Just before she leaves Kenya and returns home to New Zealand, Fiona meets some of her childhood celebrities and the people benefiting from clean water and a brand new school.

Another early start and by 11am I have commissioned the opening of two more wells. Wherever we go, the communities speak so highly of ChildFund and I hear story after story of how lives have changed for the better.

Fiona shakes hands with community members after opening a well

So far we have spent our time with the Kamba community and now the time has come to head back to the main road and cross to the other side and enter in Maasai territory. I am very excited.

After 10km or so we drive past another ChildFund built borehole, but this time with a difference. The normal tap/hand pump is there but close by there is a large trough also filled with water. Godfrey explains that as cattle are the most important assets to Maasai (well above money) it was only natural that they would need to provide water not only to the people but also to the animals. As if on cue, a massive herd of goats appear and charge towards the trough.

Beautiful Maasai women welcome visitors to their community

We continue on and after 20mins reach the newly built pre-school that we are here to officially open. I must admit that I didn’t even notice the school at first, I was totally awe-struck by the stunning Maasai women, singing and jumping around us. Having grown up knowing the unique image of the Maasai people and their way of living I feel a little like I am meeting celebrities.

The women and men are very welcoming although the children are very wary of me. A group of children ask one of the Emali field workers what is wrong with my skin and why is it so white! We look around the school, with masses of children following at a safe distance – after half an hour one of the children finally responds to my request for a hand shake, and after this, all fear is gone and I spend a good five minutes shaking every little hand now held out as I am totally surrounded.

Children crowd around Fiona to shake hands

Following a rather long session of speeches it was my turn to open the curtains of the plaque and declare it open and belonging to the community. There followed some beautiful singing from the women and then the children.

As we leave, the Maasai women put beautiful bead necklaces around my neck and wrap me in one of their distinctive skirts.

Maasai women present Fiona with a beautiful gift

Heading home

An early morning meeting with all of the Emali staff and many of the wonderful volunteers that help so much in their work. Lots of photos, thanks and goodbyes as we get set to head back on that terrifying road to Nariobi.

We reach the airport a little earlier than expected and I enjoy a final lunch with Emmanuel and Joanne. Very kindly Mary from the Nairobi office has battled her way through the traffic to reach the airport in time to give a bag of gifts for the programs team in Auckland. More goodbyes and heartfelt thanks from me to Job for keeping me alive on “that” road and I check in for one of many flights, that eventually take me back to Auckland.

For more information about ChildFund’s work helping children and communities in Kenya, please visit the Kenya page on our website.

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