A Beautiful Day in Kisumu

 

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My day on Tuesday started out early with a 6:30am departure for the airport.  It took an hour and 40 minutes to get across town, but I made it in time to get checked in.  My driver adeptly stayed off the main roads for the most part and carried me through some of the industrial area of Nairobi.  When I landed at Kisumu, school children were lined up outside the airport looking very smart in their uniforms.  There was a group of about 8 people dressed in native regalia doing a native dance.  I was apprehensive about trying a photo or video as the officials often do not like such around airports.

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This terminal at Kisumu is relatively new and very nicely appointed.  We dropped my bags off at Le Savanna Hotel near Lake Victoria and then drove out to Neema Children’s Home.  It is about 30 minutes outside of Kisumu.

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This is the dormitory where about 60 children are housed.  The solar panels you see on the right of the roof were donated by the family of Jim and Rochelle Starkey from Columbia.  The panels provide light for the kids at night.

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This was my welcoming committee when we arrived!  They have about 115 students in the school that Neema runs.  Pastor John Atieno was taking the picture for me.  He started Neema in the slums of Kisumu about 15 years ago.  They moved to this compound in 2009.

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These are the classrooms that are used for the students.  The one on the right is a temporary one and they are seeking funds to complete a permanent structure.

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This is the well that is used by the home.  It is hand dug and not very deep.  It goes dry when there is no rain.  It has a manual pump that people from the community use to get water.  There is also an electric pump that is used to fill the tank on the stand.  The water gravity feeds to several locations in the compound.  They also have a cistern system on Pastor John’s house and the rainwater is caught, treated, and used for drinking and cooking.  The compound really needs to have a deep well installed to assure a steady supply of good water.

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This is the garden area that they use.  They had some peas still growing and had just planted some cabbage.  Pastor John’s home is on the left and you can see the tank on the stand at the far rear across the compound.  We are looking to help install drip irrigation in this area for the home.

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This is a larger farm area outside the compound fence.  They had sorghum planted here earlier and you can still see the stalks.  We are thinking about using a portion of this area to do more drip irrigation for vegetable crops.

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Pastor John had just let the herd out of their pen and they were headed over to the school yard for a snack!  The home also has done chickens.

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This is the kitchen building where the meals are cooked for the school and orphanage.  It is a pretty inefficient means of cooking.  Pastor John is looking into some improved cookers that will reduce the amount of wood they have to burn.  Can you imagine cooking for over 100 people a day with this equipment?

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As we were getting ready to leave, the clouds started building in.  My penchant for attracting rain in Africa seems to be in tact.  By the time I had been back at the hotel for about 30 minutes, there was a nice thunderstorm.

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And one last shot – this morning looking out on Lake Victoria.  I am wrapping up in Kisumu today and fly back to Nairobi tonight.  Thanks for reading!

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