A rare day off

 Posted by Meredith Rosson at 11:43 pm  Kenya
Oct 102013

Well we had a rare day off today. The private school at our location is off for midterm studies and the kids that live at the orphanage had school. So in rare fashion we had a day off. I woke up and went for my first run this morning. While quite hilly, I enjoyed the challenge and time alone to reflect.

I suppose I should update you all since the last post.

Things have gotten much better and I feel quite settled now. The kids are fantastic- bright, funny, joyful, and just want/need love. There are many obstacles we seem to face as volunteers… Corruption with those the children should be able to trust, cultural values, resources, and the ability for changes you implement to continue to be carried out once we leave. At times you feel hopeless to implement long- lasting change but the most important thing I am trying to leave them with is feeling of self worth, knowledge that they deserve the right kind of love, and a sense of empowerment to instill changes themselves.

I am quite in love with the children that live at the orphanage. I only get two hours a day with them since they leave for school at 5:30am and don’t return until 6pm and go straight to tutoring. But those two hours make every single day For me. One of Kenyans’ vices is telenovelas but in English. It he kids get one hour to finish homework and once completed watch the telenovelas. While it is just tv time that I often take for granted back at home, it is one of my favorite times here. Often I am surrounded by children on my lap and on both sides, hugging and holding onto me. I love this interaction. I love the need in their touch. They just want to know they are cared for and during this time we build our friendships and trust. They have easily snuggled their way into my heart. Then at the end of their hour of tv, they sing 2-4 songs of praise and take turns praying. This is so beautiful to witness. Their sense of strength comes from one another and their faith. I have so much to learn about internal happiness from them.

During the day this week I have found myself in the pre- k and kindergarten class (they share a room and a teacher). I help with math, reading, and writing. This is the age they are just starting to learn English. The 20-25 kids in this class are the smiliest and cutest little monsters ever! :) they are mischievous and like to test their limits, but it makes the time so fun And funny! Now that I have spent a week there I think I am going to ask if I can take one of the classes myself and teach them. I am hoping the teacher will trust me and see the benefits of this.

My fellow volunteers : Mariana from Mexico, Chris from chile, and Gemma from Australia are awesome. While we are all quite different our love seems to mirror one another. I have a lot of comfort in knowing we have each other’s backs.

The slum we live in is quite a different world than I am used to or expected. It is busy constantly and the noise is comforting and enveloping. I am greatly appreciating and enjoying this adventure and the lessons that these children and this culture have taught me. I am already getting sad at the thought of leaving them behind.

I miss you all greatly and wish I could properly share all of my experiences with you.


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