by Gerry McQuaid, a long time school twinning teacher making his first trip to Kenya
Guy Cudmore and I (Gerry McQuaid) travelled to Kenya with Farmers Helping Farmers this past January. Guy, one of the founding members of FHF, had not been in Kenya in 38 years. This was my first visit. It was exciting to actually see the country, visit FHF projects, meet the FHF staff, and the Kenyan people.
Though we took part in various FHF tasks while there, we mainly worked at Mitoone Primary School. This school was about 10 minutes from our lodging and hopefully will be the first inclusive school in the area.
After meeting with head teacher John, we compiled a list of maintenance items we would tend to over the next two weeks. We took tools with us that would enable us to face most tasks.
Some of these tasks were cleaning and repairing the school water tanks, some repairs to the cookhouse, repairing desks and chairs, building a table, building three hand washing stations, painting the grade 3 classroom, and painting around the newly installed windows.
Working at Mitoone School was certainly a memorable experience for both of us. Neither of us had ever worked with such an audience. Kenyan students are every bit as curious as Canadian students and often watched our every move very closely. The staff and students were most appreciative of our efforts and presented us with mementos on our last day.