Rambling in East Africa

Trip Start Sep 01, 2006
Trip End Jul 01, 2007

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Flag of Kenya  ,
Friday, April 20, 2007

Hello everyone, how are you all doing? It's been a long time since I
was able to email. I'm still living in Kisayani in the Kibwezi
district of Kenya. It's about half way between Mombasa and Nairobi.
Kisayani is a tiny village with not a lot to do except drink Tusker (Local
Beer) in the evenings after work! We have no electricity (hence the lack
of contact) or running water but I do love it. I'm living with a
widowed family, it's very endearing, they have totally accepted me as one
of there own and I will miss them greatly when I get back to Ireland
(and a hell of a lot of other people too!).

I'm currently working with Advantage Africa (British NGO) and the
Kibwezi Disabled People Association (KDPO). I love it, I have three days a
week at school with five mentally handicapped children, Malii, Mwende,
Kavuku, Kazungwa and Wmende Kidogo (small Wmende!) The rest of the
week is spent doing out reach work in the bush (or the interior as Kenyans
call it!) visiting families with mentally-physically handicapped
children that cannot make it to the villages due to money problems or
disability. Kenya is not exactly disability and friendly certainly wouldn't
comply with DDA requirements in UK or Ireland!!! We visit them, talk
with them about any problems they are experiencing and do the best we
can to make a better life for them. For my experience the main problem
these families are facing is discrimination and then poverty. Due to
poverty a lot of the children I visit cannot get medical treatment and
hence suffer unnecessarily all because the government imposes high charges
for health care and at that the health care is bloody awful to say the
least. I've been visiting Kenyatta National Hospital in Nairobi. The
first time I got there I was appalled to see at least two patients in
every bed and some very very sick people. One woman in particular scared
me a lot, she was having a blood transfusion but at the same time she
was bleeding profusely from her nose and mouth and just spitting the
blood on the floor. Her sheets looked like they hadn't been changed in
days and I'm telling you she was hurting a lot. In all the time I
have spent there I never once saw a nurse attend to her.

Anyway enough about that, I've had the last three weeks off and have
been traveling (due to Visa requirements I've had to leave the East
African Community in order to renew my Visa) with another Volunteer from
Canada. We have been having a ball. We left Nairobi by bus and
traveled west to Uganda. What a beautiful country, although the roads are
something else, even worse traffic than Kenya! We stayed in the capital
Kampala and went white water rafting at the source of the river Nile, wow
it was invigorating and I so recommend it to anyone that gets the
chance! From Uganda we traveled onto Rwanda, my god what a beautiful country
with some lovely people. We arrived in Kigali during the Genocide
memorial week (6th - 13th) and it was very sad. People are still mourning
a great deal and the scars of those 90 days in 1994 are still very
visible both in the environment and the people. We visited a lot of
memorials and museums and learned a hell of a lot about the genocide. I was
also interviewed by the Belgian news for Genocide memorial week! From
there we traveled onto Burundi, despite what the British foreign office
says about the country I felt very safe and enjoyed my time there a lot.
There is a large police and army presence and a lot of refugee camps
but other than that I felt I could have been in a very peaceful country.
At the moment I'm in Tanzania, I'm headed for Dar tonight to stay
with my family there and from there I will head back to Nairobi in time
to go to the UNHCR refugee camp in North West Kenya near the Sudanese

I'm hopefully going to be home around the beginning of July so if
anyone wants to visit me in west cork your more than welcome as I doubt
I'll be able to afford to leave home once I get back!

Anyway I must go but I hope everyone is doing well and I cant wait to
see you all soon. Apologies again for my lack of contact but I do think
of you all often but my aversion to technology also adds to my poor
contact! I have so much news of all the wonderful and awful things I've
seen and experienced but I'm a talker more that a writer so I hope I
can share with you all at some point.

Much love as always,
Brenda xxx
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