Saturday, July 7, 2012

July 7: Exploring the local area of Nanyuki

After seeing the safari sights on Friday the next day was spent exploring the local town of Nanyuki.

Lily Pond Art Center
We started our adventure into town at Matumba Arts. This organization was started by an Expat who wanted to help disabled women find economic independence by selling handicraft items. Most of the items for sale and display are made from recycled materials such as t-shirts and other clothing items. Charity was working during our Saturday visit and helped me find some awesome wine bottle holders to bring home as souvenirs.

We loaded into our rented Matatus (Kenyan minibus) and headed to our next stop at the Lily Pond Art Center. The lily pond provided a peaceful retreat away from the busy street traffic. The founder of the Lily Pond Art center was a British woman who traveled to Kenya as a tourist several years ago. She was an Artist and Art Teacher at home and noticed that there was a lack of art galleries in Kenya. She was inspired to create a center that would allow local artists to display their creations. There was also a nice restaurant that doubled as a bar area at night.

After a quick Western Style lunch in town with a side of Wifi we headed back to the Daraja campus.

Bean Sorting
On saturday night the girls change out of their school uniforms and morph into your typical giggling and gossiping teenage girl. The weekly event of Bean Sorting brings the campus together in one of the more relaxed Daraja nights. The girls make their way to the dinning area where they sort the rocks out of the beans and lentils that will be cooked in the upcoming week. As an outsider the whole idea seemed odd to me but once you sit at the table and hear the girls chit chat and sing songs you become immersed in the playfulness and energy of the night. We sang my "Heart will go on" and other local swahili songs. The girls asked questions about what life was like for me back in the states. We talked about our favorite movies - the girls love Romantic Comedies - Whose team are you on Edward or Jacob?! All the while our fingers were busy sorting the beans and rocks. After about two hours of fun and laughs dinner was ready and shortly thereafter lights went out on another day at Daraja!


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