Project to Kenya

Every year six senior students, accompanied by members of staff, visit the Parish of Londiani, in Kenya as part of an aid mission from St Paul’s High School to Kenya.

The students work missionary priests from the Society of St Patrick in Kiltegan, in their daily work in schools, hospitals and clinics.

Our next group of students will visit Kenya in late January 2014.  The students will be accompanied by Chaplain, Father Dermot Maloney, Head of Year 14, Mrs Pauline McGuinness and teacher of Irish, Mr Stephen Quinn.

Our students will keep a blog of their visit to Londiani here.  Check back soon for more details and photographs from Kenya.

Kenya 10x8Day 8 

Friday morning began with an early start as we met some representatives from Friends of Londiani at 8.15 at their offices, across the road from the compound. Nora, Caroline and Richard began by telling us of their simple aim of empowering the local people. The group had been founded by Sligo man, Martin Balentine and Kerry lady Maria Kidney (now Mr and Mrs Balentine) with an objective of driving it on to become more and more Kenyan led.

To that effect there are well-established links to 5 schools in Ireland and Londiani hospital is also paired with Mayo General Hospital where good practice is shared. The group has been able to provide a new theatre in Londiani, which eliminates the need to travel the substantial distance to Kericho or Nukuru.

This provision has saved countless lives. A current project is underway to build a much-needed maternal health shelter. There are approximately 100 births per month in the area, the vast majority happening at home with little or no medical support. As a result many mothers and babies alike are at a huge health risk.

After an enlightening meeting we bade farewell to Friends and we split up into two groups again to visit Kap Kondor and Moi Sorget secondary schools. One group went with Fr. Con and the other with Fr. Martin. On these mid-distance journeys we receive a commentary on virtually any topic and today Martin chose to speak about politics.

His razor sharp accuracy and insight is comparable to any resource on the Discovery or History channels and today he illuminated the presidency situation in Kenya and how it has changed, slightly, over the years. It is clear that he doesn’t have any particular party loyalty, rather, he tells his tale from the perspective of a neutral by-stander, on the side of the less-favoured.

When we arrived at Moi Sorget the principal, Paul, gave us a very informative talk in his office where we had a very insightful discussion about the schooling systems in Kenya and in Ireland. Shane, in particular, made a very lucid contribution to the conversation, giving details on subject choices and grade requirements. One stark contrast, other than the gulf in facilities, is the differences in timetable – their schoolday begins at 6.50 and continues until 5.30. Although we all love school dearly, those hours didn’t appeal to many!

We were then shown to the canteen where we were given some chai. The reaction to that was mixed to say the least but local girls Marian and Shela were very accommodating and gulped down any surplus we had. We were then treated to a fantastic exhibition in speech, drama and song as a few excellent satires had been prepared to entertain us. In true St. Paul’s fashion our own crew were more than happy to join in on stage and the visit ended with Rosie donning the heavy shoes and fascinating the crowd.

Friday afternoon saw us visit Baraka Farm and Agricultural College which specialises in teaching the local farmers how to maximise production and to save space, particularly utilising drought-friendly crops. We had a very enjoyable tour where we saw a vast array of farming types on the 20 acre site. They offer 16 month and 3 year courses to provide the locals with some qualifications and to, more importantly, empower them to fully utilise the potential of their own shambas.

To conclude our visit we were invited into Fr. Brian Tracey’s beautiful home/retreat centre for some refreshments and marveled at the glorious surroundings.

We took a walk around his garden and had great fun attempting to master the labyrinth – some with more success and determination than others! We finished with some prayers in the beautiful chapel and Fr. Brian prayed God’s blessing on us, referring to a recent message from the Pope encouraging young people to embrace enjoyment in life and to take care in the midst of a sometimes overpowering influence of technology – very relevant words for us in terms of our experience.

We arrived home quite late for tea, buzzing about our great day and all participated in a rip-roaring sing-along session led by the charismatic Fr. Martin as he performed a song/chant about his beloved Cork Rebels. What a fantastic day!

 Day 7

On Thursday we visited Tulwap Kipsigi primary and secondary schools. Tulwap refers to a huge hill which dominates the horizon. It is a spiritual hill with a rich history symbolising growing up and also steeped in tragedy. The vision printed on the wall reads ‘To be a centre of excellence in promoting literacy, eradicating poverty and to produce responsible citezens.’ We all felt it such an aspiring mission for the school and were impressed from the offset.

