Holiday greetings from Nguluni to all my friends and family in the States. I cannot believe this will be my second Christmas celebrated in Africa and that I am on the downhill side of my service to Peace Corps. It has been an adventure in so many ways and one that I am grateful to have undertaken. I have learned so much (mostly about me) and only hope to retain my insights when I return home. My friends in Nguluni have helped fill voids, but there is nothing like being surrounded by family and friends during the holiday season. I wish you all the best for 2010.
Our follow-up World Aids Day event is OVER and I consider it a success. I think we reached over 500 members of the community and hopefully tested a large number of them. We are waiting to find out how many were tested. I am including only a few of the 100's of pictures taken. I had 5 PCVs come from their sites to help and it was great having them here for moral support and just to help. I cannot thank them enough.
2010 will be busy, which is good as it will help the months fly by. Jan 3-6 I will be busy with the GAD (Gender and Development) auction in Nairobi to raise funds for Camp GLOW. It will be held at the US Ambassadors house where the swearing in of the new volunteers take place. The end of January I hope to travel to the coast (Mombasa) for a GAD/Camp GLOW planning meeting and to celebrate my medicare birthday with other PCVs. February and March will be a long over due trip to Loitokitok to see Mama Hellen (my hostess for our 2 months training) and a trip to Mt. Longonot and the Aberderes with some other AARP members of PC. I am looking foward to both. April will be Camp GLOW for a week. This is a camp for young girls (13-18) to empower them and encourage them in their life choices. I am really looking forward to this. After that, who knows.
Sandwiched in amongst all of this I will continue to work with KVTC, the nursery school and the environmental club at the secondary school. I have met some incredible people who give a face to the hope of Kenya.
Most of you know, Rusty (aka Russ these days) and Shannon (Baba and Mama Lucy) are expecting another baby in February. I am saddened to miss the event, and only hope to make up for lost time when I return. I was able to skype them last week and it was a treat to see Russ and Shannon and see Lucy in action. Ohioan cousins, Dick and Linda were in Kenya last week on safari. Fortunately they had a stay in Nanyuki at the base of Mt. Kenya so I traveled there to see them. It was a great visit. Besides, the Lodge was absolutely fantastic and the food was incredible.
I had mid-service medical and dental and all is good. I am so grateful that I have remained healthy and have had no problems.
Life continues to be good here. I enjoy every day and try to adjust/overlook those areas that would normally cause me stress.
So here are a few pictures of the WAD event to close with. I do wish you all a great and happy holiday season.
Ninapenda wote Mutanu (I love you all, Pat)