Monday, December 23, 2013

100% Sponsorship in 2013!

I am thrilled to report that sponsors for the last three children have stepped up in December -- resulting in 100% sponsorship for 2013! This was a goal for the year that I was resigning myself to not quite achieving... but you all came through for the kids in Cura. What a wonderful way to end the year. 


Monday, December 16, 2013

Warm Holiday Wishes from One World Chorus

I was invited to represent Cura at the holiday concert given by One World Chorus in Lake Oswego, Oregon yesterday. Aaron and Diedre continue to enrich children's lives with music... in the US, in Jamaica, and, of course, in Cura. We hope to get Aaron back to Cura soon!

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Successful Cura Health Day -- Thanks to Lake Oswego Rotary!

On Saturday, 16 November, Cura Clinic held a successful Community Health Day, funded by a generous grant from the Lake Oswego Rotary's International Committee. Jane, Margaret and Perris put this event together with one week's notice, distributing flyers around the village and into Wangige, and even doing a morning walk-about to spread the news (and to simultaneously participate in the nation-wide Polio Vaccination effort scheduled for the same weekend). Jane reports that the event was an enormous success...

95 community members were tested for HIV, and all of the results were negative. Excellent news!

 200 people were tested for diabetes, and those who tested positive were started on a course of treatment.

Beverages and snacks were served under a festive tent, bringing nearly 300 Cura community members together over the course of the day.

 The volunteer lab technicians and health workers made sure everyone received de-worming medications, Vitamin A, and polio vaccinations -- and free mosquito nets were given to expectant mothers and families with new babies. The event was a hit, and the community says THANK YOU to Lake Oswego Rotary for making it happen!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Thursday is Boot Day

We made the distribution of new gum boots today, and you can see pictures and video of the highly anticipated event on our Facebook page! We also:
chased giant spiders
pulled a lizard out of a hat
pleaded with the cow to finally give birth already
signed up for cycles and cycles of computer time
handed out glow bracelets for bedtime
filled in the remaining Hello Kitty coloring book pages
discussed this weekend's Clinic event
celebrated the end of Primary school for our Class 8 students
wandered around the field to pick up garbage
had a top-spinning competition
gave lots of hugs
visited with Mama Grace, who's on leave but came by to say hi anyway

It was a good day.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

KCPE and Corn and Lilly

All of Cura Primary's Class 8 students were busy taking the KCPE standardized exams today, and a group of mothers (including some of those from Cura Rotary Home) gathered to make the kids a fortifying batch of chapatis for lunch. The aroma was intoxicating!

The long-awaited rains seem to be coming (mostly at night lately, which is just fine with me), so the mothers are prepping the maize field for planting. It looks like really hard work, but they claim "it's enjoyable."

 Lovely Lilly joined me in Cura today, bringing donations of new shoes, clothing and swim suits. The girls were in shopping heaven, and the boys were pretty excited, too.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Monday in Cura

 Cura Secondary School's Form 1 student, Beatrice, placed as 1st Runner Up in a recent race, and her Deputy Head Teacher and Head Teacher are so proud!
Jane and her colleagues at the Clinic are busy preparing for next weekend's event..

The Computer Lab remains in high demand... and Alex was pretty proud of himself to have gotten the last sign-up of the day!

Cura at the Motocross Races

This just in from Mike Eldon...

Rotary Cura Home children go motocross racing (on Sunday)

It was a great day at the motocross track behind Jamhuri Park, as the top riders from Kenya battled against their Ugandan counterparts. Among the large crowd gathered were the 50 children of the Rotary Cura Home, together with three of their wonderful house mothers. They had been bussed there courtesy of Eric and Molly Mungai, whose son Githuku was one of the stars of the day (below)

… and whose grandparents are Evelyn and Mike.

