23-Aug-2011 13:31, FUJIFILM FinePix S200EXR, 8.0, 17.1mm, 0.003 sec, ISO 100

The main question I asked myself in the last days was: What should I write for the Tumaini blog? This question was challenging to me, not because I had run out of ideas but simply because there were too many topics jumping around in my head, all worth writing about.

I feel so much like sharing all of my valuable moments and the precious life changing experiences I encountered while taking care of Martha during her last months with us; in researching the rules and regulations of running a children’s institution under the laws of Kenya; the joyful and inspiring Thursday afternoons during “Mama Sema”; organizing and establishing a student’s council in High School; identifying needy families in the Likoni region and distributing the basic necessities i.e. clothes, blankets and shoes from Canada.

After some soul searching I got to my final decision: I will share my experience during the preparation of  THE NEW COMPOST SITE OF TUMAINI and the TREE PLANTING EXERCISE!

17-Aug-2011 16:14, FUJIFILM FinePix Z700EXR, 4.4, 9.8mm, 0.006 sec, ISO 200

Since when I can remember, I have always loved nature and all that comes with it, being in the woods, spending time around meadows, making hay with my grandpa and planting kitchen vegetables in our family garden.  Although it is a painful truth, it is quite difficult in our time to live in balance with nature, but I think we, the inhabitants of this planet should strive to care for and protect our environment. Because at the end of the day we are all part of a grand design.

During my stay in Kenya, in particular Likoni, I have come to realize that in Kenya’s major towns’ garbage management is a huge challenge. Many inhabited areas of Likoni are overflowing with garbage, which does not only give the residential areas a disorganized and dirty look and unpleasant smell, but it is unhealthy and contaminates the soil too.

Some weeks ago, we (Boniface, Ali, Kevin, Peter (from Tumaini Kids) and Andrew) discussed and researched between ourselves on how to go about making a good compost site and about the different factors which influence the outcome (soil) and started immediately while digging the two pits, we discovered that the soil is full of inorganic waste, such as plastic, metal and glass. Later on, to separate the compost site from the school compound and to create enough shade to ensure the compost won’t dry up, we decided to plant 2 trees and 12 bushes…. I am really looking forward to the progress and outcome of this project!

17-Aug-2011 16:14, FUJIFILM FinePix Z700EXR, 3.9, 6.4mm, 0.006 sec, ISO 200

To have compost feels really good especially due to the following reasons:
1.We now have a fixed organized place for all our organic waste (from the children’s home, the feeding programme kitchen and home science department)
2. At the end of the composting process we will have plenty of self generated manure, which can be used for different projects, like agriculture classes.

The compost site itself can be used as a model demonstration site for field work studies in the institution to emphasise the important aspects of garbage management, organic recycling and making manure. This will help us to naturally think about our environment and our place in it and create ecological awareness.

My time in Tumaini was amazing. I learnt so much, I got to know many wonderful people with great visions, I will definitely come back. Thank you all!

Written by Teresa Ernst from the Catholic University of Applied Social Sciences, Berlin, Germany

17-Aug-2011 16:14, FUJIFILM FinePix Z700EXR, 3.9, 6.4mm, 0.006 sec, ISO 200

17-Aug-2011 16:15, FUJIFILM FinePix Z700EXR, 3.9, 6.4mm, 0.006 sec, ISO 200