Gona School Celebration

We started today with our breakfast of scones and banana bread from mama Emily. Leah rounded us up and loaded us into the van for our trip to Gona. The recent rains have caused the roads to be deeply rutted so we bounced along as we drove to Gona.

We received a heroes welcome as we drove into the Gona school yard. Most of the children were gone to another school for their sports competitions but Eliud have saved back about 80 of the younger children to welcome us. They were singing at the top of their lungs, dancing, and waving. They had made a banner welcoming us to their school. The had built an archway over the road and woven flowers into it. We felt like celebrities coming in. Steve was in the front with the camera so he jumped out quickly to get it on film.

Leah introduced Eliud and he welcomed us and told us about Gona. He had six of the children do a question and answer skit about the need for good nutrition. It was fun to watch them sing their parts. Eliud gave us a tour of the facilities and bragged about the test scores of the students. They now have 38 goats and a very nice goat pen. A few of the goats have kidded but with the dry season they have not used any of the milk for the school children. They have had recent rains so they will be getting more feed now.

They have recently dug a deep pit for holding water for the rotational gardens. The gardens now have most of the plants up and growing so that a lot of the food from the school will come from their own gardens. The exciting thing to see is the variety of the vegetables that they have planted.

We walked over to the village where we met a farmer that had two fish ponds. He started them last August and has harvested many fish from them. As we approached the compound we saw that he had spread out a mat on the ground and his children were eating a "balanced diet". The ugali was the base with vegetables from his garden and fish from his pond for protein. It was very impressive to see what he was doing. He had two ponds situated so that the water from his roof ran into the ponds. The older fish were kept in a smaller pond to spawn and the fingerlings were then transferred to the bigger pond to grow. The ponds were about 1 meter deep and a meter square and a meter and a half square respectively.

We went over to another neighbor that had one fish pond and one pond for storing water for his garden. Marty and Angela climbed into the pond to net some fish. They caught about half a dozen fingerlings but nothing else. it was hard to tell if the fish were just not growing well or if they had just harvested most of the fish.