Last night, Geoffrey and Manu took us to visit some families of the Oasis centre kids. Geoffrey had a list written up to make sure we saw everyone we needed to see, in the most efficient order. We got started a little late, and night fell so quickly, that we had to stop halfway through our list...we'll complete the visits next week.
Our first stop was in Meru Farm. During an interview of one of the boys on Thursday, Manu and I found out that these boys had been living with an uncle, but Thursday morning, the uncle left for Eldoret to find a new job; these boys, Amos and James (left to right) were now living in this home with another centre boy, Moses, but without any adults.
So, we stopped by to drop off a few blankets, some maize flour (which is used to make the staple Kenyan food: ugali).
The wall was decorated with art projects from the centre and a sign from the football match back in August. (Carol, Megan, Daina, Andrea and I made signs for the boys...Amos just happened to have a sign I had made!)
We parked the car and walked over this bridge to visit two other families. Shimo was named for this valley. Evidently it does not mean "pit of snakes" as I was told a few years ago. (I guess that makes me gullible). It was so fun to walk in and see the girls we know and love from Oasis. I think the moms in the homes thought it was funny when their little kids jumped in to the arms of these white people...but we love them and, I think, they love us, too.
Families here do not have familial last names like we do...so it's tough to explain who you are talking about without listing all of the kids. So, this woman is mother to Patrick, Ajikon (Eunice) and Christine (Amlango) who are in three of the five Oasis houses. She also has four more kids pictured here: Mary (in the pink), Erica, Peter and Irine. Irine comes to the centre everyday (and was the little girl who had the jiggers pulled from her feet on Monday). Chris and I both asked, within minutes, "how do you say 'We love your kids' in Kiswahili?" (Also, this woman must have the strongest genetic code ever because each of her children look exactly like her!)
Here's Peter eating a lollypop that's too big for his mouth.
Irine is a great big sister.
Jennifer and Celinah are at the centre everyday, too. They are great friends with Irine (since they live next door, that makes sense)...and are some of our very favorite kids. They were so excited to see us in their home. I was excited to use my new sentence to tell this mama "Napenda watoto wango" (I am probably misspelling that, but it means "I love your kids").
This is their little sister. She doesn't come to the centre, though she's old enough to come...Geoffrey invited her to join her sisters on Monday.Chris handed out lollypops and instantly became the most popular man in Shimo...
I can't wait to visit the rest of the houses...I'm sure we'll take more photos and I'll tell you all about it...