Welcome to Kasiki

Kasiki is a kiswahili word meaning "water jar". For many years Peter and Caryn have helped raise funds for Church World Service (CWS) through our local Foothills CROP Hunger Walk in Littleton, Colorado. Last February (2006) Peter and 11 other volunteers traveled to Kenya and Uganda to see how CWS uses the money to help people in East Africa through many different types of development programs. This February (2007) we are both going as volunteers. Peter will be using his expertise as a hydrologist to help CWS and local Christian partner agencies evaluate community water projects. Caryn will be assisting in the water efforts, and writing about the people we meet and communities we visit.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Quick catch up

We're back in Nairobi after traveling half of Kenya. It turned out to be impossible to post to our blog along the way. We tried, but no luck; either no electricity or the Internet cafe was down or the dial up was so slow that it just didn't work. Welcome to Africa.

A quick run down since we last blogged follows:

Wednesday, 2/14 - Masongaleni Community Water Project
near Kbwezi.

Thursday, 2/15 - Kaimungu Community Water Project
between Kitui and Mwingi, northeast of Nairobi and visit sand dam at Excellent Development at Machakos on the way back to Nairobi.

Friday, 2/16 - After night in Nairobi and visit to CWS office, we drove to Narok in the southern Rift Valley and Maasai country.

Saturday, 2/17 - Saw Narok Drought Recovery Project borehole, 25 km down a jeep road at a community of Maasai. Were hosted in their homes! Young warriors danced and jumped for us. Stephen of CWS, who is traveling with us, jumped too!

Sunday, 2/18 - Drove north up and over and over the Mau Escarpment, nice, beautiful, cool drive to Nakuru. Checked in to the Merika hotel. Went on safari at Nakuru National Park. Saw two lions, zebra, monkeys, giraffe, water buffalo, baboons, and more.

Monday, 2/19 - Visited local water boreholes, water projects supported by Farming Systems Kenya, and met with Sumawa at Egerton University about watershed issues (oh, it was so good talking water stuff, says Peter).

Tuesday, 2/20 - Visited Gladys at Pistis School and Orphanage in Nakuru. Drove on to Kitale.

Wednesday, 2/21 - Drove north to Makutana and met with staff of Yanga't Girl Child Potential Sensitation Group. Went down off the plateau into the hot, dry country inhabited by the Pokot. Visited sand dams at Marchichi and Chakerichre. Saw camels. Was hosted by people in African hut with cow dung floor.

Thursday, 2/22 - Stopped at Elisha's Cafe in Kitale, then drove long, bumpy road to Nairobi.

Will tell all soon about the wonderful people and all the good work CWS is doing as we have time, starting below.

Wednesday 2/14 - We drove down the Mombasa Highway to Kbwezi and stayed at the old Tsavo Inn (no man eating lions were sighted or heard). In the morning, we visited the Masangaleni Community Water Project, which taps a govenment waterline near the railroad and extends water in two directions 15-25 km with a number of kiosks to which the people come with their 20 L cans to get water. Before this project was in place, people were getting water from the Thange River and were walking up many hours to get water. Every family had lost someone to waterborne diseases. With the project in place, people are healthy, the walk of the women is short to the water source, and people are happier. However, there are still people who walk a long way to reach the kiosks and the community would like to extend the lines to help still more people and create more kiosks. Thanks to our partner Community Resource Initiative, led by Sabastian Mutiso. Pictured here are some of the school children of Masangaleni who were really surprised to encounter us.