Archive for June, 2013

Rovers Go Wild!

Saturday, June 29th, 2013
18-Jun-2013 10:38, Nokia Nokia 800, 2.2, 0.001 sec

“Doncaster Rovers are scoring success in Africa on an expedition to help youngsters in Kenya” Doncaster Free Press reports…

Glyn and Jane, staff and students at Tumaini Timbwani and Mgambonyi shout a HUGE thank you to Doncaster Rovers Community Sports and Education Foundation, (Liam and Jenna – you’re superb leaders). To Npower, for their support towards the expedition, (Jodie and Rachel – the leap of faith was worth it – we’re happy you made it!) To Brian Butcher, for pulling us all together, supporting Doncaster Rovers and Education for Life. To all the team members (you made Donny proud as you threw yourselves in 100%, despite achy limbs, injuries and the chilly weather, haha) and all your supporters who made this trip possible and of course, Donny the cow! (From funds raised for a family in Taita Hills) A huge thank you too, to Mr Juma at Tumaini and Pastor Ronald at Mgambonyi for your generous hospitality!

Every second counts… it surely did! From the moment the team arrived they were busy. After a 24 hour journey we gave them 2 hours to recharge and then a whistle-stop tour around Tumaini before helping the cooks to prepare to serve “Special Meal” (the once a month treat at Tumaini) – not forgetting the huge pile of washing up. Next, came a tour around the village to get a feel for their surroundings and learn about life in and around Timbwani (with great insight from Njagi, a village elder)

19-Jun-2013 15:29, FUJIFILM FinePix Z700EXR, 6.4, 6.4mm, 0.003 sec, ISO 200

The next few days is when one of the goals of the trip was scored – to use football to engage and interact with communities who share similarities, despite being thousands of miles apart. Youngsters and teachers from Donny were fully immersed within Tumaini classes; students shadowed our students; teachers shadowed teachers and then later in the day everyone enjoyed some skills practice for football and later some for basketball too.  Football is an international language, for young and old alike, playing, supporting, building teams and appreciating each other for the skills we have.

Sports and Fun Day was a great day for English folk – it rained… and rained… and rained, but true to form matches were played, goals were scored and in between when the rain came heavily most of the supporters ran for cover. Smiles covered the faces of children in Tumaini, as activities were going on all over. Rovers were impressed with the skill and passion of our girl’s team, although one or two came away with injuries from tackles!

19-Jun-2013 15:47, FUJIFILM FinePix Z700EXR, 6.4, 6.4mm, 0.003 sec, ISO 400

After playing the whole day, Friday morning saw a very early start, sleeping bags and Rovers pillows at the ready for a long journey to Taita Hills. Travelling in Africa often brings challenges, so problem solving and a creative mind is imperative (all part of the experience!) Having set off at 6am, we finally arrived at the football field at Mgambonyi Primary School at 1.50pm ready for football at 2pm. Three local teams were ready to face the team from Doncaster Rovers. People had gathered from miles around, they’d heard the stories and come to see the first English people ever to play on their pitch. The team began with fun and skills training, the sounds of fun and joy filled the air as footballers learned new skills; meanwhile a group of children could be heard shouting, “Doncaster, Doncaster,’ led by Jenna. Games finished around 5pm and the Rovers team left the field exhausted, yet invigorated from the wonderful couple of days. But then, legs began to stiffen and joints began to ache so we all took a walk through the forest to stretch muscles and watch the sun setting at the top of the hills. We met 3 ladies carrying water on their heads who shouted, “How was the game?” (News spreads fast!)

We all woke early the next morning to go to meet Donny the cow and the family she’d been given to. Ferdinand, Martha and their family were eagerly waiting to meet the team and their youngest son Philip very quickly made friends with everyone, running, playing and having fun. Ferdinand told us that he used to struggle to buy milk for his family, but now Donny is giving 6 litres in a morning and 3 at night, which means they have enough for the family and some to sell to Brookside dairy.

22-Jun-2013 08:45, Nokia Nokia 800, 2.2, 0.005 sec

It is yet to be confirmed if Donny is already in calf; after giving birth her milk yield should increase. Ferdinand’s family gave us a tour of their fields growing cabbage; baby marrow and Napier grass and then gave us a special treat of fresh macadamia nuts, straight from the tree. Most of us had to enlist the help of a young girl to crack open the outer skin of the nut with her teeth before we could start trying to crack the shell on the rocks.

True to the name, ‘Rovers Go Wild’ the final day was spent on safari. What an amazing time we had! Upon entering the park we came across a family of elephants and then not long afterwards sat with a family of 8 lions. It was fun to watch the lions grooming each other, but then tracking them from a respectful distance and watching them play was awesome! Check this out!

Rovers Go Wild? They sure did! What a wonderful wealth of experience for the youngsters and team members who came… and what a privilege it was to host them and see the children here in Timbwani and Mgambonyi soaking up the experience too!

Thank you!!!      

21-Jun-2013 11:30, FUJIFILM FinePix S200EXR, 8.0, 18.0mm, 0.008 sec, ISO 100

21-Jun-2013 12:21, FUJIFILM FinePix S200EXR, 7.1, 9.8mm, 0.003 sec, ISO 100

World Environment Day

Tuesday, June 11th, 2013
26-Jul-2012 14:23, FUJIFILM FinePix T400, 5.2, 14.9mm, 0.006 sec, ISO 100

On Wednesday 5th June, a number of students and a couple of teachers were invited to celebrate the day with other schools at Diani Estate (a farm owned by a cement factory, investing in tree planting and other conservation initiatives)

As we were due to set off from Tumaini we had a slight confusion, we didn’t seem to have enough space for the number of children and when Madam Sarah started to count the children who’d been selected, she found that we had 2 cheeky stow-aways trying to sneak on the trip – there was a lot of excitement, but sadly they had to remain behind!

We arrived at the event and children read the banners that were being erected and enjoyed chatting with their teachers about land reclamation, which they’d been taught about in Social Studies earlier in the year.

As different stalls were being set up the children sat writing a speech about conserving energy as there were varying activities planned during the day.

The first event of the day was a 4km race and the participants were of mixed ages and abilities from primary age to secondary school age and even some adults. As they were warming up, Fundi noticed a small group of boys who looked discouraged and a little scared so, in his own style, he came along side them and got them doing star jumps to give them courage – nice one Fundi! Five Tumaini Primary students were excited to enter the race, Bryton, Brian, Lee, Saumu and Mwaka. (Mr Gitonga also started with them to encourage them; he then came to join us in cheering them on at the finish line)   

Bryton Sosmo finished in 4th place overall, and a clear 1st in primary students – Well Done Bryton! Bryan came in next – Great job Bryan and then Lee, Saumu and Mwaka – Well Done! You guys and girls must be fit!

After the race there were dancers in colourful traditional costumes, poems, speeches and exhibition stands to enjoy.

Everybody was excited and enjoyed a wonderful day of fun! 

05-Jun-2013 08:54, FUJIFILM FinePix Z700EXR, 3.9, 6.4mm, 0.008 sec, ISO 200
26-Jul-2012 14:20, FUJIFILM FinePix T400, 5.6, 30.3mm, 0.004 sec, ISO 100
05-Jun-2013 09:52, FUJIFILM FinePix Z700EXR, 6.4, 6.4mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 200
05-Jun-2013 09:54, FUJIFILM FinePix Z700EXR, 4.7, 15.2mm, 0.008 sec, ISO 200