It’s Monday 3rd December 2007 and let’s go to the village …


It’s Monday 3rd December 2007 and let’s go to the village …

Jo and Robin left on Saturday for a week on the Kenyan coast, celebrating a friend’s big birthday – lucky ducks!! So I’m back on board the It’s Monday boat … But before Jo left she wanted to share the following story …

This week, after 20 years in the bush, I saw my first…..wait for it…..angola pitta. Quelle excitement. Well the idea was more than the event in the end as it was high in a tree. But still great to see one at last. It was found by Robin who heard a single “brrrrup” as he walked past. And of course being Robin he knew what it was. After much searching he saw it in the top of a tall tall ebony and soon all the guides were in a row with sore necks. After 40 minutes of doing this someone noticed there was a Pel’s fishing owl in the same tree. Well by this time I had long gone and was back at the desk and so no fantastic blurry photo of the owl!!

Angola PittaGuides straining their necks to  see pitta

Byeeeee
Jo

So what else is new from this part of the world? Well last week Jo mentioned that I had taken over from Amanda as the Kawaza School Fund Coordinator and what a lot of fun I’ve been having (even though I have a lot to live up to!). … I thought I’d fill you in what has been happening in and around the Nsefu Chiefdom.

We have been building quite a lot this year – a few exceptionally generous donations as well as have enabled us to progress through our 5 year plan faster than anticipated, and we started a couple of our 2008 buildings this year. Part of my responsibilities is to go out to Kawaza and visit all the schools for the latest news …

On my last visit things were a little different at Kawaza Basic School – usually you are greeted by many smiling happy children (who quite often want lifts in the vehicle, not really caring too much where you may go!) but this time it was all quiet on the western front. Under further inspection it turned out that everyone was sitting for their exams and taking it all very seriously – especially as good results means that they are more likely to be successful for scholarships!

Exam Time!Teacher's House

Katapilla  students and storeroom At Kawaza we have built a couple of teachers’ houses and volunteers’ house (for more information on volunteering at Kawaza please email me fiona (at) robinpopesafaris.net). I had a great chat with David Mwewa sorting out the potential students for sponsorships – now we just have to wait for the results. After the chat I went over to Katapilla Community School – which is new this year. Here the children were a lot more enthusiastic (as they’re too young for exams!). Next year we’re planning to employ another teacher to meet the demands of a growing student population. The storeroom has now been completed and by 2011 we aim to build six classrooms and one teacher’s house.

At Nsefu school, our second largest we are almost finished with the classroom block and teachers’ house – again the kids were quite excited to have a visitor – any of you who have visited Kawaza will know the magic created by digital video and photos – everyone wants to be in the picture as well as see themselves afterwards!

Nsefu StudentsNsefu Students

Fiona cycling By the time I made it to Kapita Community School all the children had gone home, so no pictures of them, sorry! But I did make everyone laugh as I took a ride on a bicycle to see the bricks they are using for the teacher’s house (built by the community) – not many muzungus (white people) cycle and everyone had a good giggle at me. I did hold my own and didn’t fall off!! It is true that you never forget to ride a bicycle – although you can be a little rusty…

Sadly we are losing Joseph, the head teacher, as he would like to further his career in mechanics – we’ve been trying to encourage him to do teacher training as he is a fantastic teacher, but he feels that there are many opportunities in the mechanic sector. But with a new classroom block, storeroom and teacher’s house, we are going to be sorted next year – and the new head teacher (still to be decided) will have a grand new school for his students!

Kapita  Classroomworking away

We have also been able to dig boreholes at three of the schools with a grant from Rotary, which has eased the pressure on the ladies as they are responsible for collecting water. As you can see the wells are already being used a lot. Unfortunately the contractors couldn’t find water at Kapita Community School, but in a random conversation with Jason (our mobile safari guide) I discovered that he can divine the location of water. So hopefully he’ll help us out!

Nsefu  boreholeKatapilla boreholeKawaza  borehole

That’s all for now – thanks to everyone who has donated to the Kawaza School Fund – it really makes a difference to the quality of education in the area – the more teachers and classrooms means more people with access to basic education, and therefore able to meet the increasing employment demands from the safari industry (and spin off industries).

Tally ho chaps! Enjoy the rest of the week.

PS We would really like say congratulations to Prince Mutale (a trainee guide) – who married the lovely Tamara from Kapani!

Prince &  Tamara

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