We have had a busy week here in Kenya! On Saturday we were going to go to a children’s home that we have connections to called Agape Mercy Children’s Center (AMCC). We visited it last time we were in Kenya in 2009. On Saturday morning, our friend David, the son of the family we are staying with informed us that we were invited to go to a well site where they were beginning the drilling process. He said we would be gone for the “weekend”. We decided to move our trip to AMCC because I had been wanting to see a drilling site. We left and arrived in a rural community outside of a town called Tumaini, which means Hope. The rig had gotten there only an hour before us and began drilling. The well is a government-funded project for a primary and secondary school. When we arrived the community was gathered around the rig to watch the action. All the kids from the school were there as well. We got out of the vehicle and everyone stared at us. It was clear that not many “muzungos” (white people) have come to this village. While we were standing and watching the rig, I felt little fingers on my toes. I looked down to see children touching my feet to see what white skin felt like. I held out my hands and literally 25 children gathered around and were all touching my hands and arms. I have experienced similar situations before, but nothing this intense!
When it got dark we went to a town about 20 minutes away to stay at a hotel, which was really more like a hostel. It had a restaurant and a bar/club. Unfortunately our room was right about the club and it was so loud! I mean LOUD. Micah and I barely slept!
Sunday morning we headed back to the well site. They had run out of water so we were waiting for a truck to bring it. In the meantime I was so tired I decided to take a little nap in the backseat of the jeep. Since we had met all the kids the day before they quickly gathered around the jeep with all of us in it. They were all tapping on the windows saying “Elizabeth” “Wake her up, we want to greet Elizabeth”, “open the door” and constant tapping on the windows. At one point Micah hung is jacket over the window so the kids would stop staring at me while I slept. The vehicle was physically moving back and forth from the kids leaning up against it. They then sat on the hood of the car to watch the rig work, and accidentally dented it 🙂 I woke up 20 minutes later and the sun came out so Micah got out to get some pictures. They kids all yelled “the muzungo has moved!” David and I began laughing. I got out and asked the kids to give me a tour of their school. We enjoyed the day laughing with the kids, meeting community members and watching the beginning stage of drilling a well.
We returned on Monday morning but the drilling team had run out of pipes so they were waiting for the truck to return from Nairobi. We ended up going back to the hostel and hung out for the rest of the day.
Tuesday we went back to the site. They were suppose to reach the water and then case the well. Unfortunately after reaching 210 meters they determined it was a dry well with not enough water to case it. The community was very disappointed. They will have to have another geologist come and survey the land to find a more suitable place to drill.
The Principal of the school took the opportunity to bring the students to the site to learn from the drilling team about the process of drilling a well. It was incredible to see the community and children gather as one of the drillers took the time to intricately explain the process.
We loved our time in Tumaini and learned quite a bit about the drilling process.
We returned to Nairobi on Tuesday evening and are heading to AMCC on Thursday. We look forward to sharing stories from John and the children!