The children swarmed into a huge circle and obediently sat down, excitedly listening to the introductions. They applauded our presence and then learned the numbers 1-10 in Irish, roaring out their responses. We, in turn, learned the same in Swahili but needed much more scaffolding to make it stick! We had some more performances and presentations and then the children could take no more and flocked around us; touching our hair and skin shaking and shaking hands and screaming in delight. We felt so welcome and appreciated, in many situations this behaviour would make one feel uncomfortable but the children were so innocently and naturally inquisitive that we enjoyed the attention immensely.

We returned to our compound and joined Fr. Con for lunch before splitting up into groups to celebrate house masses and to visit the sick with Fr. Dermot and Fr. Martin giving them a blessing. The was a bittersweet experience for us as on one hand we were thrilled to see old men and women gush with delight at our appearances in their basic yet proud homes, but the visits ended when the two groups merged to visit a little boy who had been extremely badly burned when he fell into a fire.

His wounds drew a few tears and pale faces from our group yet he smiled appreciatively when we shared a few sweets with him.

We journeyed home in a subdued fashion, each of us collecting thoughts on the experience. When we arrived back, some presents had been left for us – t-shirts from Baraka in thanksgiving for the presents we had given previously.

It was just the lift we needed as a long day with much walking included had taken its toll and the red, stinging sunburn had drained everyone. We chatted a little after tea and spent some time applying aftersun on one another before having an early night.

Day 6

On Wednesday we had a road trip with Fr. Paddy who kept spirits sky high during the entire time with jokes and banter enjoyed by all. We were on our way to the Live With Hope center, a clinic run by Glaswegian Sister Plascida. Sr. Plascida is no stranger to St. Paul’s and both Shane and Tara had met her on the 2013 Lourdes trip.

The larger than life character descended an outside staircase and rushed towards our bus. Warm embraces followed and she busied herself learning the remaining names. The centre was opened in 2000 and relies solely on donors for funding with no government support. It has been expanding consistently since and the main thrust of its message is to live positively with HIV and AIDS.

The centre acts in the first instance as a testing clinic for HIV but fulfils so many other essential roles. It acts as a general health centre and helps people manage medical programmes. The centre has many different sections in addition to the health clinic including a shirt printing workshop, a maize mill, a school outreach programme specialising in safe sex and rape awareness and a family reintroduction department. It’s truly inspirational how Sr. Plascida has created and developed such a facility for the people of Kericho from scratch with little support. Her visionary ideas and attention to the need for self-sufficiency are most impressive.

Tackling the core of HIV and AIDS is central to the thinking of the centre hence the creation of the the Family of God shelter for young homeless boys. We were lucky enough to visit some of the boys and shared a heart-warming experience when their eyes lit up along with gasps of delight when they saw a football and, particularly, some t-shirts. The boys sang for us and clapped loudly as we performed.

We continued along, passing through a slum area where we were greeted with smiles, waves and a chorus of ‘Jambo,’ and visited the OVC – Orphans and Vulnerable Children center where the staff and kids took us on a tour of their facility.

The medicine cabinet alone proved difficult to view – a stark reminder of the living conditions into which some of these children are born. We ended our visit to Kericho with a 45 minute sing-a-long and a hugely competitive ‘Heads, Shoulders, Knees and Toes’ drew the beautiful shrill laughter. Another wonderful experience for our group as we began to realise just what a special place this is.

Day 5

Today we had a full day away from the compound. We were all up around 7.00 and on our way towards Mugumyni by 8.30. Today Con was our pilot and we had a mixture of tarmac and dirt roads. As we bounced around the minibus Mr. Quinn got his first experience of the middle of the back seat – no enviable position. Con showed us many of the ruined houses we’d been discussing the previous night. They were destroyed right to the foundations and obviously the former occupants hadn’t been able to return. We prayed for them and for a safe journey for ourselves.

Along the way Con suddenly pulled in. We could see a few stalls but this was not much of a reason, especially for Con, to stop. Then it came into view – we were on the Equator Line! What a moment. We gathered around the large sign, which read ‘Hakuna Matata’ and of course burst into song and regaled childhood stories about The Lion King.

