12 November 2019 – Munich airport
We must be crazy. There are only two options. First this could be the most wonderful journey our lives. Or second, this is going totally wrong.
2 December 2019 – Maisha Mazuri children centre
It is definitely the most wonderful and most magnificent journey of our lives! But let us tell you why: we arrived on the 13th of November in Nairobi. The driver was already waiting for us. He took us safely to the Maisha Mazuri Centre. So many nice greetings, handshakes and lovely touches made us feel at home from the beginning on. The first days we were taken to Tala and the farm. Day by day we became more part of the daily routines. Now, after four weeks it is normal for us to cook on open fire, to plant what we want to eat and we are never in a hurry.
A few days after our arrival we got our timetables. To be honest, we were allowed to plan it mostly ourselves. We decided to work on the farm Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday mornings. It was more difficult than we thought: many rainy days made it impossible to cross the river to the farm on some days. But the days we spent there were very good. Kimeu, the farmer, teaches us a lot about the plants: how they grow, when to plant them, what to use them for and much more. Now we know everything about onions, tomatoes, kohlrabi, maize, watermelons, mango trees, avocado trees and more.
In Kenya the boys and girls have a long school break in November. Therefore we had plenty of time to spend with the kids. Rafaela decided to give flute lessons. Every Tuesday and Thursday after lunch she gave private lessons to the kids, who signed up. She worked with the flutes and books, we already had at the centre. But she also brought some new flute books. To learn the tones better, she created some cards: she drew each tone on one side and the matching letter on the other side. This way the kids were able to learn the tones even before and after the lessons.
Nina decided to give sport lessons after lunch on Mondays and Wednesdays. We played some funny catching games we know from Germany like “Ochs am Berg”, “Versteinern” or “Who is Scared of Batman”. We also did some special kind of sports like soccer, volleyball or dodge ball. After a while Nina started to train the community soccer crew. She was able to use her know-how as a physical therapist to coach them.
In Germany we had already planned some special surprises for the kids and the whole Maisha Mazuri family, besides those weekly events. We came to Africa with an advent crown, ingredients for roasted almonds, biscuits and little gifts for an advent calendar. And four weeks before the Christmas holidays started, we had our “German Christmas time“ every Thursday. In the morning before lunch we baked, cooked, did handcraft works, read Christmas stories and painted with the kids. In the evenings, when we were all sitting together for dinner, we lit a candle on the crown, prayed a German and an English prayer and handed over the little presents. For example, we brought them new coloured pencils, water pistols and new story books in English like “The Robber Hotzenplotz”.
Friday is our day off and we can do whatever we want to and went to Tala a few times to buy fresh fruits, handmade baskets and other interesting things at the local market.
On Saturdays we help a lot in the kitchen. Because Saturday is chapati day. As German tourists we fell in love with chapati and mandazi. And knowing that we helped cooking them, they taste even better.
In Kenya, church and God are very important to the people. Therefore on Sundays people don’t work. It is the day you praise God. We are free to decide if we want to go to Sunday school and church or if we stay at the centre, help with cleaning and play games with some of the kids. On the 24th of November we had a special event at the Maisha Mazuri centre. The gospel sisters from Tala visited us and sang and prayed together with the kids and talked about the bible. We joined them and listened. Everybody had to introduce themselves. They came with presents, too, for example milk, bread, sodas and rice and useful things for the daily life. For the kids it was an extraordinary event and they really liked it.
All of this happened only in our first few weeks and we are both really excited about everything that will happen in our next months and weeks. This is definitely a wonderful place and we are both very glad and thankful to be here.
Nina and Rafaela