24th July 2012, by Henriette

I have now spent exactly one week at the IHF centre in Nakuru, and it’s been a week filled of new impressions and new encounters.

My first shock was when I arrived at the centre, and the first person that came to greet me was talking to me in Norwegian, my native language. I quickly found out that this was the father of the centre’s director, Farah, who had lived in Norway for several years. I was then introduced to Farah, her mother and many of the staff who was there, before being shown to my room and given ugali and kale for lunch – my first encounter with the local food.

After a little break to get settled in at the centre, some of the children came to meet me, and I got to hand out my little sister’s toys that I’d brought for them. That’s as much as I can remember from my first day here – there was so much to take in.

So much has happened in a week that it feels more like a month. I’ve gotten to know the staff, the children and the co-directors, and I’ve gotten used to life at the centre. The food and accommodation is very basic, but then that was exactly what I expected and what I wanted to experience.

Apart from doing my IHF work and exploring the city of Nakuru, the week has been filled with small events at the centre:

 

Wednesday volunteer Leah and her parents came to the centre after a short trip around the country. With Farah’s parents also around, there has been quite a group gathered in the ‘grown-up’ building, and we’ve all had a great time together. Unfortunately Leah will be leaving us tomorrow, and everyone’s very sad to see her go. Thursday the vet came to have a look at the cows, as there have been some diseases in the area lately. Fortunately our cows were all cleared!

The weekend was the most exciting, as all the children were around and not in school. We started Saturday with a Family Meeting, after which the children were asked to do their chores. The first one was to help pick up litter around the centre grounds, and anyone who could prove that they’d picked up five things were given a little treat from our co-director Quentin.

 

Some of the children then went to pull weeds in the ‘shamba’ – where we’re trying to grow corn, cabbage and kale – whilst others did different chores.

Sunday was mostly spent writing sponsor letters for August, which was very successful as soon as they were given some help. Leah and I worked with the girls, whilst Quentin and Paul were helping the boys.

These were the highlights of my first week here and I’m looking forward to see what the next week will bring!

Henriette

 

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