Friday, July 8, 2011

Final Flight Arrival

I just spoke to Paul Phillips and they were closing the door of the airplane and taking off at 3:45 CST. That means they should be in around 5:10 according to the website. Thanks Ross Wehner

On Their Way

Hello parents,

The student's flight home from Chicago, AA 4273, is slightly delayed. Instead of coming in at 4:35 p.m., they should be home at 4:59 p.m. Updates can be found here Sarah and Regina have already arrived on a separate flight and are back home. Thank you for a wonderful trip! The community of Oloika Trading Center is excited about its continuing relationshipo with Ensworth School.

Ross Wehner, World Leadership School

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Coming Home

Hello parents,
I just spoke to our instructor, Chris Lindstrom, and he confirmed that all students plus Regina and Sarah have departed Kenya safely on their respective flights. Thank you for a wonderful program! We'll be tracking flight status and alerting you if there are any delays in arriving in Nashville tomorrow. As always, please call us at (303) 679-3412 if you have any questions.
Ross Wehner

July 6 from Shompole, Oloika

Hey Everyone!
This morning Carolyn, Will, Nathan and I woke up in our bomas around 6. We had a fun time with our homestay families and Shani last night. We ate a great dinner and stayed up late dancing with the kids. This morning after we woke up we were greeted with hot chai tea. It was delicious! Then we all took turns milking a goat, which was definitely an interesting experience. We left the homestay soon after and headed back to work. It was our last day of work so we only had half a day to get the tables and benches finished for the ceremony.
They ceremony was AMAZING! We got to watch the kids sing and dance, while dressed in beautiful Masai clothing and jewelry. Many speeches were given about the wonderful impact we have made on the Olokia community. Then Shani and many women invited us up to receive necklaces as thanks from the people. We said our goodbyes to all of our new friends, and then ate dinner at the camp for the last time. ☹


July 5th from Shompole, Oloika

Tuesday July 5, 2011

Hiya Everyone!!
This Morning Mrs. Losey, Mrs. Flynn, Caroline and I woke up around 6 right before the sun rose during our boma stay. We drank chai tea for breakfast and it was so good. The best part of the morning is when we went in the goat pen and milked the goats. Caroline and I got a few drops out, but Mrs. Flynn was the “Master Milker”. When we got back to the tents, the other students and teachers were headed off to work. We did not have to go to work until 10:30, so we ate breakfast and took showers. This was our longest workday and we got a lot accomplished. We planed and sanded wood, and put together the benches and tables. For lunch we ate pizza made by James. The best part of the day was during dinner when Robin and some of the Masai men came and sang and danced for us. We all loved it. To end the night we played Psychiatrist Psychiatrist.


Happy 4th everyone!

I hope all of you had a festive day full of fireworks and watermelon, because we cannot say we had the same celebration here in Kenya. But I wouldn’t trade this experience for anything. However, we did have watermelon! They have spoiled us with incredible fruit here at every meal. After a day of rest, we were eager to journey back to the work site to make more progress on the dining hall. I realized you really have to find your niche in order to be productive. I tried to plane wood the first day, but quickly understood that was not my forte. Ms. Losey, on the other hand, has discovered it to be a new and calming passion. We now appreciate the gift of buying pre-planed wood, but if anyone ever needs it to be done, just call up Lose-dog.
Kate, Carlyle, and Ms. Webster have dominated the plastering duty every day, while Ms. Flynn and others completed a concrete bench outside. Callie and I have been hammering, sawing, and nailing away to soon construct the benches. I think a few of the boys are still recuperating from Day 1’s intense hole digging day, so today they migrated towards the sand paper.
The afternoon consisted of playing with the kids again. They were so excited to see us, especially after yesterday’s rest. Jack and I have found a favorite little peewee boy, names Sianga. I would bring him home in a heartbeat if I could. I brought out my camera and watched their amazed faces as I took pictures and showed them the results. I doubt they see their reflection like that very often so whenever we take a picture, we make sure to let them look. They also love to play with my hair, so we played barbor shop, also known as let’s see how tangled we can make Carolyn’s hair. It is never fun to have to say goodbye to the kids, but they always walk us back to our site and say “See you tomorrow!” I’m just not ready for Wednesday when there won’t be a tomorrow.
We returned for showers and dinner prepared by our famous chef, James, or as we call him, 007. He is the man. Somehow he manages to cook us such exquisite meals over a measly fire every day. If someone hasn’t already mentioned this, the staff here is incredible. Michael carries a constant smile, filling our shower buckets and even making our beds and organizing our tents every day. Robin sets the table and cleans our dishes, never ceasing to whistle or sing a Masai tune. So parents, be ready to continue their pampering style when we get back!! Just kidding ☺. Irwin, Jeff, and Francie, you just wait till you see what kind of dream child enters your house shortly. I’ve missed you all so much! France, hope you are home safely from London. To the other lovely parentals, your kids are still doing well and send their love.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Update from Oloika

