Thursday, 23 February 2012

Thank you team

This week seems to have flown past and our first team of visitors from Cisco this year have nearly come to the end of their trip. Tomorrow I will be travelling with them to a safari lodge about six hours drive away, to breakup their journey back to Nairobi and make sure that they arrive at Nairobi airport in good time for their flight home on Saturday. I’m travelling to Nairobi airport with them then meeting a second Cisco team and flying back to a small landing strip near our place with them. I know that many modern companies operate a ‘hot desking’ policy to make the most of office space. Our two Cisco teams are taking the concept a step further by ‘hot planing’. The first team are flying back to Heathrow on the plane that the second team come out to Kenya on. It’s all go!

The team that are travelling back tomorrow have worked like Trojans during their stay and have made fantastic progress on building a goat enclosure for our rapidly developing farm. All of this team have been to Kosele before but I think they were a little surprised at how hot and dry it has been this week. Lugging sacks of concrete about and digging holes for wooden posts is not easy in this weather – it’s hard on the muscles and the skin. I know the children in our home and school have enjoyed the time our visitors have spent with them so thank you Camilla, Emma, Julie, Tony and Dave. You have been fantastic.

The team that will be arriving on Saturday have an equally busy time ahead of them. Their biggest single challenge will be working with a team of ‘engineers’ to erect a large greenhouse. All of this team are first time visitors to Kenya and I’m really looking forward to meeting them and introducing them to life in Kosele. It sounds corny to the point, perhaps, of cliché to say that visiting Africa is a life changing experience – but it’s true. Everybody who has visited Kosele has been deeply affected by the contrast between their own lives and life in rural Kenya.

Being plagued by mosquitoes is certainly one of the ‘African’ experiences that we can all definitely do without. I have been driven under the protection of the mosquito net over my bed to finish the blog tonight. I was sure that mosquitoes fill up on blood when they bite you, so I can’t understand why they bite me more on the boniest bits of my hands, toes and ankles than anywhere else. I will definitely be asking God how these horrible insects fit into the great scheme of things. Inconvenient for me, deadly to the thousands of children who die from malaria each year. According to the World Health Organisation, (WHO), a child dies of Malaria in Africa every minute – despite a recent fall in mortality rates. The WHO website contains the following cheery comment on malaria in Africa:

“The long lifespan and strong human-biting habit of the African vector species is the main reason why 85% of the world’s malaria deaths are in Africa

Just what we need – geriatric mosquitoes with a strong preference for people. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is “working with partners around the world to reach a day when no human being has malaria.” I hope they find lots of partners and thar they all work very hard. That day can’t come a moment too soon.

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