Summer Holiday time in Europe is the busiest time here in Nyahururu as there are many visitors coming to St.Martin to visit the community and have a short experience of working in one of the community programmes. Here in Kenya welcoming visitors is also something special. So each person who is coming is welcomed very well by the hosts.
For us this time was also very busy but for many different reasons.
Our L’Arche workshops are developing quickly. We have welcomed a new trainee called Janet, who is working in the workshops. She has unique artistic skills and good attitude to work. Currently she is in Candle Workshop, and the quality of candles has improved greatly since she joined us. We have started selling candles in Curio shop in Boston House and last week we did some tests for scented candles, so pretty soon we will be ready to develop a proper catalogue of our candles. But apart from the fact that Janet is helping to improve our workshops she has also become a good friends of ours, so we are happy to have her around.
In craft workshop there are some changes as well: we made a few samples of Xmas cards and straight away we have our first order of 180 cards, so the next two weeks will be very busy… but everybody is so happy that finally we made cards which can be sold! The sign of getting more and more professional was manifested on the day when both workshops got their working uniforms – everybody wears them with a pride and for some it’s even difficult to leave them in the workshop. All those changes makes us really motivated and thinking about starting new workshops comes on agenda during different meetings –now we are just waiting when development sub-committee of L’Arche Kenya Board will find a time to focus on this subject.
Before the end of August we have moved the house. Our new house is smaller, but we feel here more home as it’s more like family home –one of the few in local neighbourhood. We still have a guest room (occupied almost all the time since we moved in), but because the house is more easy to access – we started to have more visitors who just pop in and say ‘hello’ after work, which we like a lot. Yesterday Sara had her first visitors – children from the neighbourhood and she enjoyed the visit a lot, she even cried when they had to leave.
Last week we welcomed Ewa and Beata – two visitors from Poland who have come for experience in St.Martin. It is great to have them around. Now we can’t get bored during the weekend, since we are the ones responsible for organising their free time. And those who know us well will know that travelling is our favourite activity. Important thing to mention about Ewa and Beata: It is thanks to them that we are able to do many new things in our workshops, as they brought to us many materials we can use for producing better candles and cards. Thanks to them for that!
And finally (after months of waiting and some complications) we have received entry permit, which means that now we can legally stay in Kenya. But since it gives us the status of the residents in Kenya there are some more benefits of having these documents. Now we don’t have to pay tourist fees for accessing tourist attractions. And the difference is quite serious. Sometimes it means we pay 7 or 8 times less than the tourists… That is why we decided to celebrate our second anniversary in Crater Lake Lodge. It was our first weekend away since we have arrived in Nyahururu. We have spent it together with the grandmother and brother of French volunteer Alice – one of our best friends here. The weekend was very special especially that Sara is at the age when each day brings new surprises. She walks and runs with confidence now, recognises and loves watching animals. Last month she called all animals: ‘moo’, but now she is able to differentiate between ‘moo’ (cattle), ‘ko,ko’ – polish sound for chicks (for poultry and all kind of birds) and ‘hau’ – polish sound for barking (for dogs and monkeys)… and today when we visited Nakuru with Janet and our visitors from Poland, she was able to say: zebra, baboon and bawół (polish for buffalo). It’s good to see her growing, but a bit strange that in her so far short life she has seen more zebras and giraffes than cats.