Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Sunday Mornings in the Valley

Editor’s Note:  Megan is off to college now, but I found this piece of her writing on my laptop about an orphanage that houses over sixty kids who were orphaned in the 2007-2008 election violence here in Kenya.  Most Sundays during the school year a group of students from RVA make the half hour trip down to the orphanage. Here is a glimpse of the visits through Megan’s eyes.

The Land Rover jolts and shudders to a stop inside the battered blue orphanage gates as children swarm the car, calling to us in Swahili. Swiftly we unload, the girls jumping awkwardly down in their long skirts. Within seconds small hands are reaching for mine, vying for the coveted spot. We walk as a group into the classroom where I and two other girls will give a Sunday School lesson to the youngest kids. The small six-year olds run around obtaining chairs for us, and organizing the beat-up, wobbly desks and themselves. Soon they are attentive, and we start with a few songs. They absolutely love “Father Abraham”, so we make sure to end with that one. After the singing we give a sort lesson in Swahili, trying to tie in a conclusion that they will understand.

Next come the coloring pages. The bright white sheets of paper stand in stark contrast to the brown everything around them. Soon the paper will lose its stunning gleam and adapt to its surroundings, but for now the kids reach for it excitedly. Intermingled with the coloring time is some general TLC; we let the kids play with our hair, read their few, shabby books to them, chase them around the room, and just in general enjoy ourselves. At the end of the hour is treat time, and the kids enthusiastically stuff candy – wrappers and all – into their mouths to ensure that every last bit of sweetness is savored. Eventually it is time to leave, and we make our way slowly back to the Land Rover. As we drive away we watch the kids waving, and hear their small voices shouting “Kwaheri!” They know that they will see us again soon. 

Additional Note:  Now that Megan is gone, Emily is taking her place working with the same group of children this year.