Diane Greenwood

Thinking about…

MIA School + Achoo’s Birthday

Yesterday Nikki and I felt heaps better and we were up and about in the morning.We went over to the school and started sorting out classroom 4. There were heaps of desks, chairs, clothes and a lot of other things that I am not sure how or what they are going to use them for.

They are planning to open the school on January 20, 2010. So we are hoping that all of us from Glen Waverley will be able to make this happen while we are here.

Classroom with the desks and chairs organised

Nikki stacking stuff back into trailer

In the afternoon I pretty much crashed again and slept some more. I was not feeling good again. But it was also Matthew’s birthday. Another volunteer here is Matthews sponser was here for his birthday and she gave him a bike. We spent some of the afternoon with Tammy and Achoo playing with his new toy.

Matthew (Achoo) with Tammy on his 3rd birthday

Nikki and I were really in a good mood today – we put Jason’s music and it really piped us up and we sang and had a bit of a boogie. Thanks Jas can’t wait to have you here with us. xoxo


Christmas at MIA

So on Sunday (13th) MIA had their Christmas party. It was a combination of all the children, all the staff, their families, all the volunteers and because the gate had been left open there were some people from the community as well. In all there were just over 100 people. We had it in the new half made restaurant area which was really good to be outside and have everyone in the same place.

Decorating the restaurant area for the party

All of us walking over to the restaurant

My Christmas lunch – rice, vegetable pattie, chapati, salad and beans

This was all the adults sitting after Christmas lunch

On the first night Nikki and I were here we put together some Christmas bags for all the children. After lunch we handed out all the bags to the children. It is not very often that they get sweets or anything here, so when the bags came (they had a toy, a chocolate bar, jelly beans, lollypop, chips, soda drink) they were very very excited. 

Mary handing out the bags

Shiko with her bag – waiting to open it up – SO CUTE!

Jemma with her bag

David (Hoover), Lillian, Mikey and Shiko (Lillian)

Jacob (Chucky) or Nikki has given him the name Spunk! He loves it!

The cake

After lunch Martha, Mission II, Mary, Ivan and Sarah cut the cake.

The day was pretty full with action and fun. Although poor Nikki was in bad for half the day, she missed some of the party :( 

I should also say that I have spent the last couple of days in bed with a good dose of gastro. Hopefully I have got rid of it before the others get here. Don’t think I can remember being this sick. Feeling on the up now – so I will update more frequently. 

Only 5 days till Neil, Jas, Kat, Alanee, Bec, Tracey, Rose, Bethany and Ben get here :)


MIA Sabbath Day

All of us on the way to Sabbath School







Sabbath Day

So today was Sabbath Day at MIA. No working, a family lunch, Sabbath School for the children and then Church for us. Lots of playing with the kids. What a peaceful and restful day! Thank you God. Amen.

I might have to think about a Sabbath when I get home.

Nakuru – Mission in Action – MIA

Alright so it is the 12th and we have been here at MIA for 2 and a half days. Because we are here for 3 weeks I have not spent much time getting photo’s. We have been playing with the kids and hopefully getting into working.

First impressions are glowing! These people are an inspiration to those kids. It is all about the kids really and you can see it. Although this place is very different to what I expected (or to what I saw in Mombasa) it has surprised me in many ways. Words that come to mind being here already are love and family. Two things that this place exposes as you walk in the door. There will be many photo’s to come :) But to start … 

Timothy (Tim Tam) and I before worship/bed last night

Shimba Hills – Mombasa

While my grandparents were in Nairobi they stayed in this place called the Treetops. This place in Shimba Hills was the same company and has built a hotel out of native timbers and it is like a big tree house. Also, last time Nikki had some friends that went and stayed at this place but Nikki missed out going last time so we made the trip for a night (8th). It was beautiful. It is also a part of a National Park Reserve and so we went for a few drives and were able to see a few animals.

