Day at Jomvu

To give the upcoming high school students a break from the Royal Kids School compound, I took them out to Jomvu for a day in a more relaxed, rural environment.  Jomvu is about a thirty-minute walk from the school and it lies next to a channel of the Indian ocean. Its marked by rolling hills, and these wide tidal plains. Depending on the tides, this plain will fill in with water. To the far left is Veryans, and the to the far right are Henry, Samuel, and Kidiesh. Hesbon and Evance also came along, but they were kicking around the soccer ball.

Samuel and Henry kicked the ball around a good amount. But the point of the day, to give them a chance to run around in such a wide open space, was quickly defeated by the sun’s heat.  We ended up spending most of the day lounging around in the shade of trees and eating food.

I really liked this picture of Veryans, taken by one of the boys (the camera was passed around as usual). Since Veryans is so quiet, its hard to catch her in a moment of laughter, but she really enjoyed relaxing and sharing stories with the others.

Like I said earlier, most of our day was spent eating.  Royal Kids School has a farm and one-room school house in Jomvu (it currently goes up grade four). We cooked our meal on their open fire.  Catherine, lives on the farm, and prepares all the meals at Jomvu Royals. She also helped us get started today. But the boys were the ones who took over the rest of the food preparation.

Samuel cut up the tomatoes. He comes from western Kenya, and was one of the top students on the national high school entrance exam. All the boys are very helpful, but I would have to say he’s the sweetest. He seems to enjoy everything he does, whether its studying or chores, he always has a grin on his face.  The only time I’ve personally seen his brow furrow is when he can’t understand my American English accent.

Evance sorted through the omena (minnows) that we bought from a vegetable stand down the road. Sitting behind him is Hesbon, who didn’t help with prep work, but handled the cooking of the omena stew.

This is the finished product. Minnow stew with ugali (made from corn flour). I can honestly say it was absolutely delicious. This picture was my serving, which was about a quarter the size of the kids’ servings. Hesbon and Evance, below, thoroughly enjoyed their serving size of ugali and omena. It’s incredible how much food they can pack in.

Jomvu is one of my favorite places in Kenya. The farm here provides the school with corn, and used to have a cow and goats before finances got tight. All around the property are trees that have been planted to sell as timber several years from now. And Ngao, the school’s founder, has several botanical experiments on the property. A variety of cacti, aloe vera plants, and many more plants I don’t recognize are thriving here. There’s no electricity, no running water, but its a great escape from the cramped urban living in Mikindani.  I’ll leave you with some of the students pictures from the day.

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