July 5
Today was out last full day on the service project. We painted a blackboard for a classroom, finished two tables and hooked up the solar power. The boys played soccer and the girls enjoyed visiting with the new friends. Most people have received jewelry at this time and there is a beautiful crescent moon and light breeze. Many students are sleeping out in a open air gazebo. Everyone is comfortable and enjoying each others' company. Regina and Sarah are having a great time and send their love!
-- Chris Lindstrom, via cell phone

Monday, July 4, 2011

Hello Ensworth Parents! Happy 4th of July! I spoke to Chris this morning and everyone is happy and healthy and they were playing a game of soccer as we spoke. He gave me a few posts to put up, as it's faster for me then for them! Enjoy!

From Lee Folk, July 1st-

Hey! Today was the first of our work days in Oloika. We got up, ate, and walked
to school. On the way, as been common on all three trips there and back, we gathered a growing crowd of little Massai. we reintroduced ourselves and tried to remember the
names we had forgotten in a blur of names last night. But, we only had a short time with them since we went to our worksite, the dining hall, and then went to class. After a quick description of what we will be doing the next 5 days: 5 ish tables with 10 ish benches, a concrete bench, plastering walls, and digging a 12 foot circular hole 4 feet deep for a cistern. We split up into groups to start the tasks. The boys went with Shani to continue the hole started by Berkeley Carrol school, while the girls and teachers either plastered the walls or began the tables and benches. I know all the work was exhausting, but my only experience was digging and it wore us out. We worked until lunch, and the temperature was continuing to rise, which was expected. The heat was dry and the shade was comfortable. Fortunatly, we were able to take breaks for water as needed to manage the heat. After out morning session, we ate lunch, wrote a little reflection and had some down time before outr afternoon session. We only worked for an hour that afternoon on the same jobs minus the digging because it was so hot, Then we had a little while to play with some kids. They girls sangm played duck duck goose, and did the crab hand game. The boys played soccer with some older Massai guys. We had to leave to go home, shower off the dirt, eat dinner, and get to bed in the heat with the donkeys crying outside.

Lee Folk

Mitchell Moore, July 2nd-

Hey Everyone! Today was a lot of fun even though it was a lot hotter. The boys continued to work on the cistern, while the girls did carpentry and plastered the walls.

We didn't get as much work done as yesterday because we were all tired from the day before. The people we work with are very nice and very patient. The kids that watch us work and they love watching us and giving us gifts. Jack, Lee, Ethan, and I played soccer with the kids yesterday and we quickly realized that we were being laughed at by the other children. The food here is very good and I am learning to like vegetables very fast. Mom dont get too excited.

We just found out we are having a break day tomorrow, which is very exciting. Also Jack, Lee, Calisle, and Kate went on the homseay at the boomas, and we are waiting to hear how those go

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Still working hard!

The boys continue to work on the cistern. The people we are working with are really nice. There are lots of kids around to play with and we are getting small gifts from the local students. We have played a lot of soccer. I am starting to like eating vegetables (don't get too excited mom!)Jack, Lee, Carlye and Kate went on their homestays today. Tomorrow is our break day and that will be a nice rest.


Friday, July 1, 2011

Arrival in Shompole

July 1
Today we started work on the service project, and it went really well. We were putting cement on the walls, building tables and benches and digging the foundation for the cistern. The foreman, Edward, is awesome and we are making a lot of progress. We have a beautiful shade structure where we dine in the morning, afternoon and evening. We just started journaling today and we’re debriefing now at the end of our work day. I am saying these blog entries into a phone to Ross, who is in Denver where it’s morning, and in the background I hear the students singing the Shakira song (waka waka ay ay). The kids spent a lot of time playing with the Masai children today, including games of Duck Duck Goose. Justice and Nate even taught their own individual classes today. At the end of all this, we had a delicious meal of buttered chicken, made by James – Chris Lindstrom (instructor)

