We have just returned from an extraordinary day at Buuri Secondary. It will be hard to capture the excitement of the day but I will try!
We were originally supposed to spend Friday at Buuri – seeing a “day in the life” of a Kenyan student. But our travel plans foiled that. So when we arrived at the school today, we started by playing soccer and volleyball against teams from Buuri.
It was after those first games that the “magic” started to happen. One or two at a time, the Buuri students came over to the Canadians and started asking questions. In some cases, a lot of questions! What’s your climate like? What subjects do you study? How do I come to Canada?
Soon, there were clusters of Canadian and Kenyan students everywhere. And the camaraderie continued through lunch and into the afternoon.
There was a great ceremony after lunch where we were all introduced. We got to present our gift of soccer balls from Kia and the Town of Stratford. And our host in Meru County, Jennifer Murogocho, got to talk about the work of Farmers Helping Farmers and introduced Stephen Mwenda and Salome who work at schools in the area, including Buuri.
One of the highlights – absolutely – was the Tug of War! And I’m happy to report that the P.E.I. team (with help from Mwenda and Jennifer Murogocho!) are the champions of Tug of War 2015. We may, or may not, have won a goat!
After the sports ended, we had a tour of the classrooms at Buuri – and I got to tour the screened garden and cookhouse that were built by Farmers Helping Farmers and the Souris Village Feast. The youth will tour those tomorrow.
Then, it was time to say Kwaheri – goodbye – knowing that we will see them again tomorrow for the church service, where their families will also be invited. They’re expecting a crowd of about 500! And judging from the singing today, we are in for a powerful experience.
As we took the windy dusty road back out to the highway from Buuri, we passed many of the students walking home. We smiled and waved and when they saw it was us, they waved vigorously!
Then, to cap it off, about five minutes along the highway, our driver David spotted a herd of wild elephants crossing the road. We stopped and watched, including an amazing moment when the baby came out from the woods and called for his mom to come back across the road and get him. It was absolutely breath-taking! We knew coming to Kenya there was the chance we would spot elephants. But this was truly spectacular.
There was so much more. It was a day of new friendships, shared memories, with the promise of more to come.