Monday, November 24, 2014

Olojai – One Week On

So I am back home in a small village in Yorkshire. After a good night’s sleep I am having a day at home to get organised before heading into work tomorrow. It has given me time to reflect on the comparison between this Monday and last, when I was helping out Deborah and her sons in Olojai.
Collecting water from the 'well'
Deborah carrying water home
Today, I have got up, there has been no gardening (as yet anyway).
I had a quick hot shower. I could wash my hands after using the toilet.
I made breakfast and ate it, just by opening the cupboards and fridge. No digging needed. No trips to the well required. Washing up involved turning on the tap.
I have been cleaning, but it hasn’t made me fifthly. I tidied away some toys - I didn’t see ANY on my trip. I also put some washing in the machine and just turned it on. Easy.
I will prepare dinner. No need to kill the chicken and get my child to help gut it. The vegetables are already prepared, no shelling or peeling needed.
Preparing herbs for the chicken
Deborah and Oscar (aged 4) preparing the chicken that was running around 5 minutes earlier
My daughter is at school and has shoes to wear. She has clean water to drink and a safe toilet there. There is food prepared for lunch. She has a classroom and comes home (relatively) clean. There are books, games, computers, paper and pens. There is not going to be a celebration if someone donates 200 new pencils. But why shouldn’t there be? Why should we take all this for granted?
The people in Olojai all seemed happy. Their drive to change things, to make a better live for themselves was inspirational. They were a joyous community and we made a difference to their futures just by being there. It goes without saying that they are still living off the back of my visit – it will be talked about for years to come, how those Muzungos (white people) had never seen a chicken killed, couldn’t use a hoe, were really weak and didn’t know that peanuts grow in the ground. We anticipate that children will be named for us and when WaterAid manage to help them install a clean water source, there will be a party in our honour.
I feel privileged to have visited and honoured that I can make such a difference. Olojai, I will not forget you.

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