Thur Non 7
Well, decided to finish this Keyna tour early as I have finished what I came to do and spent a bit more money than expected... I left 3 Kenyan helpers there to tidy up and I am positive they will continue the work we started. Fred will continue taking 3 to 5 kids off the street to their homes until the end of December then he will have to find a job but he plans to keep in touch with the boys he moved. Stanley has the beds and things to get 3 boys in his home and he plans to get 10 boys total, and Ann has her new building finished and next week will get 6 street girls and that is terrific
After visiting and calling many people to say goodbye, I went down town Meru and took a van for the 4+ hour drive in rain to Nairobi where I stayed in a 2 star but OK TERMINAL hotel where the owner took me for tea...hotel cost $24 ! Nairobi as ok but with 4 million people its very busy
Fri Nov 8
at 7am rented a van and driver to visit Nairobi National Park. 1st we went to the baby feeding/raising area - there are no adult elephants in NNP but they rear baby elephants for return to the wild. Then 4 hours in the park but did not see many big ones just one rhino and no lions, cheetahs or leopards lots of giraffes and zebra. And at 4pm we went to the giraffe feeding centre where u pet and feed huge giraffe and it was so cool and a lot of fun..
At midnite I took Air Brussels to Brussels then Air Canada to Montreal and then Charlottetown arriving at 5pm took a taxi home and surprised Maureen big time.
Great to be home tho Kenya is special and want to return
Thanks to all who helped as the 35 to 50 street kids are a hell of a lot better off now than 2 months ago...
Thur Non 7
Mon Nov 4
kinda quiet really know all the streets and many people lots of rain and very muddy
the kids who were taken off the streets last week are almost all back..they do not want prayer or discipline or farm work or studying but our 22 kids are so far still at home wow
Tues Nov 5
Stanley is a field worker for the street kids and came to see me at 8am- we talked about all the huge problems but he is sooo smart and experienced. Cecilia a lady who works at an orph and is a loving matron to 35 orphs invited a few of us to her home (rented as almost no one owns)- on the way she called a friend to buy and bring a chicken- 30 min later in comes the friend with of course a live chicken which Cec kills plucks and cooks and the whole meal was so good-- no one has airs here just kill pluck cook while we watch. I offered to help with something but no way, she is a widow and said she loves when a man relaxes while she does all the chores.. pretty decent home but the squatter toilet is not for moi...
another chicken lady who we met to discuss the orph managers raising and selling chicks to get money to raise orphs well maybe I said this before but husband knocked her lower teeth out and threatens and does beat her.. but he pays for the 2 kids private school so she accepts the hitting- we may read about her as a mortality not fair but she accepts it for her 2 girls!
In the market a samosa is 23 cents and a boiled egg 22 cents so guess what I nibble on there.. the market is bedlam and I love it they sell evefything and so noisy
At 5 pm there is a lot of car/van traffic but most people walk to the market for supper food- walking 40 min is the norm as cash is not plentiful but Meru town is hilly so its slow walking and hot and sweaty but no complaining kenyans are so accepting and thats good and bad.
Wed Nov 6
As i chat with bank tellers and college girls and other 20 to 30 yr olds there is a fact that almost all young women have a child and no permanent partner and I mean almost all-- the birth rate soars and she and child live with her mom... they just want teo have a baby !!!
took a van to Nairobi to see it and do a safari at the Nairobi National Park. Th express van was not crowded so I gave mints to the other 9 passengers and bought them small bananas (10 for 48cents) and I got them singing Jumbo Bwana and we laughed and laughed. It rained and the driver was good but way too fast.. Got a ok hotel for $24 met the owner who treated me to tea and samosas... nice very bright guy. He cautioned me as around downtown their are some ladies and guys after 9pm who are not to be trusted... good advice I just keep meeting great an caring people Nairobi has 4 or 6 million and is so busy but here a white guy is diff but not overly special.
