Teacher to explore life in Kenya at Zionsville library program

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Stephanie Mbathi pauses at the foot of the Aberdares Mountains in Nyeri, Kenya, in December 2017. (Submitted photo)

Kenyan culture will come alive for kids at the Hussey-Mayfield Memorial Public Library Feb. 20 when a teacher who spent five years overseas shares what she learned through the experience.

Stephanie Mbathi of Noblesville taught fourth grade at the West Nairobi School as a teacher with Wycliffe Bible Translators. She said she had always wanted to teach and live overseas.

“At the time, the school system here was very saturated with teachers, and it was very difficult to get a job,” Mbathi said. “I had three invitations (to teach abroad). One was the Philippines, one was Thailand and one was a school in Kenya. When I was little I always thought it would be fun to go to Africa. So, when I was actually  approached with the idea of those three, Kenya just jumped out at me.”

Mbathi will share cultural items from her time in Kenya and present a book called “For You Are A Kenyan Child.”

“It describes a child who lives in Kenya and it goes through his day,” Mbathi said. “The book has Swahili words that I can teach them. There are also items that pop up in the book that I physically have that I used while I was there. It allows the kids to feel, touch and see exactly what they’re seeing in the book.”

Children will be able to make a traditional Masai craft.

“There is a tribe in Kenya called the Masai tribe,” Mbathi said. “The craft will be a necklace that they wear. I have real ones from Kenya to show the kids. They’re made out of beads, but we’ll do a kid version.”

Kenyan Cultural Experience

When: 10:30 a.m. Feb. 20

Where: Hussey-Mayfield Memorial Public Library, 250 N. Fifth St., Zionsville

Cost: Free

More info: Register at ZionsvilleLibrary.org

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