Last night, I was told in the Kikuya language by a young girl named Margaret that I belong here.
Thank you for taking the time to check up on me and to read this blog. I have been eagerly awaiting the opportunity to get on the internet and update you on what my life has been like over the past ten days. I have become an honorary resident of Kenya and of this little orphanage located in the Kenyan Highlands, it’s called Watoto Wa Baraka, or Children of Blessing.
I think it’s safe to say that since arriving here my life has been altered rather drastically. It is a beautiful thing when you are given the opportunity to join a community of children and a few staff members and realize how happy they are living with so little. There are 42 kids living here (far more than I could have ever imagined), and there are only four staff members taking care of the kids. I wouldn’t have thought so initially, but my being here is actually helping keep this place going.
I don’t have much time to continue writing, but since my arrival I have formed a bond with many of these kids to the point where I know it will be hard to say goodbye to them in the coming weeks. One boy, a seven year old named Julius has sprung back to life since I arrived. I have been monitoring his vitamin intake for the last week and he has gone from a shy, silent little boy to a peppy, loving little guy over night. My hope is that someone will be able to take watch over him once I leave, but sadly with things being as understaffed as they are, I wonder if that is even possible.
Sally, my companion on this trip has become a medic of sorts. She has wrapped hurt arms, bandaged sliced open heads, and continually assists one of the kids with a back injury. My main concern so far is that the ratio of staff to kids is so small that when a child gets injured it goes unnoticed. Since this is the case, I feel that my being here is truly important. Scraping kids up off the ground and holding them while they cry has become a daily part of being here, as has making sure that the kids are taking their vitamins and remaining healthy. It’s nice to know that what we are doing is actually helping, but it’s hard to think about what will happen once we leave.
39 of the kids go to school during the day. Sometimes, I get to walk the 4 kindergardeners to school (pictures to follow), it’s really cute. The other three kids, John, Mary and Soloman are too young for school and stay behind with Sally and I all day. We’ve been repainting many of the structures here at the orphanage to fill the hours during the day.
I wish I could say that I’ll have the opportunity to update more frequently, but getting the chance to use the internet is rare. I have been journal-ing each day I’ve been here though, so I hope to transcribe some thoughts at a later date.
Hopefully more to come soon, thank you for listening. And if it’s your fancy, say a few prayers for these kids, especially Julius.