Friday, May 26, 2006


a thought hit me many years ago that at lot of rich people live with the illusion that they are very clever and self-sufficient, certainly (and this bit is probably unconscious) more so than poor people. but of course rich people are far more dependent on 'the system' (trade) than their poor counterparts, generally speaking.

how long do you reckon you'd survive if money suddenly became unusable?

since i was about 11 it's always kindoff bothered me that we all so dependent on people we've never met to provide ourselves with basic things like clean water, food and electricity. looking back these thoughts were probably inspired by strange rumours i'd heard about the second coming and the tribulation and christians not being able to use money.

at MCF the children wash in the river, the grow 95% of their own food and cook it using fire wood they collect. they do have electricity but it goes of so often you could hardly become dependent on it. there are no fridges so the chickens go from running around their pen to being served for dinner within 2 hours, and yes i learnt the whole process! (and i feel like i've taken my first steps to independence.)

step 1. place chicken between your feet, one foot on it's legs and the other on it's wings.
step 2. gently bend it's neck back, and cut of head with a sharp knife.
step 3. try and recatch chicken which is now running around with no head on (no joke).
step 4. hold chicken above hot water up-side-down to drain. submerge neck into water which will cause chicken to 'drown' and stop running around.
step 5. submerge whole chicken in hot water and then pluck the feathers.
(chicken will now look like it came from supa-value)
step 6. remove intestines taking special care not to puncture the little blue one (the guy i was helping only new it's name in swahili, so i'm not exactly sure which bit it is. they eat every other bit of the chicken except for that.)
step 7. COOK!

Monday, May 22, 2006

debriefing the MCF experience

The school in MCF (Mully's children's family) is one of the best in Kenya according to national examination results. i asked the headmaster what factors he thought contributed to the students success. he gave the following;

- the children get three meals a day so they don't have to worry about finding food and can focus on their studies.
- there is a doctor on site so they don't fret about getting sick.
- they get plenty of 'spiritual nourishment' which calms and inspires them.
- they know what it's like to be a 'destitute' and they are determined not to be one any more.
- they have more lessons per day and less holidays per year than other schools.
- if a child does muck up in class they are sent to visit the school councilor (an ex student and beneficiary of MCF) to work out the underlying issues. he makes sure the child feels heard.
- the teachers are really committed (even though they are not all trained) and because they live with the students they know them really well.
- they have a dad (Mr Mully) who says to them 'work hard and make me proud'.

african animals

spent the last three days on the Maasai Mara. We saw elephants, giraffes, lions, warthogs (which have the same attitude to live as our dog Jarra), hyenas, vultures.........

we were expecting our accommodation to be really budget camping, so we only took old grotty clothes and our sleeping bags. the 'camp site' turned out to be a luxury resort, which rivaled where we stayed in Bali for our honeymoon. the 'tent' had polished floorboards, a huge comfy double bed and gorgeous private bathroom. we ate a delicious buffet three times a day and drank 'tuskers' with rich Indians around the indoor log fire in the evenings.

it was quite strange being unexpectedly emerged in such luxury. We both loved it, but concluded we loved the MCF (children's home) experience more.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

back to civilization and the (relatively) easy internet access of Nairobi.

Africa has been none short of an incredible experience. We have a sense that we've learnt far more than we even realise.

can't even begin to some up all that is swirling in my head.

leave for London on Wednesday.

Love to you all x

Thursday, May 11, 2006


currently living on a little slice of heaven right down here on earth.
m.c.f ndalani children's home.
we spend our days planting beans, eating ugali, teaching english and attending daily devotions.
the children are remarkably polite and disciplined.
they hardly whisper a word in classes, which i (charlie) sometimes find a little frustrating.

the devotions are a highlight of the day. the singing is incredible. most of the songs are in swahili, so it's taking us a while to cotton on. casey's been getting into the african dancing too. we've snuck in the mp3 player to record the acapella singing a few times, coz i know i'll miss their singing.

we're writing this from the post office in Matuu - the nearest town with internet... it has 2 computers. Matuu is about 15kms from Ndalani.

one cool thing about Kenya is that Christianity is huge. As i'm writing this the post office radio is playing This is the air i breath by the parachute band. radios are always playing worship songs and belting out american sermons. most of the businesses seem to have some sort of biblical reference in their name.

bought some hair extensions today ($3) one of the girls is going to put them in for me on friday and saturday (it takes 2 days).

one of our favourite past times here (at the orphanage)is just wandering around and finding a little cute kid to pass time with. they find our hairy arms and freckles fascinating and seems to be able to make a 15 minute game out of bending our funny white fingers.