(Lisa) My last month begins and with the new volunteers Britta and Flo we have planned and implemented new projects – such as going to a swimming pool.
So Sunday morning after Sunday school we went swimming with the children from the children’s home and the children from the community, who are also cared for by MCC, to the nearby Savanna Lodge in Nguluni. We had about 50 children in our luggage, all of whom were very excited and enthusiastic about the day. After all the buses with the children arrived, we threw ourselves into bathing suits. Unlike in Germany, the children here wear leggings and T-shirts and show hardly any skin. We tried to teach the children how to swim and especially how to float on the surface of the water. There was a lot of splashing, laughing and swimming. When the children started to get hungry, there was chicken, chips and soda for everyone. After the meal, the question “Can we go to the pool again?” came again. They didn’t want to leave. We were able to enjoy a wonderful day, without any incidents.
Back in the MCC, the children taught Britta and Flo how to bake chapati and we had a lot of fun with good music. Even if it doesn’t work out right at first: practice makes perfect!
As some kids have difficulties with reading, the ABC and arithmetic, we have equipped the pinboard with a new self-made letter and number poster. These are for repetition and as an aid. In addition, we have also colored a map that shows the individual continents and which animals live on them. In order to create a balance between learning and exercise, our focus was on various sports activities. For example, we played various games from self-made skipping ropes and danced to “Pamela Reif Workouts”.
In mid-March Flo and I went on a safari and after Mombasa and Britta held the fort.
(Britta) When Flo and Lisa embarked on their journey, I, Britta, initially expected that I would have to face more difficulties on my own. Fortunately, this has not been the case. The great thing about spending time alone with the children is that I was able to get so much closer to them and experience the time with them more intensively. During the time that the other two were on their trip, it rained for the first time after a long dry season. Due to rain, for example, it can happen that the Sunday service is moved to the MCC and led by the children. The children start drumming and singing different songs in English and Kiswahili. This is usually accompanied by clapping or using their jackets to swing in the air like a lasso. I always find it impressive and fascinating to see how the Kenyan service differs from the German service and how much fun the children have.
What really surprised me is that the children can spend hours listening to music and dancing. You quickly hear something like “Please can I put music?” They would all like to be the first to ask for their favorite song(s) to be put on. But after school, they first have to do their homework. I find it frightening to see how big the differences are between the education level among children in the same class. It is always sobering when there are difficulties with the alphabet or the pronunciation of the letters. Children don’t learn arithmetic at school either, which means that learning support can be tedious and requires a lot of patience. I am all the more happy about the small successes of the children.
The children have a lot of fun with new games. At first I encountered rather little motivation from the children. But when the other kids saw how much fun the children were having with the games, they wanted to play, too. It was a bit chaotic at first, but after a short time the children understood the rules and laughed a lot.
(Lisa) Back at the children’s home, we were greeted warmly by the children, who rushed to the BodaBoda (a motorcycle taxi very common in Kenya), screaming with joy. We got to enjoy an incredible safari where we saw all the big fives, visited a Masai village and also saw a kill. After the safari we were in Mombasa and we got to know a completely different lifestyle, a completely different climate and a different landscape. Kenya simply has an incredible number of sides to offer!
On the Shamba we tried out the new plough, which is pulled by two oxen. At first we had difficulties because the river is filled again during the rainy season and the oxen didn’t want to cross it at first. After a lot of patience, several attempts and help from Boniface, the farmer, they crossed the river. We planted onions and pineapples on the farm and marveled at the banana palms, which are getting greener and greener due to the heavy rain.
After a long wait, a new matron, Nancy, finally moved into the MCC. This relieves Jackson more and the girls have a constant female reference person again. They can confide their fears and worries to Nancy and she will help them with washing their clothes and other challenges.
Since the separation of rubbish is always a problem, especially for the smaller kids or is forgotten, Britta and I repeated the rubbish separation in a playful way with the help of a self-made poster and assigned the different products to the right rubbish bins.
On a trip to Nairobi we visited the elephant orphan sanctuary and the giraffe house. There we could watch the baby elephants being fed and the giraffes ate out of our hands. Both are definitely worth a visit
Cooking spaghetti together was the order of the day for the last evening. We came back fully loaded, this time with 10 kg of pasta, 10 l of sauce and various vegetables from the Tala BodaBoda. The children were very happy and pitched in right away. Together we cooked a super large amount of pasta and sauce, which unexpectedly was gone in no time.
On the day of departure we also made pancakes. All the children are keen on the work and want to prepare everything themselves, which unfortunately is not easy to coordinate. The pancakes spread with jam were eaten faster than we could watch. Everyone was greedy for more, even the employees liked it and commented “so sweet”.
I enjoyed my time immensely, learned a lot from the kids, dealt with Kenyan corruption and grew through various challenges. I hope I can come back sometime and hope Britta and Florian can gain just as great experiences and enjoy their time! Asante Sana!