We had great fun hopping, skipping and jumping from the northern to southern hemisphere and back, an experience none of us had ever believed would be ours. After some photos… and many more photos, we took a look around the stalls and were in transit once again, thankfully on the tarmac for much of the way. At an altitude of 9,100 ft the views were simply breathtaking. The photo or two we have to show you doesn’t at all do justice to the outstanding and majestic beauty to be witnessed in every direction. The birds lilted us a merry tune almost knowing this was a totally new encounter for us, one that they could make all the more powerfully memorable.

We visited Tandeno Secondary School where principal Francis introduced himself, staff and students to us and he explained at length the eight, four, four schooling system in Kenya. He spoke of how schools like Tandeno were running without government aid and he revealed the importance of donors such as St. Paul’s to the school’s viability.

Tandeno had been shut down after the turn of the millennium and Francis had been headhunted in 2008 to oversee the reopening of the school. Numbers are strengthening all the time and although they aren’t competing on a level playing field (they have limited electricity and no IT provision) their grades are strong. A wonderful example of how a community and a hardworking staff can achieve success together.

The school is expanding and a new building is in progress at the moment. Francis thanked the St. Paul’s family specifically for making this growth possible and we swelled with pride. We were treated to five lengthy Kipsigi dances – a trend which was begun during a St. Paul’s trip some years ago. It sparked a huge reaction in the school and community and now Tandeno participates in competitions at county level, achieving third place last year. There are seven counties in Kenya with a population of around 30 million so this represents a huge success.

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After a soda and some chat we made the short stroll over to a local house where we experienced our very first Kenyan house mass, all in Swahili. We were able to keep track of what was going on with Aaron and Pauric joining the local congregation with their guitars. During the ceremony we kept time with our hosts, praying in English and Irish along with the Swahili we knew. The seating arrangement was cramped but comfortable and everything was going so well… until a large basin of holy water appeared for Fr. Con’s blessing.

The quick-thinking Mrs. McGuinness moved towards the doorway but Mr. Quinn wasn’t so lucky and was drenched from head to toe, much to the amusement of Tara and Rosie – just as well we’re in 30-degree heat! In customary hospitable Kenyan fashion; the family provided food for the congregation. We feared the worst but when the lids came off a feast appeared before our eyes and we were really treated. When the Chai (milk, sugar and tea mixed together and left bubbling all morning) came the reactions were varied.

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We finished up by providing some entertainment and everyone joined in. Despite our students feeling a bit nervous, they break free from their inhibitions time and time again and display this undeniable and special talent to delight any audience. The support they offer each other and the staff is truly empowering and the group grows closer and closer.

We then took a short trip to Mugumyni church where we signed the local visitors’ book and saw some familiar names including our recently retired principal Mr. Mooney. We visited the local primary school where we were treated to more dances and our students and Mrs. McGuinness were ‘invited’ to join in. How she wasn’t in Strictly is a total mystery.

The principal and his staff were disciplinarians and a little heavy handed with the children. That didn’t sit especially well with us who are so used to a situation of mutual respect. We have to remember that it’s a different country, with a different culture and that not all aspects will appeal to us. During a short photo session the kids got so excited and our hair and skin was too enticing to pass up so we had to endure some nips and pulls. All in the name of fun!

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We wearily returned to the compound with Fr. Con and had an extremely competitive game of charades and another sing-a-long before the larger than life character of Fr. Paddy Hyland arrived! More about him in tomorrow’s blog. God bless and speak soon,

The Londiani Nine!

Day 4

On Monday we had our first experiences of visiting the schools of Londiani. During our time here, We will visit many of the schools and other institutions sponsored by Fr. Martin and Fr. Con. We spent the morning in Kipsirichet Secondary School. We were treated to some soda and biscuits then met students and teachers and we entertained each other with songs and dances.

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We were given a tour of the school and saw how the money that the St. Paul’s community raises for our projects is used. This includes a 50,000 litre water tank, the school’s new block, built in 2007 and the new library, built in 2013. Students use lockable desks and their entire books stay in school all the time. Teachers work with chalkboards and they move around to the students’ room for each class. It’s a very different timetable from the one we’re so used to in Ireland – the school day begins at 7.00 a.m. and finishes at 5.00 p.m.

