New hope rising

 Posted by Meredith Rosson at 11:31 pm  Kenya
Oct 182013

Well let me first start off by saying how much I appreciate each and every email or FB post that comes in. That little piece of “home” goes a long way here!

Most recently I received news that my baby sister is now engaged!!! Thank goodness I I feel like these kids need me and they are so darn cute bc I am HATING not being there with her to celebrate!  I would be on the next flight home if it werent for these sweet munchkins. So many hugs your way Gina!!!

I can’t believe how quickly the end is approaching. Tonight is Chris’ final night here before he heads back to chile. We are going out to celebrate… Not sure about the nightlife here, but I will report back :) (don’t worry mom, I will be safe) 😉

i have to say I am extremely thankful for all of the volunteers I have met along the way. Our allegiance to one other has taken on a familial status while we are all here for a common goal and in a place out of our comfort zone. Gemma (from Australia) and Chris ( from chile) have really been the ones that brought me a sense of ease in this new culture. They were here before us ( Gemma since February and Chris since September) and thanks to them, we were told everything we needed to know- how to catch a matatu, which matatu to catch, how much things should cost, more about the staff we hadn’t laid eyes on at daylove and more about the kids’ background. They really saved Mariana and I from several scams, I am sure. I am also so thankful for Mariana (from Mexico). We are roomies and together have taken a bumpy ride here in Kenya. We are both skeptical and like to watch our backs even when Chris tells us certain situations are safe to explore alone. We watch each other’s backs and are constantly checking on one another. She is my Kenya sister :) I hate that I am leaving her so soon (she stays until mid-December) and I hope the new volunteers that arrive at the beginning of November help look after her.

I wish I had a revolutionary post for you but this week was full of meetings and items that should not be posted publicly.

in one of our meetings we mentioned our concern that the kids don’t have anything to play with during their recess. And while I am all for kids using their imaginations, they really need new balls or other outdoor toys to help engage and add to their play time. I am impressed though, they get over 1.5hours of recess-the one thing US schools could take note of. But back to the meeting… We told them that they were just playing with dirt and old scraps from the construction site (boards with rusty nails ) and magically and thankfully the next day they had a HUGE suitcase of Legos to play with and they were delighted! This is a small change but big in their eyes!

One other item that is of great concern is that this week the preschool only had 4 days of school. They only have two teachers for 40-50 kids and at least two of those four days, one of the teachers did not show up for work. No one could tell me why, but they also didn’t seem to care. So I helped the one teacher that did show up as much as possible but found myself growing frustrated that this was a private school that parents paid hard earned money for and yet their 6 year olds were with 3 year olds and not receiving great guidance due to one teacher’s seemingly lack of commitment. I had also witnessed this at the high school on site. One of our girls that lives at the orphanage that actually goes to the private high school onsite asked me to attend class with her during my first few days there. She was so excited to introduce me to her friends and have me sit with her in class. Unfortunately her first two teachers did not show up for class. No one was sent in to sub or anything. The kids just didn’t have biology or English that day- and get this… The principal actually came in and yelled at them for being loud instead of studying, never addressing their teacher’s absence. He told them their parents paid good money for them to be acting that way would infuriate them. I was infuriated with him- where were their teachers? But I was too new to say anything at this point. These poor kids deserve committed adults in their lives but it is so few and far between that they receive commitment, guidance,  trust, and care and unfortunately they don’t think twice about their teacher must not showing up for school. I have found that they really lack systems or a way to hold adults accountable at the schools. I wish I could help in this arena, but they do not want it.

If there are any teachers reading this and you think your school is bad in the states, please come here. Daylove could really use some teachers as volunteers. Even if it is short term, two weeks could mean a great deal to their futures And I can assure you that you will fall in love with these kids :)



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