Karibu! Welcome!

Since 2004, EWB@ MSU's professional and student volunteers have worked with community members in Khwisero, Kenya to provide water and sanitation infrastructure at the district's 58 primary schools, making it easier for Khwisero's children to avoid waterborne disease and get an education.

In that time, the group has grown from a small club to one of MSU's premier student organizations, raising hundreds of thousands of dollars to fund seven borehole wells, six composting latrines and a biogas latrine that serve thousands of community members.

Thank you for joining us as we continue to work hand-in-hand with local partners to make a difference in one small part of our world. As Western Kenya's limited internet access allows, we will update this blog while in-country with the successes, stories and lessons provided by our work.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Frogs, Soccer and a Rainforest Visit

Team Mushikongolo


Team Mushikongolo’s exciting stay in Khwisero is coming to an end. Our team, composed of Autumn LaBuff, Texel Feder, Kiera McNelis, and John Rios, is constructing a girl’s composting latrine at Mushikongolo Primary School. After three weeks of meetings, daily walks to and from our EWB-Kenya office in the Khwisero Market, and endless cups of delicious Kenyan tea, the excavation of the latrine finally began Monday.

Over the course of the two past three weeks, we have had several visitors come to our mud compound near the Yala River. A frog, whom Texel named Jim, surprised us one evening. After much laughter, and a few too many shrieks, Autumn finally caught him in a large ziploc and released Jim back into the wild.

The neighboring children come over play soccer in the compound’s yard with the soccer ball we brought from Our Kid to Khwisero. Points were scored by the ball being kicked through the goal of our legs. Needless to say, we lost the game.

John Rios a recent graduate from Sociology at MSU is traveling to Kwhisero for his second time conducting household surveys. Autumn Labuff is a sociology student staying in Khwisero for two months, here working with John Rios on surveys and Project WET educational follow-up.

Texel Feder, a liberal studies and sustainable foods and bio-energy systems student is here as the vice-president of EWB, making sure s--- happens. Bam.

Last but not least, our ever-positive and musical genius, Kiera McNelis is the glue. She holds this fort together. Go Camp Counselor Kiera!

Two weekends ago, all our teams in Khwisero traveled to KEEP in the Kakamega Rainforest. Saturday evening, John valiantly conducted a delightful meal of pesto pasta and green beans. Early Sunday morning, we made pancakes with mangoes and honey for breakfast (skillfully using a Dorman’s coffee can lid to flip the flapjacks). Our guts were thankful for a break from ugali and skumawiki (indigenous green vegetables; think spinach with sketchier origins).

That morning, we got to go on a guided tour through the forest, seeing black and white monkeys with long, bushy white tails and marveling at the sheer grandeur of the trees. Vibrant butterflies followed in our wake; mushrooms and half-eaten guava fruit blanketed the forest floor.

Ebukwala welcomed all of the teams the following night – Karibu – where Jonah, Thomas, Joe and Dolan are currently staying. We made dinner on the wood stove, indulging in some tunes, jokes, and good conversation. In all, it was decidedly a relaxed and comfortable weekend.

As we write this blog back in Khwisero, raindrops play powerful percussive beats on the tin roof. It’s reaching crescendo as we cozy up with our books and journals in the hut before supper.

No comments: