The Uuuhs and Aaarghs of my life

Posts tagged ‘Farming’

Lessons from Betty the Bean

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Betty the Bean

So a few weeks ago, I planted Betty the bean in the backyard. She is a special bean because she can produce about 300 beans even in a tiny space!!! I had to search for a safe place for her to grow and I found it. But it took her longer than an ordinary bean to germinate.

I was afraid that she wouldn’t make it. The rains fell upon the ground for a number of days and I kept checking up on her every morning and evening. At last, she sprouted off the ground but some ants ate up one of her food reserve on her cotyledon.

Still, I kept watering her and feeding her some organic manure. Monday morning this week, as I brushed my teeth I went straight to the backyard and saw Betty standing tall and strong with two whole leaves 🙂
She’s now a strong little seedling!!!

In my journey to discovering my purpose, I keep facing challenges that make me doubt if that great purpose is really for me. But even when the time takes longer than usual, even when stormy seasons almost drown me, even when adversity tries to bully me… I still believe that by standing my ground, I’ll break through the tough times.

I’ll soak up the good from all that’s around me and turn it into a motivation to help me get to the next part of the journey.

It’s not easy, but after coming this far, it’ll only be silly to give up hope when everything in me is already showing that little by little I’m almost there.

Do you feel like a Betty bean today?

Be strong, courageous, and believe in your able roots.

❤

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Innovative Teen Farmers!

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There are no words to express just how proud I am of my students at the Seed of Hope Centre!

As a mentor, I had decided to explore a different mode of teaching. I took a chair, sat down and gave the teens a platform for creative self expression.
These kids spend all-day learning in class but it was about time they had a form of output outside class activities.

Value of Student Clubs

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After successfully establishing four clubs during the last school term (Technology, Young Leaders,  Talents, Agriculture), the students are still packed with energy for more ways to develop their interests.

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The Agriculture Club stepped up and officially launched their club with fun landscaping activities around the school where both students and teachers participated.

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Innovative Farming

During the August 2014 school holidays, the Agriculture Club members independently organised holiday club activities like purchasing potato sacks (with their own money) for their landless kale farming project.

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All this, I came to witness recently when I visited the Centre to surprise the teachers with some news about the support of the Rabbit Department under the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries through a rabbit production manual for the students to use.

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The potato sacks had been filled with fertile soil and vibrant green kale seedlings danced to a gentle breeze as they hang on the sides of the sacks.

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From the teens at Seed of Hope, I have witnessed a great shift of behavior and attitude. They no longer need to be told that they could have a great future; they believe so. They don’t need to be closely monitored, they have learnt to be independent. They don’t need to be told, “Smile” because they naturally smile all the time.

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How to get involved

There are a number of ways you could get involved as a friend of Seed of Hope:

The teens at the Centre need mentorship for club projects by professionals under the following fields:

*Agriculture – Kale farming. Rabbit farming. Chicken farming. Pest control of kale seedlings.

*Techies – How to use iPads. How to create and manage a Facebook page. How to use the internet for school research projects.

*Young Leaders – How to be a leader amongst fellow young people. How to overcome challenges that come with youth leadership. Opportunities that teen leaders need to explore.

*Creatives – Innovative projects for a club with a mix of talents (Singing, Fashion Design, modelling).

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How to make a donation

The Seed of Hope teens are in need of various items that will go a long way in improving their lives and stay at school. These include:

1. Bras, panties, clothes, sanitary towels and bathing soap for girls.

2. Underwear, bathing soap and clothes for boys.

3. Farming equipment for the Agriculture Club. (Spades, hoes, digging forks, farming machetes & rakes)

4. Any support that will contribute to internet connection for the students. (Currently no internet access at the Centre)

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Contact:
Florence
Headmistress – Seed of Hope Centre
Mobile: (+254)721405298
OkHi Map Link: http://goo.gl/e0yXNz

For more about the Seed of Hope Centre, please click here.

Ciao Bella 2012!

Dear readers,

As the year 2012 comes to an end, I celebrate those who took a chance to put a smile on someone’s face. Those who dared to make everyday richer with love.

I believe that the road wasn’t easy all-year-round, but we should count ourselves champions for we have made it to the end. Many started the road with us this year but they didn’t make it this far.

So I pray that your heart will remain youthful and full of cheer all through the new year.

Thank you all for taking the time to read my blog and beautify it with your thoughts. Let’s talk some more in 2013!

Love and sunshine…

Yours Truly,

Ayuma.

To put a smile on your face as we countdown to the new year, here’s a lovely tale about my favourite day in December this year. Photographs are courtesy of Paras Gudka of Westlands Chess Club (WECC) and Kirsty McLullich of Vision Africa.

Enjoy the read!

My little friends at Kandara Children's Home

My little friends at Kandara Children’s Home

Oh December! What a lovely ring this month adds to the conclusion of a lovely, yet monstrous yet again a typical other year – 2012.

Let us do a little math, shall we?

Q: What is the result of a public transport strike, plus a car full of visitors, plus road directions, minus following road directions, multiplied by hours in a day to spend?

A: Easy, a Fun Day at Kandara Children’s Home in Murang’a!

Ok fine, not an easy challenge or even math for that matter, but this sure was the plot of the story that led me to the most amazing place to have spent a fun day in December this year.

Swaleh, a trusted taxi driver chatted with my good friend Esther Neema and me as we headed to the Nairobi City Centre to meet up with Paras Gudka, the founder of the Westlands Chess Club (WECC).

