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Published: November 13th 2008
Nov 9 2008
What a day … I got to Alafati, the child we sponsor. He is soooo cute, brought a tear to my eye to see him so pleased with the gifts we brought him … tell you more later.
The day started by going to church, that was an experience they spoke Swahili throughout the service, Samuel gave me some info but not much. Samuel was awesome today. He offered to take me to see Alafati and then to the Internet Café, but he also gave me a tour of the town, boy this is a poor area!! I’ve never seen such poverty and such poor living conditions. These folks are the poorest of the poor … they latterly have what they wear and a few personal belongings but they are few and far between. I don’t know how you track where you live, there’s no street names, no house numbers, not a thing. It seems like all you do is build and there you are. Everything is crowded and congested. Streets are narrow and ditches to carry the rains are on either side of the road. Kids play everywhere, parents are seldom seen. We went past the local drinking establishment and it was packed … I can’t understand how they afford it????
At the SaveAfricaNow.org (SAN) website they mention two kids Haruna and Juma, both of them were “rescued” by the organization. They used to live in an abandoned foundation of an old house, until SAN built them a new home. It is about 20 x 20 and there are 7 of them in the house … the two boys, their sister and 4 cousins live with their grandmother. Their parents all died of AIDS!! When we went to see them it was amazing, being a white guy was quite a spectacle. Everyone stopped to say hello. .. yes they say hello, or they simply stared! When we walked up the hill to their home we were greeted by a swarm of kids, but when I took a picture they started jumping up and down and yelling. Then adults started to check us out … then more kids, in the end we had about 20 kids surrounding me wanting their picture taken. I would then show them the picture and that just created more kids to come running. Samuel had to finally tell me we had to leave. As I walked down the hill, I had kids wanting to hold my hand. I was told that was a sign of respect … a message to everyone “look who’s with me”. It was so cool. Wait until you see the pictures when I get them up … a tear in your eye will be hard to hold back!!
Then it was off to see Alafati … Oh My Gosh!! He was told I would be here some time this week, when I pulled in there was about 6 other kids just playing in the courtyard of the apartment. When Samuel asked for Alafat the kids went crazy … then this little boy in alight blue shirt came running from out of nowhere and hugged me, I didn’t even get the camera out he came so fast. He says “Hello” … well the tear squeaked out … what a moment!! I handed him a soccer ball (Thanks SportChek Cambridge) and he never let it go until we got outside 30 minutes later. I met his sister and brother and his Aunt who now cares for him and his 4 cousins. I didn’t get to the bedrooms, but I can only imagine the arrangements, at best it looked like a 3 bedroom apartment. I gave him the gifts, but he was overwhelmed with them. He didn’t know what to look at, but that soccer ball never left his hands. The letters were translated for him by Samuel and then we chatted with his Aunt. A very nice lady, who has 4 kids, youngest is 14 months and the oldest is 8. Her husband works for the Power corporation so he travels a lot and he is busy. The good news is he makes a little money then most, thus the reason they live in an apartment. After about 30 mins we went outside and watched the kids play with the soccer ball. They were having a blast! Took a ton of pictures and I video taped them as well, can’t wait to show everyone that! Alafati wanted me to play with him and then the other kids got into the action. Next thing I know I have about 10 kids all wanting my attention and to have me kick them the ball. It was awesome …
Well that’s it for today, I am ready for another good nights sleep. It’s only 8:30 and I’m ready to crash. No pop, no chips, no TV … no NHL makes for early nights.
I am missing home, these folks have it rough but they don’t seem to mind. They don’t want it any other way. I miss the luxuries and conveniences but I don’t miss the hustle and bustle of our lives. These folks are way more relaxed and seem to laugh more and certainly interact with each other way more then we do. These folks know ALL of their neighbours!!!
I think a great big Timmies and a Big Mac might be In order when I get home … OK maybe not the Big Mac!
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