Words from the Arusha office

hi Tony 
hello how are you it has been a while you have left well i am honestly feeling the gap u left how are you where are you did u make your trip to Rwanda?
Well thought i’ll just say hi and wish u all the best.
……… how lovely to hear from you. The only one. I often wonder what
the heck I was doing there so to have you say I left a bit of a gap is
helpful. Thank you. I am still keeping a blog and have been mentioning my
experiences in Kenya.
We have just finished another long day, ending at 6:30 pm. I’m
volunteering at the Canadian Harambee Centre in Kakamega and enjoying
it very much. I feel I contribute much more here than in the office in
Arusha. Still very uncertain what I helped accomplish there, if
anything. May well have left there with more people disliking me than
not.Here we are interviewing girls who are trying to get into secondary
school and there are way more applicants than scholarships – sadly.
Such is the competition that we must verify carefully all claims as
families are tempted to falsify information about their needs, this
includes the occasional falsifying of primary school grades as well.
The girls are impressive and have such an upstream battle against all
the odds. I managed to interview 13 today and then we  spent the
next 2.5 hours going over the verifiers’ field assessments.  What I
love here is the young 4th year Kenyan  high school graduates are the
ones hired to do the initial screening of applicants and also to go to
conduct field checks. Most capable youngsters. Such true “capacity building”.  (These two words
I came to loath while working in Arusha as I seldom witnessed this either in the office or out in the field.)
I work as a volunteer with a Canadian couple I admire greatly (I actually live only 45
minutes from them in British Columbia).  We don’t earn money but we
sure are working! They really care. In short, it’s great.I was told that Kenyans are more ‘aggressive’
than Tanzanians but I don’t pick this up, least ways in this small town. I like both.
Of note, when I took the bus from Nairobi to Kakamega (8 hours) I saw
the work of Wangari Mathaai. We climbed up and up for hours out of the
Rift Valley through green rolling land with replanted forests.
Beautiful. What one person, one woman, can do to be the difference.Thank you for writing…., it means a lot.  But, how are you? I’d
like to hear.
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