Welcome to the Marine Mammal and wildlife Research and Community Development Expedition blog where you can keep up to date with all the happenings and information from Kenya

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Constructing a future

Mkwiro Primary School
I started work on construction coming into the hottest and driest part of the Kenyan year. Working in Mkwiro Primary School was a lot of fun because we were constantly swarmed by children of all ages interested in the tools we were using and what we were doing. Mkwiro is a Muslim village, so women have to be covered from shoulders to knees and wear a headscarf to cover your hair. Working under a scorching sun doing manual labour really leaves you sweating profusely! We were installing gutters and downpipes to collect rain water for the school and village to use during the dry season and hopefully avoid having to buy water.

Heather Best installing gutters

Shimoni Primary School is my favourite working location on construction. It borders the forest so Colobus and Sykes monkeys are frequent visitors.

Tools of the trade
All of our building supplies have to be bought in Mombasa, which means roadtrip! You know you have left Shimoni when after a 40 minute drive down the dirt road you hit tarmac. Once you have crossed into Mombasa via the Mombasa/Likoni ferry the busy city hits you. Negotiating the one way streets and finding parking is only half the fun. Once you locate the stores and have strapped the supplies to the van’s roof you have to find a nice parking attendant to guard it while you finish off the shop. The race is really on to get all the supplies in time to make the 2 1/2 half hour trip back to Shimoni before dark. Although, it’s not the worst thing if you don’t, as you get to travel under light pollution free stars.

Even though it is tough work, it is so rewarding hearing water run down a newly installed downpipe and into a parched holding tank.

Heather Best - Construction volunteer