James Lekadaa (above) Skyped with the PFA Team from Samburu, Kenya
Reflections by the Pencils for Africa Team after the Skype call with
James Lekadaa, Member of the Pencils for Africa Advisory Board
Our Teacher, Ms. Weitzman (above) visiting James’ village in Samburu in 2013
I love skyping with James because he is always so happy. Even though his whole tribe is in a drought, they never lose hope.
He told us about how the animals have all different kinds of adaptations and how they are also dying because they aren’t getting water.
I love skyping with James because he is always so happy. Although his tribe is in a drought, they never lose hope.
For example, the crocodiles sleep under the mud because it’s cool. I felt bad when he talked about how he and his family were so positive and their drought is so harsh. How crazy that people here in Marin are complaining that they have to shorten the length of their showers.
I hope we find something we can do for James and that he and his family stay happy and healthy.
Talking with James was such a wonderful opportunity, and I learned so much from him.
Both James and the Pencils for Africa community share something in common, we are both in a drought. Although we have other options to get water, the Samburu have to dig wells to keep a supply of water. It amazed me that even though they were in a serious drought, James was upbeat and laughing throughout the whole interview.
One interesting thing James shared was that the elephants are so intelligent, they have learned to dig their own wells for water.
One interesting thing James shared was that the elephants have learned to dig their own wells for water.
Since we talked with James a year ago, much has changed, though much has stayed the same.
Once again, I loved hearing the story of how the Samburu were given cows.
Long ago, the Samburu were praying to God. God wanted to give them a gift and a purpose in life, so he sent a ladder filled with cows down from the sky.
The Samburu have definitely lived out this purpose to take care of not only the cows, but also the elephants, protecting them everyday. I am so grateful for the opportunity to talk with James about the Samburu, and I hope to speak with him again
I feel very inspired by the Samburu community’s hope.
In James’ area, there is a very serious drought.
Unlike the California drought, where water has been put in reserve and emergency stores, the people in the Samburu area have no backup system. They have tried everything, from diverting rivers to digging wells. To this day they are still struggling with their water problems and lack of feed and water for their animals.
Although he and his village are still in a lot of trouble, James will never give up and never lose hope, a very inspiring message.
Meeting and speaking with James was a good way to understand what some people go through to get things that we have everyday.
James and his village have to put in hard labor by digging holes to acquire water, and I think that it shows how much we take for granted.
Not only that but there is danger with wild crocodiles running around.
James also has to protect his animals from wild animals that try to eat his. He has to spend whole nights without sleep to protect them.
This is what he has to go through to keep the things that he needs to survive.
In droughts like these, we have preparations, however James has many problems to overcome due to lack of tools and information. The drought presents cycle of difficulty; if there isn’t any water, there won’t be any grass for the animals to eat and keep alive, and if the animals die, there will not be any food for the villagers to eat and sty alive either.
I really felt liked the story that the Samburu believe God gave them cows to feed and give them purpose in life, these cows came down on an escalator and they came down one by one. Cool!
James was a very friendly man who spoke about the drastic draught in his village.
I felt that he needed us to send some prayers for his village.
I also think it was pretty cool that he gets to spend that much time with animals, we should pray for his animals as well. James taught me a lot about Kenya’s daily life with animals and how they are surviving with little water but a lot of hope.
I found it fascinating that James talked about how intelligent the elephants are just like dolphins and they will dig their own water wells.
The wells can take around an hour to dig but that is depending on how deep you want it to be. The river where James and his village are, is dried up so they have to dig below it to find water. The crocodiles hangout by the side of the river under the mud because it is so dry they will die if they aren’t under the mud keeping their skin wet.
The domestic animals they have are the cows, sheep, goats and donkeys.
The Samburu people never eat any of the wild animals like the elephants or giraffes because they always use their goats for food and they use cows for milk. Eating the wild animals is sacrilegious to the Samburu people.
Right now, the lack of water is the biggest problem James and his village have. Though times are very drastic without water, they never give up on their animals, the Samburu are very experienced farmers and have been through droughts before.
I really liked the story James told us how God loves them so much that he gave them the cattle to help them survive and to give them a purpose in life, to farm and sustain their village.
The Samburu people are a group of nomads living in Africa.
They protect the animals like elephants and giraffes from poachers as well as raising their own sheep, goats, and cattle. They have a very special story of how the cattle came to them as a special gift from God. Their God, who they call “Nkai”, wanted to give man more of a purpose in life, so he gave them cattle.
Right now, the Samburu are in a very large drought. They have to dig twenty foot wells just to get their water. All of the kids are missing school to dig the wells, the whole village is involved in solving the draught problem.
It amazed me that the children in the Samburu community worried about digging a well just to survive, while here in the United States, we worry about school and sports.
They do not have any tractors to help with the digging, and everything is done manually. Still, they manage to be happy. Since this was my first PFA meeting, it surprised me greatly that when I asked James if it was difficult to stay happy during this hardship, the answer was no.
He said that they never lose hope and are always happy. I think that if all of us can keep this mindset about much smaller problems than running out of water, we would benefit greatly.
This first meeting has impacted me greatly, and I would like to help the Samburu somehow.
This meeting has impacted me so much, that I hope to start a PFA club in high school, or join one that already exists. My personal thought was to try to raise money for working gloves since they have to dig with shovels. If they had work gloves, it would prevent them from getting blisters on their hands and relieve them of much pain, as well as make the work load altogether easier.
It amazed me that the children in a community worried about digging a well just to survive, while in the United States, we worry about school and sports.
If we could learn from the Samburu how to be happy even in hard times, we would be altogether better people.
This meeting has impacted me so much, that I hope to start a PFA club in high school, or join one that already exists. It is very important to me however, that these people are helped because they have it so much worse than us, but are still able to stay happy.
If we could learn from them on how to be happy even in hard times, we would be altogether better people. My first PFA meeting had a very positive impact on me, and I look forward to continue learning about the different cultures of people in Africa.
During the interview I believe Ms. Weitzman made a good point:
Saying that both, our area in Marin and James’ village in Kenya were in a drought.
In James’ village they had to dig wells and conserve a lot more, the whole village including the children were out digging the ditches for water. In Marin we have a lot of infrastructure to handle our drought, though we also need the rain to help prevent forest fires.
James talked about the whole village digging without a variety of tools.
This got me thinking about how lucky we are to live in community like Marin.
And how much we take for granted such as always having not to worry about food, transportation, a family and a home while in some parts of the world people have no homes, meals and water. And like James and his village, when droughts present themselves, everyone has to stop and help create ditches for the water.