This is the lodge/tree house

Baboons along the road

Dragon lizard below the tree house
Squirrel lying like on rail in the restaurant
Elephant …duh!
Beautiful clouds
A special type of antelope that they had not seen for a while – wrote the name down somewhere
Baboons as we were leaving
On the way there and back we had to catch a ferry. On the way there was fine. On the way back we had a 2.5 hour line to get on the ferry. Someone stopped and told our driver that a car had fallen off the ferry (the brakes didn’t work!) We are still a little shocked at how this happened – not sure that we will ever get an answer – we just hope that no one was in the car!
It was a very big change to the last couple of days we spent. In fact there were times when Nikki and I commented that it was so quiet and peaceful coming straight from Mombasa. After this night we went back and spent one more night at the Castle (9th) before leaving to go to Nakuru.
Typical bay of Matatu’s on the roads of Mambasa. Nikki and I travelled in many – at one time I counted 17 of us in the car! For only 20KSH it is well worth the trip and an understandable mode of ‘simple’ transport.

Mombasa – Bamburi – Restoration

Firstly I should warn – this is a long entry. Now that I have finished I thought I should just put this to begin with :)

So the last couple of days have flown by. We have been so busy we have not really had much time to stop. On Friday night (4th) we went out for a drink with Milton, who I am sure would love to have taken Nikki home to his mother – in exchange for camels of course!

In the morning (5th) we were met by Olympas who took us on a Matatu to Bamburi to our homestay. We settled in and we met Mohammed again (picked me up from the airport). Moham made us a lovely lunch and then we went for a walk to pirates beach, I had a swim in the VERY warm water (it was like I was looking for a ‘cold spot’) and then we hung out at the beach for the night – had some drinks – watched some games for a Hindu Beach Party – travelled home (very interesting ride home – I think we broke the car)

Front of House

Our Bedroom

Pirates Beach

Camel on Beach

Umbrella and Boat at Sunset

The next day in the homestay we started off the morning with some Swahili breakfast. Moham and I made Chai together – with Tangawizi (a ginger spice for a sore throat), I have got the recipe for me to bring home – so no more visiting Coco’s cause I have Moham’s Chai. We spent the rest of the day in Mombasa Town – had a great lunch at Moham’s friends restaurant (which we will go back to when we are back in town).

Bathroom Homestay

Kitchen Homestay

Today is the 7th and it has been a big day to say the least. Today Nikki took me to Restoration Orphanage, where she worked for 2½ months 2 years ago. As we got out the car the kids came running to it. Eric remembered Nikki and through his arms around her and hugged her tight. It was emotional. To see her with those kids, Serena, Eric, Lynette … and all the others. Nikki introduced me to all the ones she remembered. We gave them all sweets. We then went for a walk to the school – which unfortunately in the rainy season had been badly damaged (when it fell it actually killed one of the children). As I walked to the school one of the girls attached herself to me – Sauda. Oh, I held her hand as hard as she held mine. She tucked her sweets between my hand and hers and said ‘hold?’, so we did until we got back to the orphanage. When we got back it was lunch time for the kids – so Nikki and I walked down the road to the store and Nikki got them some Fanta and Coke to go with lunch. When we came back they were excited – lots of photo’s, lots of singing for us and they loved our sunglasses.


Nikki handing out sweets

Lunch time with Eric and Serena

Eric, Lynette, Nikki and Serena

Lynette, Christopher (in front), Me, Eric and Justin

This part of our day was the hardest – but important, so I will be quick – after being led through the village by one of the boys we found Mapenzi. Nikki gave her a small angel and got someone to explain that someone was watching over her. We waited for her mum who was praying in her small house. We left what we had with us for her and the family and left with a sense of misunderstanding (a few things to process really).

Mapenzi with her sister and the angel – this is hope

Mapenzi and her sister infront of their house

So after the visit to Restoration and after talking with the kids, Mohammed, Willie and Hussein came and picked us up and we asked if we could make a trip to Nakumart to collect some things that the kids had mentioned in their chats. Some of them commented on not having any shoes – so we bought some shoes. Lynette asked for some socks – so we bought some socks. Eric asked for a bike – so we got a boys bike and we also got a girls bike (thanks to a special couple who’s donation paid for the girls bike). We also bought some food (maize, rice, basmati rice, salt, sugar, oil etc). We took them back to restoration – thanks to the boys for taking us all the way and just being so supportive.

