A Week of Many
The children began school this week, which was very exciting for them! It was the first time for some of them and they all needed to take a placement exam before being allowed to begin. It was after these exams that the principal pulled me aside and told me that three of our children are high above average intelligence. This was not too much of a surprise, I already knew our kids were special! She allowed them to begin the next day, except for our older boy Ellie who needed to go to a school for older children in the neighboring area of Kawe. We then went to Kawe to enroll him and the principal there also gave us good news. He showed us their special education class and offered to allow us to enroll Abu. Now, all of our children head off to school, looking adorable in their little uniforms and backpacks.
Our kids also received visitors from our friends at Umra Orphanage, the former home of Abu. A few volunteers from Umra wanted to visit Abu and the new children and also brought seven other kids to play football. We all ventured across the street to the little football field, where the boys played football and the girls made me play “Waka Waka” over and over again so that they could dance. Which is surprisingly tolerable when a bunch of cute little girls are trying to dance like Shakira.
Every afternoon, they show me their marks from class which have been nothing short of impressive. They have all displayed a genuine interest in school and are all getting very high grades. So, I arranged a beach trip for the weekend to show them how proud I was (which also worked to encourage good behavior, “if you hit your friends, you’re not going to the beach on Saturday”, etc.). They have been doing their chores such as washing their clothes and making their beds. They have been listening to us and their teachers, bringing reports of perfect behavior at school. They also welcomed two other kids into their home on Friday, making it the perfect time to go on the first help2kids field trip. The two children who joined us are named Nuru (11) and John (5). They have both recently experienced tragedies which brought them into our orphanage and seemed very serious when they arrived. But being the wonderful bunch of kids that they are, our kids welcomed them right away and told them how happy they will be here. They told the new kids about how we would be going to the beach the next day but that they had to be good and not hit anybody or they couldn’t go.
Saturday morning was very hectic, all of the staff running around and packing food and clothes while kids tried to hang on our backs and ask us a million questions about the beach. Around 9 am, there was a loud honk at our front gate and the house erupted in happy shouts from the kids when they realized it was the bus that was taking us all. I also turned it into a staff appreciation day, so every help2kids staff member joined us! It was a wonderful day, filled with laughter and swimming. We would take breaks to drink water and juice and eat fresh mango and pineapple. We then ended the day with everyone sitting in the shade of a baobab tree, sipping ice cold sodas.
The children (and staff) were exhausted after their beach trip, and went right off for their nap when we came home. After a cup of coffee, Patrick and I jumped into the car and went off to pick up our newest volunteer, Desiree from Germany. The children seemed to like her right away and she has jumped into her volunteer position easily, working on classes for the children which will begin soon. She also accompanies me on my errands, picking up the kids from school, and even going to the car mechanic. She will also be in charge of decorating the classroom in the back and has many wonderful ideas!
As you can see, one week can bring many things here. While it may be exhausting, it is never too much because the smiles of these wonderful children makes everything worth it. We are extremely lucky to have such fantastic kids and we are dedicated to giving them everything that they need! Make sure to check the blog next week, as our volunteer Desiree will be writing it from her perspective.
Thanks again for reading and we’ll see you back here next week! Karibuni! (You are all welcome!)