100 kids and a swimming pool – a whole new adventure!
Today is day 3 of our Kenya adventure, and it feels like we have been here a month. The kids have completely crawled into my heart and I can’t imagine not seeing them anymore in two weeks time. They are all amazing, and I am thankful everyday for the opportunity to be out here to try and make a difference.
Christa and I are running Arts and Crafts. Yesterday we held a ‘build the strongest tower’ competition with the two older groups of kids. It was sooo funny and the kids were just amazing, really going for it. We had knitting needles, straws, foil, paper, pipe cleaners and told them to go for it! The towers they came up with were amazing. When we announced the winners, they went crazy, jumping up and down. They are wonderful. It is so sad as you will find some of the kids crying, or sleeping, which might be because the night before a number of things could have happened in their shack in the slum.
I’ve heard that some of the girls get paid 50 Shillings for sex by some men, which is not even 50p. For the girls in the slum, it’s a fortune, and money they would never see otherwise. How sad that they are willing to sell their bodies for so little money, because of their circumstances.
The slum is the most insane place I have been in my life. Everyday we get driven into it in the back of a big white van. All the kids run around you and they just shout ‘How are you’. I saw the baby I saw the first day again, and he had a massive smile waving at us, even though he was naked, standing in rubbish. The drive in is a whole other experience. You drive over mountains of rubbish and you just pray that the van won’t tobble over into the little stream of ‘interesting’ water running along the road.
The school opens your eyes to how privileged we are. When we ask them what they are thankful for, they say: “my dog, the donkey’s neck (because it can carry things), a shack…” It’s all along those lines. They also consider it a privilege and an honor to touch a white person. At the end of every lesson I literally stand at the front of the class with both hands in the air and 200 kids storm up to you and start high five’ing you. It’s hilarious! Today we made bracelets with them, and as I was tying one kids bracelet to his arm, he kept touching my hand on the top, like it was so strange!
Yesterday afternoon we had an interesting challenge.. We decided to take 100 kids to the local swimming pool for a swim. Sounds easy enough, doesn’t it? Not so easy. Most of the pools were closed and we spent an hour begging another pool to let us in, while we had 100 excited kids lined up ready to jump on the bus to get there. In the end we had 100 kids in a 50 person bus. I’ve never been so squashed. I sat on a seat with a sleeping baby on my lap with two people next to me! It was a whole new experience! The swimming was a HUGE success and the kids loved it.
As we were about to head home from the orphanage, Henk, one of the other volunteers said to me, “Come with me, I have a surprise for you”. He took me to the nursery at the orphange, that has 15 babies in there at the moment. Ah, I think my heart totally melted. I ended up feeding 3 babies and sitting there for ages. It was amazing.
One of the strange things here is the fact that there are vultures EVERYWHERE! EVERYWHERE! You would easily see 10 sitting on a small tree. When we were at the pool, I could see one eying us from the wall around the pool. It made me feel like we were in that picture in Sudan that won the Pulitzer price (don’t quote me on that, I think that’s the prize it won) of the baby dying in the foreground and the vulture waiting behind. It was a scary moment.