In June, right before we showed up, a group of students from the Vail Mountain School came to Meru to build a chicken/goat/rabbit pen for KACH. Mikey and I heard lots about their trip from the Meru community and wanted to say...
Dear Ethically Engaged Youth of Vail Mountain School,
The housing structure for the goats, chickens and rabbits looks incredible! It definitely added to the shock factor of not seeing the KACH site since October, and now we are able to see something from our crayon drawn plan come to be. I have heard stories of the work that took place while you were here and I chuckle as I am sure you now know exactly what I was trying to explain to you at VMS back in April. The first six chickens just moved in the other day, and I can't wait to see the completed picture with chickens, goats, and rabbits. It has been great to hear about how much fun it was for all the workers to have you around for 10 days. They tell us that there was an energy and excitement everyday that really impacted and motivated everyone on the site. Bernard asks my mom everytime he sees her, "Michele, What have you done with my students?"
One thing that I have learned is the impact we have on the locals through the work we do. You all have definitely left this mark behind, as the workers are still trying to wrap their heads around the fact that a group of students came all the way from America to help remove old nails from scrap wood, and with such enthusiasm and conviction. In their eyes you gave them dignity in their work; you gave it a meaning that it previously lacked; you inspired them to take pride in what they were doing and helped define what KACH is really about. For this I applaud you! We are also staying with Auntie Kathy and Juju Anna and the overall effect you had here is the same. There isn't a dinner that goes by without a mentioning of the VMS students and how fun, polite, interesting and intriguing they were. Actually we have heard the same message from just about everyone who was lucky enough to cross paths with you. I feel a tinge of pride every time I hear about the Students from Vail, as I know we come from the same place and am honored to have worked on the same project as you.
I want to say Asante Sana Sana for the incredible work that you did as the impact that you left behind has rippled through to help open eyes and touch hearts. I am sure that Meru had a similar effect on you. It is the showing up and doing like you did that truly inspires those who lay witness. You provided much more than food for the children who will call KACH home.
Vail Mountain School crew,
Mikey pretty much summed it up but I wanted to add a few words and tip my hat to you as well! The goat/chicken/rabbit pen looks awesome and I really enjoyed hearing all the stories about your visit in Meru as well. One of my favourite story is about how some of the local workers were rolling their eyes when they first saw the girls trying to pull nails out of the old boards and how these 16 year old girls learned, gained confidence and were working just as hard as any of the guys on the job site... and impressing the heck out of them!
I wish I had the guts to do something like that when I was your age (such a cliche thing to say..!). I know you had to go out of your comfort zone to come all the way to Meru so that you can help the Kithoka community and that's no small thing..! Bravo! The veggies you planted are looking good too, Simon insisted I included some pics of those as well. Bernard says hello!
PS; The pen is also one of my favorite spot to hang out at, later in the day when the work is done.