Monday, March 5, 2012

So much for taking it easy our first day in Nairobi

John and I do suffer from jet lag. So we planned a very limited first day in Nairobi - just visiting the new site of Little Rock Early Childhood Development Center would be exciting enough.

But Lilly Oyare - founder and director of Little Rock - thinks everybody has the boundless energy that she has. So we had a very full - and wonderful - day.

Judy Craig, Lilly Oyare and Judy Gration at the Residence
First, we met Judy Gration! Judy's husband Scott is the U.S. Ambassador to Kenya, and Judy was enormously helpful by shipping fabrics and supplies for the RockPads project and books for the Little Rock library. Judy is warm, welcoming, and passionate about Kenya. And despite her very busy schedule,  Judy was very generous with her time; we spoke about Eliminate Poverty Now for quite a while! The Residence for the Embassy is a tranquil, beautiful home and, as I hope you can see, the grounds are lovely. As Americans we can be very proud of it.

Lilly Oyare and Edward Mwenda

Then we visited the new Little Rock site and is it ever buzzing with activity! When it's at full capacity, the new school will quadruple in size and be home to 1000 nursery school and disabled children. Today, a 30-person crew was installing steel rods in preparation for pouring the concrete foundation and walls. The Site Manager, Edward Mwenda, said they are on track to finish construction by October! There is already electricity and WATER at the site: parents will no longer need to bring water for cooking, washing, and toilets. Plans include a computer center and a multipurpose area which will generate income as a catering facility when school is not in session. Once construction is finished, the site will be landscaped. It will be a true oasis for the Little Rock community.

We finished up the day at the existing Little Rock site. We'll be spending more time there this week, so I'll save the details for a later post. Because now the jet lag is really catching up with me.

By the way, last week a ship dropped its anchor onto the fiber optic cables that supply Kenya's high -speed internet. So our connectivity is very limited. But I'd still love to hear back from you. Please share your thoughts, comments, good wishes, constructive criticism, etc. as comments right here rather than sending them as emails. I'll be sure to see them and respond as soon as I can.


  1. See, you CAN learn from your mistakes. This was perfect. Now, get some sleep! I can't wait to see you when you get back.

  2. Thanks for being there when I needed you!

  3. SO excited about the new Little Rock School! Big LOVE to everyone there from Pablo, so SO happy to hear about this, goose pimples!!!!!! Lily and ALL of you are SO amazing!! <3

    1. It's really going to be incredible!

  4. Yes, have some passion fruit juice at Dorman's and get some sleeeeeep! : ) pablo