My daughter Devaki, who many of you know from the Everyday Yoga in my Gaiam DVDs, works for a foundation called Mwebaza where she connects poor African schools with American Elementary schools. Currently she is in Kenya – a pretty dangerous place for Americans right now – doing her thing! Happily, she is blogging about her journey to these schools and I was BLOWN AWAY by this post and just had to share with you all. It is a must read. Hope you like it!
Wednesday, July 2, 2014
Today I woke up excited to return to Empakasi Primary School for the first time this year. Empakasi is partnered with Eagle Crest Elementary School in Longmont, CO; for more information regarding this partnership, please click here. Empakasi School is in a very remote area, surrounded on three sides by Nairobi National Park and about 15 miles outside of Nairobi. As we travel up a long and dusty dirt road on our way to the school, we come to a halt when we see three dogs chasing a rabbit into the road. The rabbit is nicked by one of the dogs’ paws and in a matter of seconds the rabbit is split in 3 and each dog is enjoying their piece of breakfast.
Once we reached Empakasi School, I made it my priority to visit the neighboring bore hole where Empakasi gets their water. However, as everyone knows corruption is widespread in Africa, so it didn’t surprise me when I heard that the bore hole operator was stealing the community’s money, which was supposed to pay for the electricity to run the bore hole pump. Therefore, the electricity has recently been shut off by the city and everyone is without water. To add to the complication, the pipes that run the water from the bore hole to the school have broken. After so many setbacks, I was comforted to know that the old bore hole operator had been fired and a new, trustworthy operator hired in his place. Undoubtedly, a reliable source of water is a prerequisite for any kind of sustainable lunch program- a program that the students at Eagle Crest voted was the most important project to institute at Empakasi.
After Sammy and I left Empakasi, we turned our sights toward Machakos County, the home of one of Kenya’s many spectacles. After a long drive, we pull off to the side of an uphill road called Kaloleni, where a group of men meet us carrying bottles full of water. One man steps out in the middle of the road and starts rolling his water bottle down the pavement. I watched unimpressed. Then slowly the water bottle comes to a stop. I am surprised because it is still on a downhill slope. Then, the water bottle starts to creep UP the hill. I am in awe. And it keeps rolling up the hill gaining speed. Then another man pours his water out on the pavement, and instead of it running down the road, it starts to running UP the road! They say that it is because there is a mercury deposit under the road that causes all things to roll up the hill, even cars. When he says that, I look at Sammy and hop back in the car waiting to test his claim. We reverse down to the bottom of the hill, Sammy puts the car in neutral, and sure enough, the car starts rolling UP THE HILL! I still don’t quite understand it, but I swear it’s true. I would upload a video to prove it but the internet it too slow, as the saying goes… T.I.A. (This Is Africa).
I have thoroughly enjoyed my time in Kenya so far, yet there is still much to do. Stay tuned!!!
LifeSpa Note: It seems that this region has become quite famous for water and cars rolling uphill. You can find some entertaining videos on YouTube showing this effect, which appears to be an optical illusion. That said, altars, temples, and ancient love stories have been built around this “mystical” phenomenon.
You can follow her journey here: http://mwebazafoundation2014.blogspot.com/.
For more detailed information about the Mwebaza Foundation and their work in the world, you can visit their website here: http://www.mwebaza.org/.