TGE Trip 2019 – Day 5 8/31

Today marks our last full day in Kenya and we are all very sad… To spend our last day here, the group had two options. One – to visit Sikizana to see the fish farm project that TGE implemented (but it was a 4.5-6 hour drive each way). Second option- to stay at Morning Star for the day and do some more activities with the kids. In the end, Rod, Drew, Harrison, Gary and Ming opted to make the drive to Sikizana and Susan, Terri, Mahre and Jordan opted to spend the day back at Morning Star.

The Sikizana team departed very early in the morning, at 4 AM to be exact, and didn’t return until 10 PM. TGE has funded the first fish farm project Sikizana. This program has about 48 students, a number of which are handicapped, and they met us with overwhelming hospitality. One of the many things that makes Sikizana so special is that they are very progressive with their projects (solar, well, greenhouse, etc.) and they are very self-sufficient from the infrastructure they have built as well as their thriving garden and livestock. They also have a program for mother’s with AIDS who sell the beautiful traditional kiondo baskets the kikuyu women make.
In the first phase of the fish farm project, Sikizana has built 6 concrete fish ponds housing ~300 fish, which will mature in 8 months, and in 5 months they will begin to reproduce. The goal is to have 3,000 catfish and tilapia. The demand is very high for fish protein as people in Kenya look for a healthy alternative to beef so we are very excited to see this project launch and grow!

Back at Morning Star the other team accomplished a multitude of activities with the kids including: cooking the rest of the Shrinky Dinks, decorating their own journals, designing their own paper sunglasses, and beading necklaces. After lunch, Mahre and Jordan left to go to Gichocho with Fantasy Soccer and a group of 26 kids, and Susan and Terri stayed to play with the little ones with bubbles, chalk and balloons! The soccer playing was very impressive and it was great to see how impactful Fantasy Soccer’s programs are for these kids. From the fun of playing to getting to don real uniforms, it was evident how empowering the experience is.

We hoped and tried for another bonfire tonight, but it was to no avail as rain showers broke out and continued late into the night. But we didn’t let that dampen our fun so we gathered in the multipurpose room to watch the new Spiderman and make s’mores! We found that it is possible to safely roast marshmallows indoors over hot coals using a “jiko”. The kids may have been a sticky mess, but the sweet treat was definitely a hit!