… and if not, it’s not the end!
It is pouring down in the morning and we wonder if anyone will find his way to Papillon Lagoon Reef. When we arrive at the hotel with the Red Cross volunteers, there is almost a yawning emptiness. Rain – especially when it rains like today – paralyzes the public life at the Kenyan coast. Even our volunteers only gradually arrive – with some delay. The rain makes everything look a little duller than it already is. An empty, unfurnished hotel lobby has nothing inviting! But the garden is even more beautiful when it rains. There are so many shades of green when the dust is freshly washed off every leaf.
In the reception area we set up 2 tables for registration and the helpers from Red Cross Kenya prepare for the distribution. 160 cards are sorted and the lists are pre-checked. The management accompanies the whole process and really stays with it until the last man has picked up his parcel.
When we start handing out the food, the rain miraculously almost stops and it is just dripping gently. Nevertheless, it’s good that the people can queue up under the Makuti roof and don’t have to wait unprotected under the open sky. As usual, every registered person has to pay attention to the required social distance, wear his face mask and wash his hands extensively before entering the lobby. One of our volunteers always reminds everyone of the minimum distance when queuing. This always seems to be the most difficult rule and one really has to remind and admonish again and again in a friendly way. The issue runs quickly and without problems until shortly before the end. We refuse a parcel because a security guard, who is under full payment, wants his share. How he made it on the list is and remains a mystery to us. But we can see again: it’s good that we are present at every distribution and can clear up such mistakes. The security guard is of course very disappointed, but he also has to understand that the food aid is intended for those who are currently without income. Just before the end of our distribution, a hotel employee comes and waves with a handwritten list. In front of the gate there are still 25 people who are not on the distribution lists. They all need help urgently. As sorry as we personally are if someone has to go home empty-handed and with no hope, we are unfortunately unable to comply with the request to hand over a donation package to these people. As before, every entry is coordinated with the Red Cross to make sure that we get the really needy households.
By midday, 152 packages had found a dry place despite the heavy rain. Those who did not come for pick-up probably left the coast and were able to return to their villages. The people are aware that even after the opening of the borders and the reopening of some hotels, not everyone will get a job immediately. With lower guest numbers, it will mainly be the staff who have been employed under contract for years that will ensure the operation. Casual workers and temporary workers should therefore continue to be patient until they can be offered work again.
And now the sky opens up – the sun slowly gains the upper hand and displaces the clouds until everything is bright blue again in the afternoon – everything will be fine – kila kitu kitakuwa sawa!