After receiving some communication from Mr. C’s 5th grade class in Noel, Missouri something became very clear to me: in the ‘Daraja blog’ I often allude to how life in the Kenyan bush (Daraja Academy campus) is different from life in the U.S., but I am very seldom specific as to what those differences are. I will now attempt to be very specific.

Here are a few:

• No matter how thirsty I get while on campus, I cannot take a cup off the shelf, hold it under the tap, fill it, and drink it. All of our drinking water is rainwater that has been caught,  strained, and boiled by our kitchen staff.

• I have been trying to start an orchard – figs, pomegranates, guava, mango and papaya trees all grow in our climate. Because we are on a tight budget, I have to rely on the 15-year-old fence, which was built by the Baraka School, to protect these potentially food producing seedlings from harm. Unfortunately, a hungry goat looking through our fence at such succulent vegetation is like watching (pardon the cliché) a hot knife slice through butter. Under, over and through – those shameless herbivores ignore my fence and wreak havoc on my utopian dream orchard.