Willie and Hussein with the food trolley and shoes

Group shot of kids and bikes

3 girls all with new shoes and the girls bike

Me and Sauda with her new shoes

This was one of the best days I have had. Those kids just wanted loving and we gave them what we can. Thanks to Nikki for letting me share this with her. Thanks to the people who donated the money that meant we could do what we did. Everyone who has given to us has been so generous.

Also during that day we went and visited Moham’s shop, and his cousin Nasim came over and we cooked dinner together.

 Mohammed in his shop – upholstering seats for Matatu’s

Upholstered seats at the shop

Nasim, Nikki and I cooking dinner

What a great/long/sunburnt/emotional/giving day! That is it till next time.

Mobasa + Bamburi

Okay – no photos this time – but just to let you know that we are alright.

I have met up with Nikki here in Mobasa – which is a happening little place. Combined with lots of people, Matatus andtuk tuks – you have to be careful running across the road. Nikki and I spent the day in old town on a tour (4 hours) which was just fantastic. Will pots photo’s of that when I get them off my stick. I am trying to keep all my gadgets away so people don’t know I have all these things :P

Yesterday Nikki and I moved into a homestay in Bamburi – which is also where restoration is. We will be going to restoration on Monday – tomorrow – anyway homestay. Yes we have been immersed in a Bamburi village – Nikki and I are in a house – sleeping on the floor, cooking traditional foods, this morning I made traditional Chai. We have been learing Swahili … so I will write some of those things down.

Nikki and I were given our Swahili names. It is a combination of what time you were born, what community you are and what sex you are. Chausiku is my name and Subira is Nikki’s.

Last night we went to Pirates beach and today we are planning to go to Diani beach in the afternoon.

That is about it. We are here until Tuesday and then we are planning to go to Shimba Hills.

We will keep writing.

Apartheid Museum + Gold Reef Mine

Not much time to write, but I will let the photos tell the story again. Yesterday I managed to get to the Apartheid Museum and also down one of the Gold Reef Mines. the day was packed and it ended with dinner with Jen and her husband. 

Entrance to the Museum

Part of Nelson Mandella exhibition

The building with reflective pool

The mine shaft I went down

The gold reef – ore



Johannesburg – Soweto

Alright I am going to be quick cause there is so much to tell.

On Monday I drove though downtown Johannesburg with Doug (family friend). Which was a sight to be seen, there are mainly no shops left in down town just the big banks, cause they can;t move out. But all the shops and all the retailers are out and there are just people on the street, living in the buildings (squatters) there are buildings that fire has raged through and that are falling down. 

The amazing thing is that Doug was in and out of shops that I wouldn’t have been able to tell were even open. He was picking up stuff to run his textiles company and you know the feeling was not hostile. People are happy and cheery and this is just the way they live. There is nothing wrong with that. 

In the afternoon I went to Constitution Hill. I saw the main Law Courts (Neva you would have been proud!) Couldn’t take any photos :( Very interesting and rich in history and the current constitution is actually an amazing document.

Today, Tuesday. What an adventure. Jennifer has told me about these cycle tours in Soweto and I has looked them up online. Kyle came with me. It was an adventure getting there. But on the way we passed the new soccer stadium being built. It is just impressive. There are so many roadworks and infrastructures happening for this 2010 Football.

Look at the people working on the top!

This is the stadium with one of the gold mine dumps next to it. The colours are similar and so is the general form. It sits well and looks beautiful.

So we went on this bicycle tour. As I sit here I can not write like I have above. I am still in a bit of shock and how in humane people can be. We walked the streets of the Soweto Riots in 1976 (16th June).

Above and beyond that, the living conditions here are … well … the images can talk. Maybe I can talk tomorrow. 

Kyle drinking local beer.


Local stage/Kyle with bike.


Small girl following our tour group.

The water supply

This shows the main road of the Soweto Riots, planning to go to the police station and then onto Orlando Stadium on the left.

Cause there is just so much to write about and I am not sure what to write. I found this online article that is great and mentions everything that we did. Please read.