Sustainable S'mores

Does sustainability and s’mores have anything in common? Well, not much, except that both were factors in an exciting past few weeks for Arrive!

What this photo does NOT show is the main house, girls house, goats/rabbits house, dogs house, grazing area for cows, and many other aspects of the KRCH. In fact, this photo only shows 65% of our land.

Arrive has rented a 1.5 acre plot of land, directly next to our own land, which will be a major part of our efforts to become completely sustainable. On this new plot of land, we will plant crops like corn, beans, onions, peppers, pumpkins, kale, sugarcane, and napier grass (food for our cows).

We have already stared plowing and fencing the land, and planting will begin next week before the rains come. In addition to our new land, we have also added new members to the Arrive family! We now have three rabbits, three goats, and three additional cows (five in total); to accompany our two dogs, two cats, and 45 hens and 10 roosters.
The additional livestock has been vital to Arrive’s success. Each child at home has his or her  animal and must take care of that animal. This means fetching water from the river, searching and bringing food, and all other aspects of keeping livestock. Everyone has pride in making sure his or her animal is healthy and happy. This added responsibility and form of animal therapy helps all of the kids as it adds structure in their life. Kids have even began to name their animals, whether it be a cow, goat, or rabbit. Furthermore, the hens have been laying eggs like crazy – the kids now eat 4-5 boiled eggs a week!

Asante sana, FootPrints! The kids are so excited about their new shoes!

Do you remember the last pair of shoes you bought? I do. But do you remember the first pair of shoes you ever bought? Probably not. But for over 100 kids in Nyaturubo, Kenya, they will always remember their first ever shoes!! Thanks to a fundraising effort by FootPrints, a studnt-run organization at Cornell University, Arrive was able to buy over 100 pairs of durable, locally made shoes for the kids who needed them most. Every child at the Keumbu Rehema Childrens Home got a pair, and over 70 pairs were given out to students at school. For most of these kids, these are the first pair of shoes they ever have owned.

A few of the children at school putting on their new shoes.

Many children walk over an hour to reach school, so they were extremely excited to be getting high quality kicks – something they never thought was in their future. Giving the shoes out, helping the kids put the shoes on, and even just tying the laces was an experience I will never forget. When kids start singing and dancing and loving life simply because they got their first ever pair of shoes, it is a little contagious!

Now, to the part of this post you all want to read about: s’mores. This past month, Arrive volunteer Nell did amazing work with the kids here in Keumbu. Working with kids both at home and in school, she became a fixture in the village. People would line up to wave to her on her routine daily morning runs! Her brother Max recently came to Kenya and spent a few days at the Keumbu Rehema Childrens Home as well.

Nell teaching the kids how to make s'mores.

It was sad to say goodbye as their time in Kenya has come to end, but they went out in style! Max brought marshmellows from the USA (marshmellows are impossible to find in Kenya, trust me), and on their last night here, Nell and Max taught all of the kids to make s’mores. We built a bonfire, bought sodas, and danced well into the night. Kamau (Nell’s addition to the Arive family, from my last blog post) is doing great and fitting in perfectly with all the other boys.

That’s it for now, but stay tuned for more updates in the near future!

Kennedy, a former Nairobi street boy and member of the Kikuyu tribe, eats his first ever s'more.