as locals get much cheaper rates than us "muzungus".

540 Airlines, for all internal flights, allow up to 45kg baggage allowance for AVIF Volunteers. We strongly recommend that volunteers travel up-country by air, a much more convenient, faster and safer method of travel, though this cost must be borne yourselves. .. internal flights take 1 hour rather than 6-9 hours by road and cost around GBP60 return.

Distance-learning for Solar Cookers .. see Plans.pdf here
We need all volunteers to study these plans as you can assist with training in simple construction and use of the Solar "slow-cookers", under the guidance of SCI (Nairobi). SCI Archive site here

The Solar Cooking project continues to grow, please read the page on the SCI Wiki dedicated to Kenya.

We also recommend taking out Flying Doctor membership (please see Join Us > Safety section on website).

For all those not already informed please see the website section on Development Education, especially if you are a UK trainee teacher.Preparing for volunteering, volunteering itself and reflecting on the experience on your return are all likely to impact on your teaching.

MASTA have an online shop for travel goods and provide a free travel health guide on the website. Please send in AVIF Medical Forms if you have not already done so. Without these your place is not confirmed.

Itinerary as per website :

31 July arrival at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, Nairobi & Gracia Guest House

Orientation 1 August with Sharon at the Gracia

Return flights to Kisumu (book through 10am NBO-KISUMU-NBO) 2 August. This flight stops in Eldoret.

4 week programme 2 August to 30 August

Return flight to Nairobi / NBO-Mara for Safari rendezvous / own plans/ home 1 September

NB. Safari is optional ~ itinerary here

Please try to contact your respective airlines and ask for a charitable baggage allowance if you are bringing over donated goods. Normally airlines are happy to offer this. I can provide confirmation if necessary, or else simply pass on our contact details.

Sharon or a representative of AVIF will meet you at the airport. On the occasion of delays, or very early flights please BE CAREFUL !! Only the most experienced African travellers can resist the temptations of Nairobi's taxi touts. Gracia Guest House taxi fare should be no more than Ksh1200 per person.

Gracia Guest House address : off Ring Road, Kilimani Road, behind the Ya Ya Centre/ Mall, in Hurlingham area. The Gracia is a very clean, pleasant, quiet place with excellent hospitality. This is a safe hotel. There are cheaper hotels but we cannot guarantee safety outside of the hotel.

The price for a twin room (cost shared between 2 sharing) is Ksh4250 / USD$ 62. A single is Ksh3250 .. these are extremely reasonable prices for high season, central, secure Nairobi.

Regarding educational posters, there is an instructions poster here should you wish to take some with you

Can you all please make sure you are subscribed to the Blog as updates are published there and act as an archive for information. If you subscribe (most of you should already be) you will get sent the updates every time I write something.

We will shortly be assigning placements. Until numbers are confirmed its always difficult to do this.

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