There is a rapture on the lonely shore;
There is society, where none intrudes.
By the deep sea, and music in its roar:
I love not man the less, but Nature more...

-Lord Byron

Definition of Walkabout :

a short period of wandering as an occasional interruption of regular work
Showing posts with label education. Show all posts
Showing posts with label education. Show all posts

10 May 2015

the speed of a cheetah

Since we didn't see any big cats while on our Botswana safari ( our guide told us that they live in another part of the park), the group decided to check out a local place in Zambia called Mukuni Big Five. The brochure claimed it to be a free range sanctuary for young cheetahs and lions.

Set on top of a hill over looking Livingstone town, I wondered what the day would entail.
After a brief introduction over morning tea we are told about the animals placed here. Injured or abandoned in the wild from poachers, Mukuni Big Five raises them in a safe environment, with the goal of rehabilitating them back into the wild.

Our first experience is to witness the speed of the cheetah, the world's fastest land mammal. We are taken out to what appears to be a wooden hitching post for horses, only squared. As we enter, one of the guys brings out a young cheetah.
A toy that appears to look like a small animal is put onto a string. We are asked if we are ready, then seconds later, the toy is released, and the young cheetah races past us chasing it.

The first time all I see is dust, the animal is so fast. Luckily, the animals love racing, so we get to see them run around us multiple times.
It was an amazing start, but what comes next blew my mind. For now though, witness the speed and grace of the cheetahs at Mukuni.


09 May 2015

Let's plaster, Kenyan style!

The loads of sand are shoveled off the lorry into the street outside of the Vessel of Hope school in Kenya that we are working on improving.

We then bring the sand inside, bucket by bucket, where we can then mix it with water from the river and start the process of plastering classrooms so that they can be painted and become a more suitable environment for the students to learn.
Learning how to plaster "Kenyan style" is it's own unique art form. You mix then flick the wet sand up onto the walls and ceiling. You smooth and pound the mixture into the dirt to make a floor.

You endlessly pound the stone walls to break apart what has deteriorated so that a newer, better foundation can be put into place.
As one volunteer put it... "It's incredible, amazing! How the Kenyans take what little resources they have and turn it into something lasting and new. I'm so grateful to be able to help!"
I couldn't have summed it up better myself. Their is nothing quite like being covered in dirt and beaming with the joy of accomplishing something for the greater good.
*****


19 December 2014

New Beginnings

I precariously step from rock to rock, trying to avoid the flow of raw sewage seemingly everywhere. A place most wouldn't dream of going, but amongst the horrid smells and visually painful sights around you is a hidden gem.
The New Beginnings Education Centre.

Build.Create.Kenya's In-country director, Justus Munyoki, is a powerhouse figure in the slum communities of Nairobi. He tirelessly is working to improve the lives of his fellow Kenyans. One such effort was in starting this school, by himself, in an area that was in desperate need of hope.

As BCK took our 2014 expedition team inside the school to see Justus's challenges, we are bombarded with smiles, singing and dancing. In fact, the students and teachers are rejoicing in the fact that we have come.

It's as though they are glad that someone recognizes them as people, and not just more discarded litter.
The songs the children sing sound more like church hymns from a joyous choir, sung with such infectious enthusiasm. Music truly has the power to uplift the downtrodden soul. BCK recognizes the power of music ourselves, and one of our goals is to incorporate music programs into the schools we try to support.

After the children were finished, Pauline and I decide, very impromptu, to give back to New Beginnings with our own song. I pull out a couple of harmonica's that I brought for the school, and we start to play. I'm not sure how it sounded, but it felt fantastic.

From the laughter of the children, the tears of joy on the team members, and the gratitude on the faces of the teachers, I'd say it went well.

We left some harmonica's and educational supplies with the school, said our goodbyes, and headed back to our rooms for the evening.

Just another day in Nairobi with Build.Create.Kenya.