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We presented gifts of pens and a football to the students who gasped at Shane’s wizardry during a short demonstration With the ball, not the pens!

Next we visited Kipsirichet polytech, a vocational institution where boys and girls can attend to learn crafts such as carpentry or sewing. The facilities were so basic – old fashioned sewing machines and paper, rather than fabric materials. Despite the lack of resources the atmosphere was so cheerful and positive and the students entertained us with a roaring performance.

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After presentations of pens, a football and jerseys an excited interaction took place and our boys had obviously found themselves some admirers. Sadly we had to dash true love’s young dream and continue on our merry way to Baraka Secondary School.

Today was a very special day for this school. Like us, they have appointed a new principal called Mr. Mutai who has just come to the school two weeks ago. In addition, their first formers were on their very first day. We felt so privileged that the school were prepared to spend an afternoon with us despite this being an extremely busy day for them.

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After dinner Fr. Martin showed us a DVD of a documentary called ‘At Home Far Away’ made by RTÉ which gave a great insight into the war in Kenya during the early part of 2008 – the year our school decided not to go on our annual trip to Kenya for safety reasons. During the 30 minute programme, Fr. Martin was interviewed and he talked at length about the conflict in Londiani.

The national elections sparked off the fighting as politicians allegedly exploited tribal loyalty and old scars were reopened. 52 people in the village of Londiani were killed, mainly in the first few weeks, and over 3,000 refugees camped in the small church compound after their homes were burnt. Fr. Martin and Fr. Con themselves were threatened on two occasions that they would be put out of their home. They stood firm by the people and by April 2008, following three months of exceptionally difficult living conditions; some of the refugees were able to leave the compound. It would take a long time before the village would recover and Fr. Martin spoke of his frustration with many well meaning but misplaced aid efforts.

He was awarded ‘The Irish Humanitarian of the Year’ in 2008. When the DVD had finished we had an hour long discussion where the students, particularly Aaron, asked questions about the experience. We learned tribes’ names and received a very frank and honest account of the strife. Fr. Martin spoke about a very harrowing moment when RTÉ radio phoned him to organise an interview; he told them they’d have to give him an hour as he had three coffins in the back of his truck and he was driving at the time.

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He revealed that he doesn’t enjoy speaking about this chapter of his 46 years in Kenya but he recognises that our students’ and teachers’ experience is greatly augmented by hearing this first hand account and by seeing the emotion in his eyes as he speaks about close friends being killed and losing their homes. The foundations lying in ruins 100 yards from his compound are a constant reminder of the suffering that happened. The conflict or troubles in our own country came to mind and we concluded our evening with a prayer that lasting peace would prevail.

Day 3

Feeling refreshed, we arose around 7.00 am to eat breakfast and make final preparations for 9.00 am mass. Fr. Dermot rehearsed his timings and finalised the homily while the rest of us perfected the chords, verse and chorus. For our maiden mass experience we carefully selected ‘Céad Míle Fáilte,’ ‘A Mhuire Mháthair’ and ‘Sing Hosanna. ‘ Aoibhínn and Rosie would be negotiating the floorboards by performing an Irish dance.

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We had all heard tales of what a spectacle a Londiani mass is but nothing can quite prepare a person for the real thing. What resonated most with us was the fantastic participation of children.

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They danced and sang at various stages of the mass and were accompanied by a powerful choir. They sat mainly away from parents aiding a fun and free atmosphere and their behaviour was exemplary.

The entire congregation bellowed out the hymns and the word celebration really comes to mind. There was such an exciting and unpredictable feel to it and our inquisitive hosts admirably multi-tasked – following proceedings and getting a good eyeful of us! Our ‘lads and lassies,’ as Fr. Martin says, exchanged waves and smiles and a little boy who could be no more than three or four years of age, on two occasions, made his way from the sanctuary of his mother’s side, moved across the aisle and wound up sitting on a pleasantly surprised Mr. Quinn’s knee.

The church secretary translated much of Fr. Dermot’s homily for the eager crowd as he spoke lucidly about faith, hope and love – striking chords with his audience from both sides of the equator.