Lost a 48 yr old fellow bball player to cancer he fought 4 two years and was the star of our Mon nite bball games (after me) and its so sad..
the weather is about at 26C and breezy perfect
tomorrow a safari
Sun Oct 27
Mass at church took 2 and 1/4 hours that's a lotta Mass.. but the service is so full of song and dance and music- it's a happy place tho a long service- But there is a saying here--whites have watches and Africans have time hmmm think about it...
Mon Oct 28
7am francis the school prin. picked me up for a HS assembly-- at 8am I am addressing the 300 so nice HS kids and they asked all kind of questions and were so polite - we were outside and they were sweating for the 25 min we chatted..and NO ONE complained..
then we went to G=Francis primary school s he said the teachers would feel better if he at least dropped in- guess he was right. While I waited I say a grade 7 girl alone sitting on some grass so I joined her as I thought she was sad- she was sad but could/would not talk about it with a stranger.. a very nice girl.
Tues Oct 29
went to Francis assembly and visited 3 of his classes- these kids see no whites and are in total awe and they want and do touch my legs and arms- they think whites are way too special the weather is like paradise...
Wed Oct 30
went to the collosium? wheer 100 street kids gathered and there was a huge photo op for the politicians. Tere I did something a bit wrong- the priest who would not allow me bck to his orph was there and we shook hands and I squeezed very hard and would not let go as I asked him why he did not answer my emails/texts/calls... he said there are issues.. so we parted - not close friends.. so I was a little bad with the hand squeeze. OK Ok am only human!
Thur Oct 31
Ann cemented her new building for 6 street girls and is so happy
Met Paul Huk from Poland and his friend Natalia who also is Polish an she is very great on making videos and Paul is great at helping the street kids and he takes no shi* from anyone- he is driven he married a kenyan lady and they have a so beautiful 2 month old baby and he hitch hiked from poland to kenya and couch surfed all the way and he gets freebies ALL THE TIME- quite the guy ya eet quite the cool people on the road..
Fri Nov 1st
wow November already... walking around Meru I keep meeting people I know its like home! its been raining a lot at nite which is great..and its muddy in the morning... been hanging around Mokutano and busy market area of Meru town- its beyong crazy busy with people selling stuff off their blankets as no one can afford an inside store...
know this sounds crazy but I just lost almost all this blog!!??!!## and could not retrieve it damn oh well had to go to the bank and that takes 2 hours anyway--- another thing . u have to crowd into the person in front of u or someone will crowd in between u and the person in front-- thats just the way it is
Sun Nov 3
2 hour mass again at 9am to 11am+ then to Ann s where her new building is complete we are so proud... in 1st world standards its not A+ but its excellent here. see pics I am sending to post at brucegarrity.com went back to the market area Mokutano and its just so crazy there I love it except for some drunk market guys who are a pain in the ass but overall its just fun still cant get over the ownership men have over women here and the women mostly love it as they are "pleasing their man" get this-- when a man wakes before spouse he wakes her to GO make tea- TRY THAT AT HOME...!
Bruce Garrity might be turning 70 next year, but the longtime Tourism PEI employee and former Charlottetown City Councillor is showing no signs of slowing down. Last year, his desire to do volunteer work took him to the streets of urban Kenya. He's back there now and we were able to connect through Skype yesterday.
- bruce-on-cbc-october-2013.mp3 3.85 MB
Tues Oct 22
At about 9am a older lady came to my door- yesterday she came and sold me a newspaper and I overpaid her by $1 as she was so poor- so today she brings me eggs and bananas and onions as a thank u and she is sooo poor but I took them as it would be impolite not to and as the saga continues I again give her 100 shillings and cus she is poor and old and a bit dirty.. then she hugs me and plants a kiss on my lips-- hmm so I step back and say thanks and usher her out the door- she then asks for 5000 shillings( $60) and with a polite no I say goodbye- do these things only happen to me??
