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Published: September 19th 2010
I am so sorry for the delay in this weeks post, things here have been very hectic, what with me planning a kidnapping and all. To be honest, every time I sat down to write about my first few days at the orphanage, I was at a loss for words and had no idea how to convey how I felt, or what I saw, and do it justice all at the same time. So bear with me while I try.
Monday was my first day at Camp Moses. I took my daladala there, and walked up my dirt path, and came to the property with a dozen little children roaming around. They all sort of looked at me, and then back at what they were doing. After I put my stuff away, I went back outside to play with the kids. Immediatly I was hooked. Some of the kids took an automatic liking to my hand or leg, or hair, while others continued playing in the dirt yard with bottle caps, sticks, and toy cars. The thing that I have learned is that these children see so many Muzungos coming and going, dropping off donations, or just hanging out, that the older ones don't really care to befriend you unless they know that you are in it and aren't going anywhere for a while. After about 30 min, the Danish volunteers came, and I slowly got the hang of what we were doing there. Making these kids feel loved.
There are 13 kids there right now, and 3 mammas who live with them, cook, clean, and make sure that they are being watched over. All of the kids there have horrific backgrounds, and are specially picked by Mamma Wambura to live at the orphanage. There are 10 more kids that are supposed to be arriving in the next few weeks. Baby Bryson is wonderful, and a joy to be around, and I am definitely not the only volunteer who thinks so. There is another girl named Sophie who got there a little earlier than I did, and she also has a great relationship with Bryson. It is really helpful because we are both able to take care of him. But then there are 12 other kids who need to be taken care of as well, so it has been a challenge trying to balance all of them, while still giving Bryson the attention that he needs. There is another boy there named Joseph who has just stolen my heart. He is 2 and a half years old, and has a devastating history. It has only been a week and he already screams bloody murder when I have to leave. I actually can't put into words how much I love him already. I know it sounds so weird because he is a strangers child, but there is something about him that just connected with me.
On Tuesday, Bryson and Joseph had follow up appointments at the hostpital in Moshi, a town about 80km away. I went with a Mamma, Sophie, and her friend who is a nurse and wanted to see how the hospital ran. We took a "coach" bus for about 2 hours and finally arrived. Please imagine doing that in a foreign country. Now add 2 babys and a mamma who don't understand a word you are saying. The boys had appointments at different ends of the hospitals, so I stayed with Joseph and waited for his doctor, and the girls went with mamma and Bryson to his appointment, only to find out that Juliet, the lady who helps run the orphanage, didn't give them the right hospital cards. The girls ended up taking Bryson back and the mamma came to wait with me and Joseph. It was alottttt of waiting for this doctor, and alot of travel time, but it was worth it to make sure that Joseph actually went to his appointment because if there want a volunteer, he probably wouldn't have been able to go.
The rest of the week has just been alot of falling in love with these kids. It has only been 5 days there, and I already have no idea how I am going to leave them at the end of October. I just need to do everything that I can do to try and make a difference in the next 6weeks.
Yesterday was Saturday and we went on a cultural tour of the middle of nowhere. it started in Arusha and 3 daladalas, and 2 hours later, we were actually in the middle of nowhere. It was all sand and traditional Masai Tribes. It was so cool and so interesting to see how people live out there. Saturday was market day so all the Masai people came to this one area with their goats and cows and tried to sell them to other families for their daughters. They all looked at us as if we were the first white people that they had seen, and we probably were. Then we walked in the desert to a Boma (a little gathering of huts for a man and his multiple wives) and got dressed up in traditional Masai womens clothing. I was a huge fan of all the jewelry and head crowns that they wear! I looked rediculous but cool all at the same time.
I am really loving my time here, and I am so intrigued by what this area has to offer me. Next weekend I am going to Niarobi to visit my friend Wanda. I'm really excited to see another country! and of course Wanda...
Iwould also Like to address the lack of photos. I promise I am in Africa and not in Florida tricking you all. I am going to try again now to upload them, but is=f that doesn't work I apologize again and promise you all true African photos soon enough.
Love you all!!!!
ps. the computer crashed 2 times while typing this so uploading photos isn't looking good
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