Masai Lodge

June 30
HI everybody, we woke up around 7:30 and had a great breakfast and went on the hike to the glass factory close to Masai Lodge. We crossed a cable bridge across the canyon, five people at a time at a slow pace. We walked around for an hour and a half and the factory was amazing. We watched workers blowing glass and they made it into cool designs. WE talked to one worker and he said that all the workers stay onsite at the factory. The guest house there was incredible. Afterwards, there was a 4-hour drive to Shompole and we are now in the middle of the desert. When we got here all the people and children were so happy to see us, it was really cool. We went down and saw the school and where we would be working. Dinner was very nice too and everyone sang happy birthday to me. It was a good day and we can’t wait to get to work tomorrow. Ethan Christansen

Last Day, Masai Mara

June 29
Hello everyone! Today we woke up at 6 a.m. to go on another game drive which was really cool. We saw a huge range of animals, including cheetah and some leopards. We had eggs and toast and watermelon for breakfast. We headed back to Masai Lodge where we met up with students from Berkeley Carroll School from Brooklyn, NY. We had a ceremony where we dressed up in Masai blankets that we got to keep. We jumped with them and chanted some songs. The students from Ensworth High School and Berkeley Carroll mixed up at dinner tables so they could share their experiences in Shompole, where we are about to go. Those students were interested in life in the South, and they told us about lives in the North. Overall it was a really long day but very fun and I’m super excited about the rest of the trip. PS I love you mom, Kate H.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Masai Mara!

June 28, 2011

This morning everyone got up at 6am to go on our first official safari ride. We saw everything from the day before plus lions, a cheetah, elephants, water buffalo, and a few other animals. The first group of lions we saw were two females and five cubs that were eating an animal they had killed. We also saw a male and female lion mating. While all the zebras, wildebeests, etc, are scared of people, the lions and cheetah were both very calm when we pulled up beside them. We got to be about 10-20 feet away from almost all the animals we saw. We also took a long walk to see the hippos. They were huge but stayed under the water. We could only see their heads. We couldn’t get too close because we learned they are strong enough to completely bite off a human leg! One of the Maasai warriors at our camp, Dominique, taught us how to brush our teeth using a certain African plant. He said that’s what they use instead of a toothbrush. Tonight was our last dinner at Maasai Mara. We had ANCHOR and played a leadership game and then we went to sleep. Everyone was exhausted from our long day of safari. We are all looking forward to the rest of the trip!

Xoxo Shelby

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

June 27th

Today the group woke up at 8:00 AM at the Maasai Lodge. We ate a delicious breakfast and then loaded up the cars and drove five hours to Maasai Mara for our three day Safari. On our drive, we stopped at a little gift shop to eat lunch and do some shopping. The group members that wanted to purchase something learned how to properly bargain a fair price for their knick-knacks. After a long drive, we finally arrived at Maasai Mara and took our first short Safari. The group was very excited to see our first zebras, wildebeests, and other common animals, but we had no idea what we had in store for the next two days. After our short intro Safari, we arrived at our campsite where we were happily greeted by Alex and the Maasai warriors. We had a fabulous dinner prepared by Alex and the warriors. Then we sat by the campfire to have our “ANCHOR” talk (Appreciation, News, Concerns, Hopes, Obscure Fact, and Reading) lead by Caroline and Ethan. We discussed our plans for the next day. Once we heard what time we would be waking up, 6:00 AM, we all decided that it would be a good idea to go to sleep.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Our First Full Day!

Jambo!  Paul here.  We arrived safely last night, and made our way to Maasai lodge where the staff graciously stayed up till 12:30am to feed us upon our arrival.  We are now up, well fed, and are relaxing for a moment before we head to Maasai Mara.  And, the kids have seen their first monkey, as it ran across the patio during breakfast!  We will spend the next two days on Safari in the Mara.  Please note: we will not have internet access in the Mara, so we will not be able to blog until we return to Nairobi.  At the time, the kids will begin posting their blogs and their pictures.  Our adventure begins!

Students are in Kenya

Hello everyone!
I just spoke with the WLS instructor, Chris and the group has arrived in Kenya. They are all happy and healthy. They are heading to the Masai Lodge for a feast before heading to bed. Please call the office with any questions 303.679.3412.

Erin Lasky
Program Director