Wednesday, February 2, 2011


So today I try to describe my day as detailed as possible. No fame, no glamour, just my day.

I woke up at 8.30, opened the door and discovered that the weather was pleasantly cold - it rained yesterday. The milk that I bought a day before had gone off, so it was time to go fast to the small shop at the corner to buy new one. Real Kenyans ALWAYS drink tea with milk (or actually they drink milk that tastes little bit like tea) in the mornings. I have developed it into drinking hot chocolate every now and then – no big difference from distance: a cup, hot drink inside:)

Faster movements, copying photos and videos into my computer to make the memory card ready for photographing.

Leaving home.

Conversation with a motorbike taxi.
Me: "To Munganga secondary, how much?"
Him: "100 shillings"
Me: "80"
Him: "Ok, have a seat."

Motorbike driver starts asking, what am I doing in Shianda. I explain.
Him: "Do you support also adults?"
Me: "No, only primary and secondary school."
Him: "But I got C- and I really want to go to college. I finished 7 years ago."
Me: "No, we do not support college."
Him: "But maybe you find a way..."
Me: "No"
Similar dialogue continues until we reach to the school.

I pay for the taxi and sit in front of the school.

40 children from the neighboring primary school are lined up to stare at me. They stand quietly and just look. 39 of them are bare-footed.

I call Esther to let her know that I have arrived to our meeting (it should start at 10.00).
"You are punctual. I'm on my way!" Knowing that "on my way" could mean anything in Kenya, I sit back and relax.

One of the supported secondary school girls arrives with two others. They tell to the primary school children (who are still staring at me) not to waste their time hanging around me. Children run back to their classes and I feel good about it.

I enter to the school and all the possible teachers invite me immediately to all the possible offices, but I answer to all of them "I am just waiting for my friends, I am a camera-woman".

I meet with the guardian of one family that Mirjam has told me for long time and he asks me that where is Mirjam. "She is my best friend," adds he. It makes me feeling good again.

We make some videos with the supported girl and talk about different things. The girl explains me following: "I am not from a poor family. My family is an average. We just can't pay the high school fees. Poor family is the one that has no money for food. Fluent English becomes now a problem..." says she after she is not able to remember one expression. Her English is really good.

Esther arrives with another supported girl and we go to the office.

We are in somebody's important person office, Esther is signing papers and paying, I am taking photos, girls are quiet.

Out of the office, in front of the school, registering the girls. One of them has only one relative alive. A sister.

Girls need to show bible, geometrical set, calculator, dictionaries and other similar things before they are admitted to the school.

Arrives Gendrix, who also promised to meet us at 10.00. She brings the receipts that prove the payment of school fees.

We have finished with the registration, girls go to the class, we take motorbike taxi and go to the office.

I meet Hassan, who we will enroll to another secondary school. Esther finds out that the person who had to pay the fee yesterday, did not do it.

Esther takes motorbike to collect the fee, Hassan goes to bring the admission letter.

We meet in Bumini Secondary School. I also meet a boy, whose balance we paid last year and who continued education thanks to this support. "Be beautiful, Esther," I give instructions and take photos for the web page and newspaper.

First entry to the admission room. Four tables and way more people. Looks official. We pass the first table, but not the second, as Hassan misses some important books and so on.

Esther and Hassan leave on a motorbike to buy and bring the needed things. "It takes no, 30 minutes," says Esther before leaving. "Yeah right," is my only thought. I prepare myself for long waiting.

I decide to use the time and to start writing the article for the newspaper that I want to send in the evening.

I enjoy writing, but decide to call to Esther to find out, why does it take so much time.

I see Esther and Hassan entering the gate on motorbike.

"I'm back Janika. I had to go to the nearest town to find the equipment."
Back in the office. This time we make it to the table nr. 3. "You need to buy the sports cloths from the school," tells the teacher. "Now?" "Yes, without this you can't come to school." As Esther has no money in the budget left for this person, I pay for the cloths myself and we proceed.

Table nr. 4. We pay 250 shillings to get the ID card for school. In total it has been....much. Then we can finally admit the boy. "Religion?" "Muslim." Looks like he's the only one in that class. And he bough a obligatory bible for the school. Kenya.
Then comes next surprise: "It is only possible to pay the school fee through bank. Pay it and come back with the receipt today."
We squeeze 3 person to the back seat of the motorbike and start driving with my words: "Let's do it the Kenyan way!"
We arrive to Shianda post office to pay the fee. Post is closed. "Probably lunch," says Esther and it reminds me that I have drunk only chocolate and eaten 3 bananas today.

I help Esther to read and print out some documents in the cyber cafe and let her there to wait for the opening of the post office.

Finally at home. I start the computer and eat at the same time to save time.

I start copying, editing and naming the photos that I made of children.

My friend helps me and goes to take one program child to the hospital and to pay for the treatment for all week.

I finish with the photos and open the word file to start writing an article for the Estonian newspaper about the children who Estonians sponsored for school.

My computer switches off, because its over heated. I remove battery to prevent it.
My computer switches off, because there's a black out and my battery is removed.
My computer switches off, because its over heated – caused by the battery inside. I remove battery to prevent it.
My friend brings me ugali and I fry some eggs. After the dinner I decide to rest and to read blogs.
My computer switches off, because there's a black out and my battery is removed.
I have restarted computer and want to send the article and photos to the newspaper.
My computer switches off, because its over heated. I remove battery to prevent it.
I am finally able to send the email with the text file and 10 photos. The only problem is to get disconnected from internet twice during the procedure.
I start writing a blog.

I get call from Mirjam, who "comes tomorrow". I have heard it several times during last month, but well, let's see.

1 comment: