A Day in the Life of a Girl in Kipkelion

You have to get up at 4 am.  Why?  Because you have to walk for at least an hour along muddy roads to get to school.  It’s at least 3 miles away!

Time for a wash – the water is cold.  There’s no hot water unless you light a fire to warm it up.  And there’s no water either, unless you fetch it.  A bucket of water is really heavy.  There’s no bath or shower in your house – just a bucket to wash in.  Usually a cold bucket.

If you’ve got your period, maybe you won’t be able to go to school – you don’t have any sanitary pads.  You and your family can’t afford them.  So you might miss a week of school each month.  You’ll be worried about falling behind in class, and maybe failing your exams.

Time for breakfast – if you can light the fire and heat up some porridge.  That’s all there is really – just porridge, and a cup of tea.

You’re doing all this in the dark – it doesn’t get light till 6 am, and there isn’t any electricity in your parents’ house.  It’s a wooden shack on a tiny farm in the middle of nowhere.

Time to set off for school – there is no school bus, and no car to take you.  You have to walk – it’s a good few miles.

When you get there, the school routine begins – morning assembly, maths, history, science, English.

Morning break – time for a trip to the loo.  It’s a latrine – that means a hole in the ground basically.  And there aren’t enough of them, so there is always a long queue.

Lunch time – what’s for lunch?  More porridge!  At least there’s plenty of it.

School finishes at 4pm.  It’s raining, and the roads are a sea of mud.  You walk back to your parents’ house, 3 miles in the rain.

When you get home, you’ve got homework to do, but your mother needs your help with milking cows, feeding goats, lighting fires, chopping wood, fetching water, looking after your little brothers and sisters…

And then you’ve got to wash your own clothes.  There’s no washing machine.  There’s no hot water.  So you wash your things by hand, in a bowl of cold water, using a bar of soap.  Hope everything dries in time…

Better do the homework now, but it’s very dark and the oil lamp you’ve got doesn’t make it easy.  At least there’s no TV or internet to distract you!

Time for supper….no, not more porridge – it’s beans this time!  You’re not surprised, as you had to pick them yourself and shell them yourself and cook them yourself, as your Mum was too busy.

9pm – time for bed.  You’re falling asleep anyway.  You and two of your sisters are all in one small bed.  It’s very dark.  You’ll wake up when the cocks start crowing.