Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Impala Park, Kisumu

Tuesday, August 30

Another fun excursion with the Nyausi/Anyembe family. First, though the photos don't do it justice, all six of us cram into a tuk-tuk.

Akwanyi took this picture holding the camera out in front of her. Not bad!!

At the entrance.


Lots of birds here, evidently, though the only one I recognized was the hadada ibis.

What I called the hammerhead in the post on Lake Victoria is evidently more accurately called a hamerkop.

Enclosures with, variously, ostrich, monkeys, baboons, cheetah, lions, jackals, hyenas, guinea fowl. Felt sad for them.

Off for a walk in the woods!

An impala peeking out. There were three or four back there.

This was the path we wanted to take, but the rains had another idea. It was a fairly crisply moving creek.

I almost never succeed in getting butterfly photos. This poor little fellow was nearly drowned. I tried to rescue him with a twig after I took the shot, but he was not looking grateful as I left.

Shute is an explorer, Hidaya, for all her mischief-making, is a daddy's girl at the moment. I would say that Akwanyi is an inquisitive academic.

Weird caterpillars and chrysalises (evidently also called chrysalides. why??) These guys are known to make your skin sting and itch if you touch them. Oddly, it actually looked more like tiny caterpillars were coming out rather than butterflies. We ran into a park scientist, who was going to get back to us on which butterfly comes from these caterpillars. Anyone know?

I took random shots of the ground, which was swarming with dragonflies and butterflies. Managed to get this black and white butterfly.

Sundowner tower. We stopped here for some trail mix (cashews and raisins) and water.

The railway walk. Anyembe walked along to see whether we might want to give it a try, but it only led further away from the entrance and we needed to start back.

Back toward the entrance.

We finally saw the famed impala in groups, just free along the lakeshore.

A sausage tree. Evidently some Luo (at least used to) use one of the fruits to bury in a grave if someone had died but the corpse was missing. The fruit is supposedly edible but not delicious. None of us was tempted to test that statement from our guide Duncan on Sunday.

Hidaya, left in red, and Shute.

A really fun excursion. When we tuk-tuked back, Everlin and I went to a meeting with commercial sex workers at Cadif (more later) and Anyembe and the kids played at Jomo Kenyatta Park, across the street from my hotel, until we got back.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Sanitary Towel Workshop in Funyula With Ember

Thursday, August 25

The two nights before the workshop, Phylis, her youngest daughter, Doris, a VSO volunteer, Fatima, and I try out the pattern we will use for the workshop. The ideas come courtesy of Susannah Henderson and her non-profit, access: health. http://access-collective.com/health

Phylis and I have changed the training to emphasize sizing the holder to fit the individual, without needing measuring tape or templates to draw a circle. We will show workshop participants how to use a piece of string to measure the size they'd like the holder to be by holding the string against themselves from front to back, then folding the string in half and with a pencil or pen using it to draw a circle the size they want.

At the dining room table.

It was actually lots of fun to work together. The idea of a sewing circle made more sense to me after we'd spent a few hours talking and laughing while we practiced.


Thursday morning we headed into town bright and early since we still had a few things to purchase. The man with his back to us held Robert up a bit, so Phylis and I walked on ahead. Robert always buys this guy breakfast when they see each other.

In the fabric shop, where we managed to get some elastic for one of the patterns. The guy in the photo is President Mwai Kibaki. Every store and school hangs a photo, and obviously all the government offices. Can you imagine photos of Obama or Bush in the Dominick's and your kids' schools??

The mitumba, used clothing "stalls", where we managed to find a used pink bathtowel (the better to hide bloodstains) for about $1.10 (not actually a big bargain, I didn't think, but it would make about 8 re-usable pads), a large pinkish tablecloth (ditto), also $1.10, which would make about 20 pad holders, and a men's flannel shirt, really soft, for about 16 cents, shockingly, which would make 6 or 7 pads, or several holders. Plus buttons, which could be used as fasteners instead of velcro or snaps.

Now, on our way from the mitumba to the Ember office.

The kids around here work.

The cattle market. On the other side of the street was the goat market.

A friend of Phylis's going home with a chicken.

The Ember administrator, arriving with extra chairs for the day.

Certainly sorry I mispelled "menstruation" one of the times for the world (or, anyway, the several of you who read this) to see.

We started off with a really thorough discussion of menstruation, both to give information and also dispel fears, myths, and misinformation.

Phylis shows the sanitary pad itself. We purchased baby diaper toweling material, as it was all we found in the local shops. It's going to fray quickly, though, and is white so the stains will show soon. We advocated with the group that they use old cotton t-shirts, flannel shirts, and baby blankets from the mitumba for personal use, and only purchase fabric if they decide to try to make the sanitary products for sale.

We had Elizabeth, a tailor, in the group. She showed everyone how to quarter the fabric and make a simpler cut.

Harrison is the elected head of the wholistic team, and came along to also learn how to make the holders, since the group plans to run workshops in the community, and to figure out how to make them for free distribution to vulnerable girls. Next to him is Felisia, an early childhood development teacher.

I strolled outside during a break and talked a bit with some of the Ember grandchildren. They'd gathered to help Fatima with assessments, spending much of the day filling out forms.

Phylis helping Judith finish the fiddly edge which needs to be tucked under.

The wholistic team bought me a present as a thank you for the training and support, and asked Phylis to present it to me.

A Kenyan summer outfit - the style of the top is called a butterfly, evidently.

Phylis says the top is a perfect fit but the bottoms need to be taken in when I get home. It was amazingly comfortable.

The workshop class, from left - Phylis, Felisia, Judith, Immaculate, Sarah, Elizabeth, Robert, me, Mildred, Harrison.

The wholistic team, which I trained in 2009 - Phylis, Immaculate, me, Judith, Harrison, Sarah. You have no idea how terrific they are because I can't find the words to do them justice.