Keeping out the rats!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009— The teachers have agreed, at the request of the students, to continue teaching throughout the August holidays in order to cach up on the lessons missed in term one. Again, this shows how the opportunity of an education is something that the students are all completely committed to.

I have collected quotes from local builders to construct the perimeter fence of the compound and to put the racks in the temporary grain store. These racks just raise the bags of the floor by about a foot to prevent damp, and also allow rat poison to be placed on the floor. Moving forward with the two primary businesses is key now and we had a committee meeting to discuss the purchase of the grain. Maize is, like in much of East Africa, the main agricultural product and almost the entire population relies on it. So, understandably, the committee suggests that our main purchase be maize grain [75%], with the rest being made up of ground nuts, millet and beans. This is all to be purchased from local markets, via an order placed with local middle-men, who will deliver the grain at an estimated cost of 5,000ksh.

On Wednesdays, at the chiefs’ request, we had a meeting to invite neighbouring communities to discuss the school. There has been apparent disquiet amongst them regarding the project, which I have been told is simply jealousy and that the same thing happened when the primary school opened. Whether this is true or not, I’m not sure, but the meeting went well. As a result of this, the Director suggested opening up the committee to include members from outside of Ondati itself [not least, because many students are sure to come from the neighbouring communities]. I’m unsure about this, as we have twelve members already [the number agreed on in the constitution], and I am worried that the committee may become overly bureaucratic. Furthermore, we would have to question the ability of someone living further away to attend regular meetings, especially if the road is flooded. I have suggested that the notion be put forward and discussed at the next committee meeting.

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