Eric and Molly also organised for the children to have lunch in between the races, and one or two even got to ride on Githuku’s bike.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Cura Weekend

The day I arrived, I went to my local Bata at the top floor of the Nakumatt Prestige, and placed an order for 50 gumboots in very specific sizes. I had hoped for some fun colors or even zebra and cheetah prints, but black was my only option... so I took it! Even with the basic and very glamorous black boot order, there were complications -- apparently there's a rain boot shortage plaguing Nairobi! The intrepid women of Bata were undeterred, however, and eventually called me to say I could come take advantage of the buy-two-get-one-free sale! 

We got the boots boxed up and to the car, then wonderful Gilbert got the boxes up the many flights of stairs to my Nairobi apartment... where I got to work assigning each pair to the appropriate size/child and stuffing socks and other goodies inside. The boots will be distributed tomorrow, when the children are out of school -- and not a moment too soon, since the rain is getting serious!

Of course, I also visited Cura over the weekend -- I can't stay away! Lots of coloring and computing and silliness, amid the real-life chores of laundry and food prep. Joyce (in the yellow and the enormous smile) invited me to help knead the chapati dough, assuring me that it is "very enjoyable." She was right! And the finished product? Delicious, as usual!

Friday, November 8, 2013

Cura Photos for the Facebook Challenged

If you haven't found us on Facebook yet, please do so as soon as possible! 
In the meantime, here are some of the photos that are also posted there... for your vicarious enjoyment.
It's lovely to be back.

Carol blocked our way tonight, trying to keep us in Cura for the night.

Minnet and Naomi did my hair, as usual!

Margaret awaits the installation of the new laser mice to replace the roller-ball versions that currently gather thick layers of red dust from the computer tables. Thank you, Mary Strickler!

The Primary School teachers were a gorgeous vision in the distance as we came up the road... they were in a particularly good mood because they get next week off due to KCPE testing!

The 7th, 8th and 9th graders were wrapping up a lesson, given by the Cura Clinic staff, on STIs and reproductive health when I arrived this afternoon. The church was set up with a slick projector and PowerPoint presentation, thanks to a dedicated tech volunteer.

The kids were thrilled with the masks and plastic teeth and yo-yos and other silly toys a friend of Cura sent along with me... So fun to see them ham it up!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Same Flight

NY Marathon winner Geoffrey Mutai flew coach home to Kenya, on my very same flight. The cameras greeted his return at the airport, so my return to Kenya was amid a mini-media circus. Off to a good start!

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Cura Returns!

I'm busy packing bags for my return to Cura this week, and I just got these photos from another volunteer's amazing return to Cura earlier this fall! Danielle and her family brought fun activities, new clothes, and new curtains to our Home --- and everyone is thrilled! 

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Water Slide Field Trip

We spent Saturday at the water park in Nairobi -- the kids were THRILLED! Quinn and I will head to Cura to say our goodbyes (for now) today, but yesterday was a blow-out celebration of our time together. The sun came out and everything!

The water was cold and the morning sun was elusive, so the kids warmed themselves on rocks between dips in the pool.

Even shivering, they had smiles on their faces!

Leah spent some time supervising the littler children at the kiddie pool.

Margaret leads the charge down the slide, again and again...

The mothers prepared rice and meat for lunch... and we fed a hungry band of swimmers right before the sun came out for real in the afternoon.

Rispah thought even the very small slide was an exciting ride.

Simon lounged his way through the afternoon, on the tube through the lazy river.

Many thanks to the management of Village Market for treating us to this wonderful day! 

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Clinic and Teachers' Strike

We've been busy, though the blog doesn't show it! I've been working to finalize some repair projects to the computer lab, deliver donations, meet community leaders and purchase needed equipment for the Clinic. More later, but here are some photos!

Donor dollars purchased a much-needed autoclave for sterilizing instruments, and a hand-cranked centrifuge as a back-up for power-outages!

Kenya's teachers are on strike, so Gilbert led the kids in an extra-curricular debate on issues of the day.

Quinn helped unpack and sort the 40 pounds of toothbrushes, toothpastes and dental floss we will distribute to all of Cura's school children once the strike is over!

The Home's children each received a separate gift back from a generous dental office...