Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Paper making with the Kenyans in Yorkshire

Sunday 21 June, Fathers Day in the UK, welcomed the 3 Head Teachers from the Mida, Mbarackachembe & Mzizima Primary Schools in Kenya, East Africa for a 10 day visit. Today I had the pleasure of being hosted by Nidderdale High School with Nicholas, Kanunda and Sirus. We were there to learn some of the fantastic art of paper-making, coached by the fantastic Joan Newall and Sue Harrison.

Kanunda, Joan, Nicholas & Sirus here stood in front of the amazing mural that the schoolkids made 3 years ago, using waxed paper techniques they'd just learnt. Each envelope was created and treated with wax, coloured, sequined, stitched by hand .. each unit represents a shop or house on Pateley Bridge's High Street just down the road.

Sue on right showed off her amazing creations using natural products like the 14 year old treated oakleaf basket and mat below. She then allowed us all to make nettle paper collages and also silk paper. Nicholas, of course made his in the form of Africa!

All this knowledge will be put together with the Arabuko area schools own knowledge of making paper gifts from elephant dung, an abundant resource around the Shimba Hills area too.

Nidderdale teachers will visit Kenya in October to trade experiences and knowledge, the ultimate goal being curriculum developments to include conservation, cross-cultural experiences and global dimension aspects.

2 of AVIF's volunteers this Summer will visit the A Rocha Mwamba Centre in Malindi District, "home to some of the richest and most diverse habitats in the whole of Kenya..... Arabuko-Sokoke Forest is the largest remnant of dry coastal forest in East Africa and considered to be one of the most important forests for bird conservation in mainland Africa. It also includes Mida Creek, considered one of the most productive mangrove ecosystems on earth ..."

If you'd like to get involved, contact us.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Gearing up

Time for planning and time for preparing. I'm about to ride off on a charity event for 7 days so wanted to touch base to remind everyone about arrivals in Nairobi. Please confirm flight arrivals. We've changed venue for the orientation. Everyone will be gathering at Nairobi's International Youth Hostel.

You can book your own rooms online (there are private or shared) and they can organise a reputable taxi to pick you up although you can take any provided you state no more than Ksh1200 per trip. (The website states Ksh1400.)

Contact details are:, James Gichohi, Asst. Manager,
Kenya Youth Hostels Association
Ralph Bunche Road
P.O. Box 48661-00100 Nairobi-Kenya
Tel: +254 020-2723012/2738046
Fax:+254 02 - 2738046
Cell:+254 722656462 or +254 722655321

The Hostel also runs its own volunteering program, charging a $350 upfront fee and $847 for 4 weeks.

Sharon will run Orientation informally on Saturday 1 August and then you will either go for upcountry flights or will be met by your hosts to be escorted to your placements. The allocation lists have already been sent though there are always minor changes so another is due out shortly, by email.

We currently have 2 volunteers in Rabuor, western Kenya, Charlie and Sam, settling in well, I'll send a report once I've received it.

If you want to book activities after the program please contact the organisations directly. We have no financial interest in any of these programs but highly recommend them.
GDS Safaris, Maasai Mara
Diving off Diani Beach
Climbing Kili or Mount Kenya with Mary Kariuki

We assist with promotion of Solar Cooking .. for more details please see Plans.pdf here. You can assist with training in simple construction and use of the Solar "slow-cookers", under the guidance of SCI (Nairobi). More info on the SCI Wiki dedicated to Kenya.

Please ensure you have adequate medical/travel insurance and remember you can always top-up your cover with Flying Doctor membership (please see Join Us > Safety section on website).

Any further questions do not hesitate to email although I will be unavailable 26 June - 5 July riding around France with One Way Round.
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