Our names are Stephen and John. We are six and twelve years old. We are in Standard Two Class and Standard Five in Saint Patrick’s school. We live here with our mother Faith and we are happy: the three of us together.
Our mother helped to build the new school. She was the leader of all the workers who built the foundations. She is a very good worker. My mother is part of the Akamba tribe and did not get the chance to go to school herself. We were happy when we saw her dancing with the tribe at the opening ceremony of the new school. All her hard work is finished for now. The new building is very beautiful. She can “relax and enjoy “.
We go to bed early because we have no power or light. But we also like to get up at first light so we can walk the 5km to school and be there by 7am. We go in a little before school starts so that we can catch up on our schoolwork. We used to find it difficult to walk the 15km to the old school and we missed many days but it is better now. We love our new school. There is a big field beside the school where we like to run and race our friends every day. Myself and my brother are the fastest in our school. Our teacher’s names are Veronica and Salfestas. They are kind and teach us about our country and the world.
Jambo and Hello
We are all still busy on our farm. My brother John is growing bigger but he is still not as tall as me! He is happy that we have a new black cow. He takes care of it after school. We keep it in the shamba near our house.
My mother Faith is very proud to have her first grandson Eunje. He is nearly 2. He is funny. We look after him sometimes when his mother goes out to try and find work.
But the best news of all is that I have been chosen to be part of the new Bicycle programme at school. I am very proud of my new black bicycle with the buffalo on the front. It is strong and I can carry my brother along with me. We can get to school quickly now.On the way home we can help our mother with the water barrell also.
I like to clean my bike because the roads are muddy and dusty. Francis our teacher has told us that our new bicycles are like the real buffaloes we have here in Kenya. Fast and strong just like me. When I am bigger I would like to see a real Buffalo in a zoo or in the grasslands near Kilimanjaro.
My name is Faith. There are seven children in my family. I live here with my mother Mary and my father Nicholas Mutuku. We all work together here on the farm where we grow squash. My father is also a seasonal labourer but it is difficult for him to find work as they always hire the professionals first. Also, my father is sick and we do not have money for medicine.
We love the new school. We walk there every day. My mother walks there too to collect fresh water that has been piped from Mount Kilimanjaro and stored nearby. She carries the water in a container for 5km on her back along the roadway. It is very heavy. Nearly 20kg! I wish that we could have water near our home so that my mother would not have to carry it. I also hope that my father will get better, but I worry that this may not be possible.
I am in standard Four Class. My teacher’s name is Felicita. She is a good teacher. I learn Kiswahili, English and Maths at school. Maths is my favourite. I am trying very hard to be good in school so that my father will be proud of me.
I am older now and like being in Standard 6 in St Patrick’s Primary School.
I was so happy to see our visitors from Ireland. We have been learning new songs and poems for the official opening of the new classrooms. I was shy when we had to say our poem for our families and the visitors but I was happy when they all clapped at the end!!
We made some presents for the visitors from bottle gourds that we grow on my farm. First we let the little gourds dry out on the ground outside our classroom and then we painted them with designs in three colours – white, black and red.
My family are all good now. My father is working on the new railway and he is happy. When I come home from school, I look after my little sister Stella and my brother Patrick.
When the visitors from Ireland came to Kawese, we were on school holidays but I still went to school everyday to see them, as I am on the school council. It was funny when their van got stuck in the mud and could not move. We were all pushing it together. Teacher Francis had to come and help them. We rocked the van free and I walked with them the 7km to my home. I did not want them to get lost! It was the rainy season and I showed them how to cross the gorge near my house on foot. We were lucky that we could cross safely that day.
Sometimes it is not so easy!!
My name is Margaret. This is my home, where I live with my parents and brother. My family are bee keepers, but we also have goats and chickens on our farm. We grow corn in the shamba next to our home. We are lucky because my father is also a woodcarver. We are so happy that he was asked to design the name plaque for Saint Patrick‘s Primary School. My family was so proud when the plaque was unveiled at the Opening Ceremony and everyone was clapping and cheering. My class sang a song at the ceremony also to say Asante Sana to our friends from Ireland. The words were “Our dear, dear visitors, from so far away, we will never forget you”. It was lovely.
I like being in Standard Two Class in my new school. I listen to my teacher Veronica who teaches me to read and write. My home is 6km from the school. I leave for school at 6:00 am, carrying my lunch of maize and beans and walk to school crossing a river along the way. Sometimes it is difficult to cross this river especially during the rainy season as there is no bridge.
The highway near our school is so dangerous. Large trucks travelling from Nairobi to Mombasa speed along the roadway carrying goods from the Indian Ocean to Tanzania and Uganda. We used to find it difficult to cross over the highway and get to our old school in Kalimbini which was fifteen kilometres away. But that is in the past as our new school is so much nearer our homes. We all feel much safer now.
We say a little prayer in school every day for our friend Kyoto, a little boy from our locality, who was killed crossing the highway on his way to the old school. We are so sad that he is no longer here. He was lovely, so young, funny and happy, and we all miss him.