Veroni, Friends and Family –
Today was a busy day for our team! We started by visiting two different dispensaries, the Bwangamoyo Dispensary, and the Kanyunbuni Dispensary. We were able to hear reports of their progress and tour their facilities. These dispensaries serve as clinics, pharmacies, and maternity/natal care providers for the villages they reside in. These dispensaries are set up by the country but are very understaffed and understocked. They are meant to cater to the residents of that village – often a distance of several kilometers – but many times people from neighboring villages will come seeking aid. The Bwangamoyo Dispensary serves over 6,000 patients. When we visited today, we were able to provide these dispensaries with masks, medical gloves, baby blankets, blood pressure monitors, stethoscopes, and many bottles of pain killer thanks to all your donations!
As we drove from the clinics, we stopped on the side of the road outside of a school yard where a big group of kids were playing soccer. Kyle got out and approached the kids with a new soccer ball from our supplies. He dropped kicked it into the air toward them and we all watched as they screamed in excitement and chased after the ball. They ran after it, having him kick for them again. They were delighted, and we loved watching their joy form the vans. In return, they gave Kyle their soccer ball, made from rolled up plastic bags and twine. It was so touching and definitely one of our highlights today.
This afternoon, we went to the Kanyunbuni Primary School, where we spent the majority of our day. Grant Victor Cares has had an addition to the school being built this past month, and yesterday the two new classrooms and additional latrine were completed. So today we had the opportunity to attend the handing over ceremony.
As we pulled up the driveway, hundreds of uniform clad children ran up the road to meet us. We stepped out of the vans and watched as the children and their parents began to dance and sing to welcome us, “Welcome to Kanyunbuni, we are happy to receive you, welcome, welcome.” It was amazing to see the love and acceptance with which they greeted us. We were thrilled as they then took our hands and we danced with us down the road to the schoolhouse.
They sat us down in chairs so we could watch a program they had prepared for the ceremony. We sat down, and they gifted us with crowns woven from leaves. They gave us coconuts to drink from and for the next few hours we watched their show. It consisted of opening speeches, a prayer, and many rehearsed songs and dances done by different ages of kids. In one song, they called us up each by name to join them upfront and presented us with paper leis to honor us as their guests.
We watched more dances, as well as a very impressive acrobatic show where they made themselves into a human pyramid, did flips and jumps, and carefully arranged themselves in human towers. We also watched a very elaborate skit complete with costumes, props and a live guinea pig.
After which, they called us again and presented us with wraps and kangas. Maren and Rachel had written a song for us to sing to them in return for the generous welcome (even though we could never even try to compete with all they did to welcome us). So, we took our turn and sang a song introducing ourselves and expressing our gratitude to be with them.
They also gifted us a live goat, a great gift and honor. Burt, Jeff, and Leah gave some inspirational speeches, and then we proceeded to the ribbon cutting. Jeff cut the ribbon for the classrooms, and Tori cut the ribbon for the bathrooms. After that we had a chance to dance and play with kids. We played some soccer with a giant beach ball and painted fingernails.
It was an amazing day and the whole team was overwhelmed with the love and excitement and welcoming attitudes with which we were shown today. We are so happy to be here and be meeting such amazing people. Thanks for all your love and support!
-Kenya 2021 Team
Today’s special shoutout: Jeff. Jeff was dubbed the “Chief Guest” today and gave several speeches at the ceremony that were filled with inspiration and love. He cut the ribbons on the classroom and accepted the goat. And, at Leah’s insistence picked it up and cuddled it! Jeff was a great “Chief Guest” today and we were so grateful for all he did.