He continued to speak about the importance of patience and ended his message with reference to togetherness, bringing to mind the opening theme of our Swahili lesson the previous night – Haranbee (let’s pull together.)

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Next it was our turn to address the congregation. Mrs McGuinness began with a perfect introduction containing an appropriate mix of Swahili and English. Mr Quinn’s Swahili drew laughter from the crowd but one by one we successfully got our message across. We then adorned the audience with Tara’s lovely lilt, accompanied by Aaron and Paraic on their guitars and backed up by Shane and the two mwalimu.

We were all very proud to be able to do as previous groups had done and perform to the Kenyans in our own native language.

In an unusual twist, the altar was moved backwards to provide the necessary space for Aoibhínn and Rosie to show off their dancing skills. Heads darted and gasps were heard as the crowd was mesmerised by the fast moving feet.

Altar boys quivered nervously, unsure where a heavy-shoed high kick might end up and our performances ended to rapturous applause from a welcoming audience.

After mass we spent around an hour mingling with the local people who were keen to shake hands. Then a football was produced, sun-block applied and so ensued several hours of games, dance and song. What seemed like one hundred Kenyan children squealed with delight and made us feel like superstars.

We had a few hours then on Sunday afternoon to rest and we spent the time watching football with Fr. Martin. We concluded our first real day with a lively supper sing-along. The craic was mighty and we were full of excitement at the prospect of our first school visits on Monday morning.

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Day 2

Saturday began with an early morning mass celebrated by Fr. Niall during which we were officially welcomed to Kenya. We enjoyed a hearty breakfast and after a short break in a shopping complex to exchange money we were on our merry way to Nakuru – a two-hour jaunt from Nairobi.

We stopped off at the Rift Valley and marveled at the spectacular views for miles around including mountains, lakes and enormous planes. The combination of temperatures in the high twenties and an altitude of 8,000m meant this much sought after opportunity to purchase hats to shield us from the powerful sun was most welcome.

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An hour later and we had arrived at Nakuru Country Club and enjoyed a delicious lunch in the beautiful surroundings.  Next we took on the markets and the farming tradition of South Armagh stood us in good stead as our six hagglers obtained the requisite merchandise from the local men. A short time later, after Mr. Quinn’s failed attempt to find sun cream, we were on our way to our new home – the fabled Londaini.

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The last leg of our bus journey was interesting to say the least as we got a great insight into the code of etiquette on Kenya’s highways. Luckily Fr. Martin is an accomplished driver and negotiated the roads admirably. Some road works along with the absence of tarmac on the last few miles made for a perfectly effective alarm clock and we were landed in Londiani. “Hurrah!”

We spent some time getting to know our accommodation and then took a stroll through Londiani. It was an amazing experience as we were greeted by huge smiles and a colossal chirping chorus of “How are you?” Within moments all of the local adults waved at us from stalls and buildings and a mass of children made a procession to our rear reminiscent of a Rocky training montage!

Back to the accommodation where Fr. Martin, Fr. Conn and David, our chef, schooled us on some of the dos and don’ts along with some phrases we’d require for presenting at Sunday mass for the congregation the following morning.

A quick performance rehearsal and then we crawled into bed and Aaron, Aoibhinn, Paraic, Rosie, Shane and Tara were as silent as some of the little creepy crawlies that are to be found a-plenty at night time. Anxiety or not, we needed a good sleep! Kulala makes all the difference!

Day 1 

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Salamu kutoka Londiani! Beannachtaí ó Londiani! We’ve made it to Kenya safe and sound. Our journey began with a shivery and yawning gathering at the Carrickdale Hotel and we then embarked on our adventure towards Dublin Airport. Thankfully no delays or other hiccups and we were soon en route to Amsterdam. We touched down around 9.30 and Schiphol Airport (the fourth busiest in Europe) was buzzing.

We had a brisk walk for around a mile through the airport to locate our gate and avoided sampling any of the local cuisine, not quite certain of the potential contents. After some lengthy queuing we were in the sky again, composing ourselves for the seven-hour voyage. We spent the time chatting and catching up on some much-needed kulala to ensure we were sufficiently rested.

We arrived in Nairobi Airport on time and God smiled upon us with a very welcome breeze. We got through security (guitars, fiddles and all) without any incident and our wait began for Fr. Martin to collect us.

