This will have to be kind of short and sweet, because I have another computer project I'm working on today and my internet minutes are racking up! I just wanted to send out a huge thank you and update to everyone that has donated so far to the various and extensive projects we have planned for the next few weeks. Though Ben and I will only be here for one more week, we are trying to get as much accomplished as possible. Here is a little list of everything that is going on, because I love things in list form:
-First off, everything seems to be back to normal. No more Maasai fears... for now. I think this is an ongoing struggle though. But for now, it has abated.
-The blackboard is almost complete! Just one more coat of paint and it should be ready to go for school tomorrow, along with the (surprise) charts for Nova. Don't worry, I took lots of pictures, and someday I will put them online.
- Ben and Daniel (and maybe some others) will commence building the very first wood-sided house at the Ebenezer Camp on Tuesday, when the supplies are delivered. The project should only take about two days, we think. Then Dan and his family can move in together again!
-Robin and I have almost completed all the interviews for the Asset-Assessment project (minus those people that can NEVER BE FOUND... they are very illusive), and will be meeting with the camp Monday evening to address all of the information we have gathered. Basically, we have put everyone into groups based on skills and ideas (i.e. Rabbit Rearing, Milking Goats, Knitting, etc.) and will give a short debriefing on how to go about forming small groups and starting projects (making proposals, budgets, and designating roles). Then we will leave it to them to come find us with their ideas!
-Also during the meeting, I will be announcing Tuesday as tree planting day! We have decided (based on finds and accessibility) that each family/plot will receive 2 treelings, each of a different variety (of which I do not have English names for). They are fast-growing and shade-producing, and should be able to reach close to full growth within one year. John and Samuel and I will go pick up the trees from the nurseries on Tuesday morning (hopefully) and planting will happen Tuesday evening. This should be perfect timing, as it has been raining almost everyday, so the soil is nice and soft for planting.
-Our first group, the "Shosho Basket-Weaving Group" (read: grandma basket group) has already formed, even without our help! The 5 ladies have some great baskets, and we have begun talking to them about collaborations and a start-up budget. I will be giving them $50 to start, and then purchasing some of their baskets as a little extra 'push' in their new business. This should get them going with supplies for about 10 new baskets, allowing them to keep all income and intiate a budgeting system.
- Robin has raised enough money to start the water project (getting water to the camp), so we will talk again this week with the water commissioner about logistics, and maybe even start it up...but it probably won't be done until Ben and I are gone.
-Robin, Ben, and I have all been talking about gathering our remaining funds to build an office/storage shed for the camp. Locked storage is ideal for things like medical supplies, project supplies, and porridge for the nursery school children, and an office for all the small groups that are forming (plus the Camp officials) would be great! I'm pretty sure this can be managed, but might not be built by the time we leave. We'll just have to rely on Robin for photos...
-This week I'm also going to be working on making a welcome sign for the camp, to be hung on the side of the school, and smaller signs for the Nursery School and Community Center. I just got an itch to paint some stuff, and I have leftover paint, so I figured, why not? Also might paint the door of the school and the windows too... we'll see.