Taught at poor public school in grade 6 about Canadian geography. The principal Francis loves when I go there and he picks me up in his car as its a long dusty road- he is the male principal with 18 female teachers and they love to flirt with me and asked if Maureen would mind if I brought them all to live at home and they laughed and laughed. They are very smart and a lot of fun with many questions. The kids are wild eyed as a white guy in shorts talks to them it was a treat!
Fred and I met with the street boys and he took 4 kids back to their home so our plan is still working
It rained last nite a bit and again this afternoon a bit but not for long
Wed Oct 23
9am went to eco bank to open an acct and in 5 min Loyd a kenyan accountant with MCOH (Mikinduri Children of Hope) just walked in with $4000 320,000 shillings that I am depositing for all the activities / costs we have incurred -- just by accident and he deposited the money for me but it took 3 hours to open my Street Boys account - the paperwork is heavy and they take your pic too but all is well the weatehr is like Paradise but the big Government meeting with 25 NGOs was a bust- the govt is so pleased that we are takinh care of the orphs and street kids and they sy they do not have cash to help-- its their damn responsibility... ok ok calm down but there are great saints taking care of the poverty issues but the govt backs off...
Thur Oct 24
aught at the poor public elem school- the kids love seeing a white guy and are so polite and nice and the school need a good painting.. Know this sounds like grandstanding but it worked out well- on the way to the school where there are 18 female teacher, I bought 20 long stem red roses costing 15 shillings so the total was $3! and I gave the prin and 18 teachers and the cook each a rose- they were so happy and I was ecstatic with their happiness... imagine $3 brings so much happiness! also took 2 boys off the street to their homes so far so good
Fri Oct 25
had to go back to the bank.. for 2 more hours so I sit outside saying hi to all passing by...
took 2 more boys off the street. Today got a bit ickey- took a kinda short cut down a small back alley and it was a bit more out of the way than I hoped- an dthe alley led to an alley and it was quite dirty an then 4 or 5 older street guys arose asking for money/food and they got a bit too close but I sorta walked thru them and off I went- I am big enough to handle it all but that wasa bit more uncomfortable than usual... NOT going down that alley again!
Sat Oct 26
Today I visited Anne Mugwe who runs a too quiet bookstore and has 2o orphs and strt kids in her hostel- a true saint! We (all doners and me) am sooo pleased with the new building- the floor gets cemented on Tues and the new girls will be there in a week or so!!! It is terrific
street boys in front of Janet's kiosk that's real size and she crawls in door for 12 hours a day 6 and 1/2 days a wekkand she loves and counsels the street kids Mother Teresa is not as good as Janet!!
Mon Oct 13 930am the principal of a poor public school mat and drove e to his school- he was pleased and honoured i was there the kids in grade 7 and 8 were so attentive-they know nothing of Canada so i sound like a fact book to them. T hen at 1pm off to visit the cooks home- he said it was just near but we walked for 20 min, then a van 20 min and taxi for 10 min just near, yeah right... his home was quite clean and his wife served rice and beans- he gets about $2.50 a day for a 5 am o 8 pm job as cook=cleaner.. they all survive...
then at 4pm to private girls school to talk canada some more- these girls are a bit wealthy and so polite.
at 8pm took 2 priests for dinner as they are very nice to me here costly at $25 for three dinners and they had a few beers too.. hmmm
Tues oct 15 the wash lady visited me and the cook suggested I pay her $3 to wash my clothes for the month!! but the priests said I don't have to pay as a rectory guest but but the wash lady is sooo poor-- come on.. 9am meeting with the group about which kids to take home was moved to 10am and now 11am= no hurry here...weather is exceptional 25C daily with a nice breeze
was downtown waiting to see the boys and kinda fell into a very nice restaurant with a balcony and nice cooling breeze - made bwana feel very comfortable and tea cost 90 cents..
Later on the streets meet a government man who invited us all to a big meeting next week of all the NGOs dealing with kids-great and hopefully the govt will announce some kids funding.. I can dream.