We passed the time with some good-natured banter and when we saw a white mini-bus slow at the airport entrance and the unmistakable grin of Fr. Martin it really was a sight for sore eyes. “JAMBO!”

Off we went towards the Kiltegan Fathers’ headquarters in Nairobi and met with Fr. Niall who treated the hungry mouths to a late night feast. We scuttled off to bed early (around 2.00 am local time) to be up like larks for 7.30 mass.

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24 comments

Have a safe trip everyone. Will look forward to following your blog over the next 2 weeks. Take care

by Kathy Branagan on 30/01/2014 at 9:54 pm #

Good morning from a dark, cold, wet & windy Bessbrook. You have had your first Sunday in Londiani and I know that memory will stay with you forever, you now know what it’s like to be a celeb. There is even better to come so be prepared for anything. say Hi to all in the campus especially Fr Martin & Fr Conn for me. keep your eyes open for the monkeys!
Be safe and God Bless.

by bridget McConville on 03/02/2014 at 8:28 am #

The weather looks fabulous as do all of you!!!! It is cold and miserable here. Glad to see you all arrived safely. Mrs McGuinness looks nice and relaxed. Have a great time

by Ann O'Hare on 03/02/2014 at 5:33 pm #

Hope you are all having an amazing time!! Can’t wait to hear all the craic when you come home!! 🙂 missing you loads!!

by Aisling Hughes on 03/02/2014 at 7:16 pm #

hope you are all enjoying the experience. a wee message to Fr Dermot : the microwave is working a treat lol, bacon on the menu when you get back 😉 God bless, take care and keep safe everyone x

by patricia feehan on 03/02/2014 at 10:38 pm #

Jambo! Hibari!

It’s great to read your blog and remember so many highlights from Kenya. Delighted to hear you’re all safe and sound and enjoying your amazing experience.

Your colleagues in Romania wish you all well. God bless you all, and best wishes to Fathers Martin, Con and team in Londiani.

by Dáithí Murray on 04/02/2014 at 8:33 am #

Jambo everyone!!
Reading your blog brings back lots of memories from last year. I’m feeling very jealous! Say a big hello to Fr Martin, Fr Con, and everyone else on the compound! Keep up the dancing Aoibhin, doing the ROMM proud, even in Kenya 🙂 Kwa heri for now. Keep enjoying yourselves, it’s such an amazing experience!

by Aoife Malone on 04/02/2014 at 9:06 pm #

Hi everyone,
Thanks for the lovely comments. It really is an amazing place and our group is getting on so well.
Patricia, I expect bacon too!
We’ve passed on all of your comments.
Aisling, thanks so much to you for commenting. It’s a place you’ll have to see at some point in the future.
Dáithí, Mzuri assante! Everyone is asking after you including many of the students! Big hit!
Our internet signal isn’t great so photos are hard to send. With a million things happening every day it’s difficult to get the blog in – currently 00.30 and I can barely spell my own name correctly! We’ll get as much sent to you as we can, as soon as we can and in the meantime please take care and enjoy reading about our experience.

Ádh mór!
Kwaheri for now!

by Stephen Quinn on 04/02/2014 at 9:38 pm #

Jambo everyone,

Had a problem getting the blog. Apologies!. It is wonderful to read all and I can picture the scene. So proud of you all. Continue to enjoy and give my regards to the Londiani team. Looking out at heavy rain with no sign of going away. God bless you.

by Kathleen Moore on 05/02/2014 at 10:03 am #

It is great to hear how well you are getting on. It is an amazing experience for you- enjoy and take care!

by Noella Murray on 05/02/2014 at 10:07 am #

Jambo sana
so glad you all arrived safe and sound and are enjoying the Kenya experience. You will be overwhelmed by the friendliness and generosity of the lovely people and of course fr Martin and fr Con are great hosts.
Take care and enjoy your ‘celebrity status’ in Londiani.
Give my fond regards to Martin and Con.
God Bless
Anne

by Anne Mackin on 05/02/2014 at 10:40 am #

Glad to see everyone is getting on all, i am enjoying reading your blog each day. Special hello to Rosie from her Health and Social Care class. Take care

by Caroline Hughes on 05/02/2014 at 11:21 am #

Jambo!

