Moses Deng, our eldest Sudanese boarding school student in Kenya, called in the wee hours this morning. He has his last exam tomorrow – chemistry – and he says he is doing well this term. This is much better than the last when he couldn’t get out of bed and was diagnosed with tuberculosis. He has been on medication for five months and has a couple more to go but says he feels fit.
After he calls, I always call him back since inbound cell phone calls are free in Kenya and they can save their calling time for other necessities.
He was supposed to get out of school on Friday morning but he will be delayed a day since his high school is having a special event. They have had new construction in preparation to become a provincial school and will have a ceremony attended by the Kenyan Education Minister and other dignitaries. They have been doing a lot of sprucing up of the place and were planting flowers today. When we were at Kirobon Secondary School, near Menengai West, last year, I observed some of the best looking dairy cows that I have seen. Moses says that everything looks much better since the multi-year drought has now ended.
Moses will be able to leave school at 6 a.m., Saturday morning, and have a busy day before ending up “at home” in Eldoret that evening. He will make a pass by Mama Akuand’s home in Langa Langa, near Nakuru, to pick up his cell phone which is not allowed in school – although he takes his sim card which he can use in a school or teacher’s phone, or for internet wireless access.
Then he will pick up a money transfer from me before going to Roots Academy in Lanet to pick up James Deng & Simon Matiop, our youngest students in grade six, who are also ending their term and school year. Moses will make a follow-up visit to his doctor and resupply his meds. He may also need to get meds for James’ vitiligo skin condition which are not available in Eldoret. James will revisit his dermatologist, an Egyptian lady, in Eldoret on Monday. Before the 2 1/2 hour matatu trip, Moses will also register to vote in the Sudan CPA Referendum to be held in January.
Agot Thuch, the eighth grade girl we sponsored at Roots, returned to Kakuma refugee camp at the end of October to take the national KCPE test which is required for graduation and to enter secondary school. She registered at Kakuma before we began sponsorship and could not write the test at Roots where she has attended since May.
Michael Garang, Agot’s oldest brother, will get out of school at Narok HS on the 27th and return to Kakuma via Eldoret, spending a night with our five boys who live together in a rented home. Michael and Agot also have a brother, Abraham, who is a fourth grader at Roots Academy and lives with a family in Langa Langa. Their father died a few years ago and their mother died in 2008 following childbirth in or near Juba, Sudan, where she worked. The toddler and a sister, Nyan Kuach, live with their 68 year old grandmother in Kakuma refugee camp.
Joseph Deng and John Mading, who attend Victonell HS in Nakuru, will also register to vote when they get out of school on the 26th. The registration began on Nov 15 and ends Dec 1. It is best for them to register in Nakuru vice Eldoret since they must vote where they sign up and they will be back in school when the referendum occurs.
I will rendezvous with Moses and Deb in Nairobi on the 29th and spend a couple of weeks with the students before returning to the U.S. on the 14th. I told Moses today that I am getting excited to be with them again. They are all great kids and it is good to see what they can do when given a chance. James was number one in his class last term and that is in spite of poor Kiswahili skills.
And so it goes….