In the past 2 or so days a few women have stopped me asking we go for tea but it certainly is not because I am young and good looking-- they know as a white guy in Kenya I have some money-maybe lots of money- and can help with their kids schooling or gifts..
THIS IS GREAT= we took 3 boys for a shower and new clothes and Fred took hem an hour out of town to their homes- they seem sincere and i hope they stay off the streets... hope. but I am not naive as we know some will return to the streets -- I want to go to their homes but when the village mom and dads see the Mzungu (white) they ask and expect cash.. and also the market people selling school uniforms up the rates for the white guy so I just cannot go there..
Wed Oct 16 got a ride up the hill and the road is steep and dusty so it was appreciated
went to visit a lady with a new hair salon but not there..but met Lawerence Tharp from USA and his wife Purity a Kenyan lady and they have two girls hostels and a nice home which also has 3 girls. Their 40 or so girls are down and out- one was a 10 yr old prostitute whose grandfather sold her for a bottle of beer. These two people are SPECIAL people. I visited their 3 locations and well run indeed.
Also visited Anne who has 20 kids and approved her small expansion- she and I and fred shopped for 3 double beds and an experience not to be forgotten..
Taught at girls HS and they were so much fun we sang LEAVING ON A JET PLANE and laughed so much
Thur Oct 17 met the street kids at Janets very tiny kiosk then to KCA (Kenya Children's Aid orphanage for lunch with Alf- he is the one who would not let me return there and he was astounded we are taking boys home and not paying the parents but we are on the cheap and cannot pay the parents
Fri 18 oct met a guy and wife - from Connecticut- he is in the Peace Corps and she visiting for 4 weeks cool very nice couple
the weather is perfect as the rains are a bit late sunny with a great breeze
Sat oct 19 was leaving my compound at 9am and there was a lady with her 1 yr old on her back and she said she showed me the compound 10 days ago ?? could not remember.. Her name is Caroline and we were going into Meru so I offered to carry the baby on my back like Kenyans do but the wrap was not long enough so I carried him up front with her umbrella as the sun was so hot. I sang the ABC song and baby Anthony fell sound asleep. In Meru at the salon Caroline went to get her toenails done as tomorrow is Sunday--cost $2 so i sat there and a salon lady asked if i wanted me toenails cut and a foot massage so for $2 I got toenails cut a foot massage and a below the knee massage and of course the other 4 ladies there got a great kick out of it-- so here I am on the cheap trying to and I GET A FOOT AND LEG MASSAGE!!!!!!! ya gotta love it
Sun Oct 20 up at 6am off to the depot got a comfy bus to St Claires 12 km out cost 100sg $1.20 but gave the driver 60 cents and he thought I was great and we all laughed. The girls sang and danced for 2 hours at Mass and were great. so I took them for cokes and donuts (22 of them) and they asked me to buy SUCCESS cards - these are cards that say god bless and good luck in exams and I had to write an individual note to them all wishing exam success. But as I was to leave and say bye with tears the very serious matron came and took them away to clean she has a tough job but that was bitchy,, so did not say proper goodbye... maybe next week
had a coke w Fred them off to room in Meru in the front seat of the Matatu van no crowd in front seat!!
Mon Oct 21 its a holiday today Kenya Veterans day met a lady at 9am who works in the Cathedral who asked me to go with her and 1yr old to her mothers about an hour away- people think its nice and an honour to bring a white guy- mzungu- home but gently declined. Then later met a teacher who needs 50000 shillings $625 to help her kids in private school way way too much told her to put her kids in public school and be satisfied with that -- she was NOT pleased.
good day a bit slow but good cloudy guess the rains are coming
peace to all
the priests cook Frederick with his wife-it was a very clean home and property- he gets 5000 shillings a month an works 12 hours a day six days a week so its $2+ a day or 20 cents an hour an think the church should pay him more..he works hard-