JOURNEY TO KENYA
We flew from Newcastle at 6 am and witnessed a lovely sunrise but landed into a very foggy Amsterdam.
The eight hour flight from Amsterdam to Nairobi was very comfortable. We admired the snow cover Alps and saw the coast of Croatia. A highlight was seeing the massive lake behind the Aswan High Dam. The flight attendant confirmed this by looking it up in the atlas in the cockpit, adding jokingly, it was no use asking the pilots as they never know where they are they just follow the flight beacon on autopilot.
At Nairobi we were first off the plane, and managed to clear immigration and customs faster than we have experienced before to be met by the driver from the Methodist Guest House were we stay in Nairobi.
VISIT TO KIBERA NAIROBI’S LARGEST SLUM
The Nairobi slum of Kibera is home to many thousands of people [estimates range from 170,000 to 1,000,000] all pressed together in a very small area of land. There is only minimal sanitation with a few water taps shared by many people for which they have to pay.
We visited two schools. The first was the “Brainstorm Junior School” with 72 children [29 of them are orphans] with a range in age from babies to 5 years old housed in one room measuring approximately 7m by 18m. It is run by volunteer teachers who also provide the children with 2 meals a day. There is only one toilet protected by 2 separate locks, too bad if you are in a hurry!
The second school accommodated 450 children from 5-11years in an area approximately 25m by 25m. To seat all the children there were two very rickety ladders leading to an extra storey giving 10 class rooms in all. The children sat on one bench and wrote on an empty bench in front of them. The density of children in such a small space I found incomprehensible. What if there was a fire in the wooden structure? Health and safety would immediately condemn it in the UK. There was nowhere for the children to play. I did not see the toilet facilities here but I am sure, even if they existed, they would be very rudimentary. In spite of this the children were nicely dressed, appeared happy and were very well disciplined.
Our visit was terminated abruptly by Mary suddenly starting to feel nauseated and actually vomited which I can tell you is extremely embarrassing in an area with no toilets or running water. Such an incident brings it home realising that this state affairs is normal for the people living there. It was a very unpleasant experience for us both.