24 September 2008

Fun For Every (Gil)Gal and Boy

Today, after a productive morning at Oasis of Hope (more on what we're doing there later) we went to Gilgal, a secondary school in Kipsongo. The school is made up of 33 freshmen that are either orphaned (both Kenyans and Sudanese) or live in deep poverty.

Ben and Christine, the couple who run the school, are unbelievable. Ben travels, teaching and training, all over Africa. Christine is mother to three children of her own and about 5 children who have been orphaned or abandoned by their own parents. (We also sang Christmas songs all the way home today...oh, and they are the family that had us over to spend the night and we watched Home Alone)

We've been visiting the school on Wednesday afternoons. We arrive in time for one class period...which we have taken-over as question hour. Last week, they asked questions about our President, our school system and American culture.

This week, there was only one question and Edwin (who asked the question) giggled while he asked, "If I want to marry a mzungu (white person), what should I expect?" This, following Chris gesturing to me and Daina and saying, "Which one?” launched us in to a discussion of American and Kenyan wedding traditions, dowries, engagements, etc. It was an hour of laughter as the boys in the class cheered when they heard that, in America, the bride's family pays for the wedding...

After this class, Chris becomes the school PE teacher. They play a round of football while I do some office work. Beginning next week, he'll introduce some new sports--I'm voting for Ultimate Frisbee.

I am amazed at the hearts of these kids. They speak almost perfect English (that is their common language--since Swahili is not spoken in Sudan), constantly smile and laugh...they play tough, competitive football, but are very good about including the girls. They are brilliant and well-behaved...obviously, we are still learning names (after only a few hours with them, we haven't quite learned 33 names and faces).

Chris, Daina and I left today exhausted, but very excited about being a part of what's happening at this school. It's so obvious that God has been in control of our placement and schedule, since we totally love each of the places we are working...I'm hoping to take more photos as time goes on, so you can see these students' faces as you read about their lives.

I'm very much ready for bed (after Indiana Jones is over)...and ready for another trip to the pool with the babies from Sister Freda's.