Saturday, 20 August 2016

Sundowner, End of Term, and Goodbye

After our Safari we returned to Building Hope Academy for a few more days

One of our last evenings we drove to the top of a hill to watch the sun set together

Chloe Murani Naomi Carmen Ily Tim

Rick's great-niece and her parents joined us for the Safari and returned to Building Hope Academy with us for a day and a half of volunteering. Ily got lots of attention for that blond hair of hers.

We were there on the last day of the term which was special

The children performed plays for their parents

Merry and several others gave speeches. Not only are they trying to educate children, they are trying to teach the entire community how to support education.

Awards were given to the top students in Kindergarten Top Class, and Classes 1 and 2

Some students knew the award was coming their way

I think Darius was surprised

Then we went outside for more speeches including farewells from us, all finished off with some singing and dancing:


We took 2700 photos in Africa, and most of them were of animals.

David has a safari guide business, and as someone born and raised in the area he was very knowledgeable and experienced. It was fantastic to go out on game drives with someone who had become a friend.

The safari lodge was luxurious, and the mosquito netting added ambiance. 

We watched 4 young cheetahs hunt together

Saw several Cape Buffalo

Found out we like hyenas

So many beautiful birds

Warthog babies

A heard of 50 elephants


Giraffe everywhere

 But even more wildebeest


A leopard

that climbed down from its tree and walked right past us


The vultures were creepy


 King of Beasts


Zebra baby

Mama Brian

Mama Brian is a widow who wanted one of her children to get a formal education, so for her youngest, her 11th, she went to neighbours and friends every school term and asked for money to send Brian to school. When Rick Castiglione and the Maksymowich family met Brian the timing was  perfect because Brian would need more than friends and neighbours to help send him to university.

We got to help celebrate Brian's graduation with his mother, family, and neighbours.

We brought cake and soda

And we were presented with shukas and jewelry

We stayed late enough that the animals were being brought in for the night

They're kept in pens made of thorns to stay safe from predators

Brian is now a certified high school teacher

It took a village

Evenings on the school ground

Things really quiet down after 3:30 at Building Hope Academy. We spent time cooking dinner on a gas stove.

Tim, Murani, Naomi, Chloe, Carmen
 The kids played a lot of Uno, Murani's favourite card game.

We washed our laundry by hand. Chloe was an expert because of her time working at Heritage Park.

We had several nights of bonfires, and we would wake up to the fire still smouldering in the middle of the dry grass in the drought season. It seemed questionable to me, but I guess the night guards could keep an eye out for a grass fire.

The school cooked porridge every morning plus lunches. The cooks also washed our personal dishes on school days, so we were spoiled there. We ate a couple of the school lunches which were delicious. They prepared chapati (like tortillas) steamed kale and cabbage, potato, as well as rice and beans.

We got to witness the beginning of the construction of the next classrooms. The rock was delivered very rough, and then hand chiseled into bricks.

The rest of the rock was crushed by sledge hammer to form the foundation

For the first time ever the construction workers had a cement mixer with a generator, which sped things up I suppose. It was crazy to watch the manual labour going into the new building.

Two of the teachers living in the teacher's quarters had children, so we had a good time playing with their kids

Jolene, Darius, and Rita

We slept in walled tents 2 nights when we were on safari, but for Carmen's gold level Duke of Edinburg requirements she needed another night in a tent. Naomi joined her and they kept it up for 2 more nights after that!