Esther Neema and her new baby buddy

Esther Neema and her new baby buddy

Paras Gudka; WECC founder

Paras Gudka; WECC founder

To our surprise, the matatu strike was still on and Swaleh swore that it had reached a point where the public transport operators were charging as much as KSH 400 for what would normally cost KSH 50 for bus fare.

GULP…

Paras gladly came with his team from the WECC to join us for a day of fun and games at the Children’s home. I was super confident that the directions that Kirsty McLullich (a full-time volunteer with Vision Africa) had given me will make me look good as a navigator.

GULP…

The WECC crew; Shammah, Gweyani and George

The WECC crew; Shammah, Gweyani and George

Being the social being that I am, I coloured the atmosphere with my warm personality through a story or two…or three… Ok, I might have talked quite a lot but I promise that I gave everyone else a chance to tell an anecdote or two…Hehe!

All this got me to a point where I forgot to check my phone for directions and we used a route to Thika that seemed familiar yet unfamiliar. What gave me confidence was the fact that the other passengers were on Google Maps, confirming if we are on the right path. Technology!!!

Unfortunately, we confidently made a turn that took us to a town that seemed familiar, yet unfamiliar. When we stopped to ask for directions… Typical Kenyan “asking for directions” Drama happened! There was a gent who went on with stories about how we are so lost and that he doubts if we’ll find our way to Kandara. Talk about a prophet of doom!

Seconds after what we seemed to have been an understanding of the directions the gent gave us, we were lost again.

We took on a challenge and asked a matatu driver for directions and his directions sounded like, “You see that road… Drive down till you reach a junction, ignore the junction and drive on, you’ll see another road but ignore it, then you take a left, then go, then take a right and if you even ask a small child for directions, you will find your way to Kandara.”

[Trust me, this English translation sounds nothing as hilarious as the original Kiswahili one with a local accent.]

As we got lost some more on our way to Kandara, we at least took the chance to sample the lovely green countryside. It was a farming community judging from the patterned strips of crop against recurring steep slopes.

Aha! An old wise man of the land who probably knew the paths more than anyone we had met already. Luckily we had a “translator” amongst us who could communicate with the old “guardian of the land”.

We were directed to a road though a steep slope even though we all doubted it. And soon our doubts were confirmed “doubtworthy” as several little boys directed us back to the right path to the Kandara Children’s Home.

Finally, we arrived after hairpin bends and as soon as we saw the writings on the entrance of the Orphanage’s gate – Kandara Children’s Home – we took a deep breath.

As soon as we arrived, we introduced ourselves to each other as Kirsty made her way to the parking area to welcome us. Yes, we forgot that tiny detail of introductions. Haha!

Kirsty McLullich of Vision Africa and Mary Mwangi of Kandara Children's Home

Kirsty McLullich of Vision Africa and Mary Mwangi of Kandara Children’s Home

The day ripened with richness as soon as the kids came running to hold our hands and welcomed us. The atmosphere was filled with a great anticipation for a great happening judging from the preparations in the kitchen and the farm.

A goat had been slaughtered for a great feast! YUMMY…Mbuzi (Swahili for goat)

After a short tour by Kirsty round the orphanage, we were led to the baby unit. I actually got to learn how to hold a baby, play with one and feed one too. That beat my fear of dropping a baby just because of my skinny hands…Haha!

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Later on the WECC set up a table for a good game of chess starting with some quick lessons for beginners. The magic began! Esther and I got our girl-power kit and secured a spot for the girls on a green yard. Manicures and pedicures, hand massages, make-up and dress-up glam time and not forgetting the girly chat to complete this female bonding session.

There was also some face-painting in the dining hall and the little ones got creative with how they wanted their faces to look with face paint masks.

A lovely game of chess with WECC and the Kandara kids

A lovely game of chess with WECC and the Kandara kids

Pampering the Kandara girls

Pampering the Kandara girls

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Some football for the Kandara boys and friends before lunchtime

We girls and make-up. Can't get enough of it...

We girls and make-up. Can’t get enough of it…

Face-painting at Kandara Children's Home

Face-painting at Kandara Children’s Home

The kids who worked really hard this year got their gifts

The kids who worked really hard this year got their gifts

All smiles

All smiles

Goat stew... Yummy!

Goat stew… Yummy!

Fooooooood at Kandara

Fooooooood and cute face

Tasty Mbizu Choma (roasted goat meat)

Tasty Mbuzi Choma (roasted goat meat)

Lunchtime was absolutely heartwarming as all the kids sat together and ate as one big family. As soon as I saw chapattis, my search was over. I love chapattis!

The Kubamba Crew had a great Dj entertaining the crowd as we all gathered for a little booggie woogie outside. As I danced with Teresia, one of the little ones, I realized that the joy I felt inside was more than what I expected from the visit.

There’s something about a child’s smile that somehow makes everything seem alright. It was most definitely hard to say goodbye as well.

Tasty mbuzi for the boy

Tasty mbuzi for the boy

With love, from Kenya

With love, from Kenya

When I say chow-time, I mean chow-time

When I say chow-time, I mean chow-time

The smile of an angel

The smile of an angel

Jolly good times at Kandara

Jolly good times at Kandara

On our way back, we almost got lost again, but we somehow found our way to Nairobi.

A Fun Day?

This was more than just a fun day. It was a great day to get lost, LITERALLY, in fun adventure!

Have a fun-filled 2013!!!

Happy 2013!!! Kandara Children's Home

Happy 2013!!!
Kandara Children’s Home

Say CHEESE...

Say CHEESE…

More about Westlands Chess Club (WECC)

More about Vision Africa and Kandara Children’s Home

More photographs on Kandara Fun Day

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