It is lovely to see the pictures and hear about the different experiences you are having. The Irish department is very quiet and I have to make my own coffee at break-time. (Hurry back Mr Quinn!!)
I hope that you are enjoying every second of this experience. Don’t worry if you are having problems with the blog, enjoy yourselves and you can tell us all when you are back.
Bígí cúramach
Ciara

by Ciara McCoy on 05/02/2014 at 11:34 am #

It certainly looks like you are all enjoying yourselves. The weather at home is torrential so you are in a good place. Looking forward to further updates. enjoy and take care.

by Freda Mackin on 05/02/2014 at 12:25 pm #

Delighted to hear you are all enjoying your amazing experience. Take Care.

by Clare Maguire on 05/02/2014 at 12:39 pm #

Thanks everyone!
The blog should be updated in the morning – the biggest hold up is satisfying ourselves that the spelling is accurate!! Probably not but typing by torchlight isn’t ideal – I don’t want my little friends to think there’s a party in my room to come in and bite me!
We’re all glad you’re enjoying reading about it, we do miss home. It’s great to see the little faces lighting up on each visit but also an emotional and humbling experience for us too.
We’re getting on so well with each other and the students are so good to one another and to the three of us.
Please, someone make sure to say Jambo to 855 for me and to be good as usual for all of their teachers over the next wee while.

Grá mór,
Stephen

by Stephen Quinn on 05/02/2014 at 7:51 pm #

Jambo all,
So pleased to hear you are having such a wonderful experience. I am sure you enjoyed the ‘Quiet’ Sr. Placida. Could you please bottle some of your good weather and bring it back with you. Enjoy your house Masses. They are special. God bless all.

by Kathleen Moore on 06/02/2014 at 8:58 am #

I am so envious of all of you. Londiani and Kenya are such a wonderful experience. I hope Fr Martin and Fr Con are coping with all if you. Enjoy every moment of what should be an unforgettable visit. Thank you Fr Dermot for making this possible for so many over the last 11 years.
Please say hello to the two fathers and David from me. Oliver Mooney

by Oliver Mooney on 06/02/2014 at 4:43 pm #

love following the blog every day and seeing the photos, it definately is a fantastic experience for all and glad everyone is getting on so well.Great to get talking to you Aoibhin, thankfully you are back on two feet again. missing you. mum, dad Naomh,Siofra,Robert and Ryan.

by eileen mc guinnes on 06/02/2014 at 5:35 pm #

Thanks very much, Mr. Mooney. We were speaking about you not 10 minutes ago when I was telling Fr. Martin about Culloville.
I’ll pass on your message to everyone and they’ll be delighted to hear from you. Hope all is well at home!

by Stephen Quinn on 06/02/2014 at 7:58 pm #

Jambo everyone. You are really having such a wonderful experience.
Mr.Quinn you really are truely blessed now. Will not be contact with you until Monday, so enjoy the week-end. God bless you.

by Kathleen Moore on 07/02/2014 at 9:15 am #

Jambo again!!
Looks like you all are having a fantastic time! The photos are great and the weather looks lovely!! Hope you all enjoy Lake Victoria tomorrow, it’s a brilliant day out. I hope Aoibhin is taking lots of photos to show me! Keep enjoying yourselves.
Aoife

by Aoife Malone on 07/02/2014 at 5:21 pm #

Jambo sana! I’m totally loving reading your blog, it is bringing back so many unreal memories from our trip last year! I know yous must be loving every minute of it, and i’m sure there will be many more hugely memorable moments yet to happen for yous! Say hello to Fr Martn and Fr Conn for me, along with Sr. Placida!! Has anyone managed to get a picture of the famous monkeys around the compound yet? Hope yous are all getting on well, can’t wait to hear all the craic when yous get home! Enjoy every minute of it, it really is the experience of a lifetime! Kwa heri! 😀
Eileen

by Eileen Muckian on 08/02/2014 at 3:24 pm #

Safe home everyone, its a sad day when you have to leave all your new friends behind and come back to earth but maybe someday, somehow, you will find your way back again.
See you all soon and we want to hear EVERYTHING!!!!

We might even have some snow for your return!!

God Bless

Bridget

by B McConville on 10/02/2014 at 9:05 pm #

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