May has been a month of extremes in Ondati. While we have made some determined progress on the school businesses, factors outside our control have caused some severe disturbances to the project.

The month started very well with the bee-keeping project finally being established after the initial six hives were brought from Kisumu and set up in the apiary. The local bee colonies showed interest immediately and it was only a matter of days before the first hive was buzzing with activity. All students took part in the planting of the school farm and were organised into groups that were then assigned areas to manage. This was the first of their involvement in project activities that it is hoped will help sustain the school and teach them practical skills in the process.

Soon after, the hitherto gentle rainy season turned ugly, causing damage to our half constructed grain store, illness to one of our dairy cows and decimation of the newly planted school farm. Luckily the ferocity of the rains subsided after a week and no lasting damage was caused.

Another slightly unnerving event was the ousting of the acting head teacher by a small section of the community who were thought to have been bribed by individuals carry out the task. What at first seems like such a friendly and peaceful village actually has, under the surface, a bubbling potential for instability.

It basically all boils down to poverty and ignorance but that makes it even more essential to sensitise the community and show as much transparency as possible. This is something that stakeholders have vowed to focus on as the project picks up momentum. After all that, I’m quite glad to have a little break, let the mind recoup and indulge in some of the comforts that the city provides.

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