14 July 2010

Food, File Folders and (Al)fayo

It's been a full two days and I have a lot of pictures to show for it...
Here we go.

This is a doll that one of the kids brought to Oasis yesterday. Jennifer said to Bre, "Mzunguu!" (white person!) Bre brought it in to show me because she knew I would think it's the creepiest doll I've ever seen. Seriously.After a super productive day in the Oasis offices (new interviews for children profiles, photos and some office organization for Geoffrey), we took a taxi over to visit Timothy: the first Oasis Vocational Training Student. He's an apprentice for a mechanic in town and was SO excited to show us around the garage.

They took apart the engine of the van (entirely) and it is sitting in the van...Timo said they are waiting for the man to bring a new body for the car and then they will re-connect it.
Sweet Timo
Geoffrey and Timo
Last night, we were invited for dinner at Geoffrey's house. I made the same joke a few times, but it is true: Olivia (Geoffrey's wife) makes food for 17 people even if there are only 5 people eating. She made three different kinds of chicken, beans, rice, green beans and about 6 plates of chapati...which disappeared quickly.

After dinner, we watched Wild Hogs (Matt and Chris' choice) while Olivia and I played with their daughter Charlotte (who calls herself Chaco).

Charlotte and Olivia
Charlotte would look at the picture and say (in Swahili): Mom, look! Chaco!

She loves Chris...contrary to the look of this picture
"Look, Mom! I'm drinking my milk!"

17 people in one house. We had to move to clear paths to the table and bathroom.

We arrived home and found Steve (and two friends). We listened to a few Steve stories while a bunch of the girls worked on a project for Oasis. (More on that soon)

This morning, we were a giant group at Oasis...so I wandered around in-between projects to take some action shots of each classroom.
Class 4: Jeremiah, P.I.G and Etao
Cameron teaching Class 4
Pat teaching Class 3
Brittany helping Njoki with her crafts in Class 1
Matt with Ekiru and Korode
His way of helping with crafts was to write his name on each one
I don't know her name, but she's really sweet
Lucy...who had written Torie, Cody, Bre, Matt and Sammy on her craft
Sisters: Jennifer (Ichuro) and Celinah (Ekiru)
Bre saying hello to Class 2 from Class 1
A bunch of Class 1 kids...Nancy (the smallest) is my favorite
Purity...who lives with her grandmother in a nearby slum, since both of her parents died
Celinah had a bad haircut yesterday (they shaved her eyebrows, too)...Matt helped her out
Alfayo and Celinah
Sammy (who has a strange skin disorder that causes him to lose pigment...but he's SUPER smiley)
Kris spends each day in the sewing room at Oasis. The kids bring in torn or second-hand clothes and she mends them or re-sizes them to fit. Her work is beautiful and her servant's heart is amazing. The girls love her...and it's really cute to watch her tear-up as she talks about loving them!
Lucy was given a brand new dress from JP. After her bath today, she put it on and then walked around showing the picture of the two of them saying, "Jessica!"
Cameron and a gang of kids waiting for their turn to bathe
Ceril and Alfayo
Crazy faces
Korode and Cameron
Korode (who calls me Lydia at least 4 times a day)
Brittany, Timo and Peter

Stellah is ready for her tailoring lessons
Alfayo took this picture of Matt
I have always wanted to make a file folder for each of the Oasis kids, but we never had a file cabinet. Then Steve gave his to Geoffrey! So yesterday, we went to town in search of folders. The bookshop had hanging folders, but not the others. Their suggestion: make your own! They sent us away with a giant stack of manila paper and we spent the evening tracing, cutting and folding 250 folders.

So, I spent this morning transferring the paperwork from accordion folders to the new file cabinet. Each kid has his/her own file with their interview (family history, background, street life information, etc)...and, eventually, each file will hold medical paperwork, birth certificates, or awards. These types of memories--or even histories--are uncommon for children who live on the streets or in the slums, so it is incredibly helpful for the staff and doctors of these kids.
Yesterday, Matt said to Alfayo, "You need a kinyozi" (a visit to the barber). Alfayo said, (in Swahili) , "Today? In a car? We'll go in to town?!" (Alfayo loves Matt...and Matt is crazy about Alfayo)

So, today, after a SUPER productive morning in the office, Matt, Bre, Manu and I took Alfayo in to town for the afternoon...
Matt and Alfayo
Matt, Alfayo and Bre...it was his first time in a car
Checking out everything we pass...Matt said, "You little golden retriever!"
Crossing the street to get to the kinyozi (barber)
Ready for a kinyozi
Trying to watch himself in the mirror
Clean shave...and now a new pair of socks and shoes!
Chips, meat and potatoes for lunch...with a Fanta...
Finish it off with a lollipop and chocolate bar...
two super excited boys
It's always fun to watch a child get excited about simple things like chips and a soda...but my very favorite moments are when the adults watch the child with excitement. Talking to Matt after the afternoon with Alfayo, it was very cute to listen to him explain (in few words, of course) how much he loved treating Alfayo to a special day.

I can't wait to see Alfie at Oasis tomorrow. I know he'll be strutting in his new shoes...a tangible sign of God's love for him, given through Matt's presence here.


Julie Hibbard said...

LOVE your updates!
I am SURE that was the best day of Alfie's life. So far of course...

LOVE the organization of the files! I am sure Geoffrey wishes you were there every single day.

Man, could I go for some chapati (in the USA...)

PETE Di LALLO said...

Hi Alli,
Leesa, Sid and Thea are visiting with us for a few days and as I was reading and looking at this post she was peeking over my shoulders said she loved it and was moved...she sends her love and I do too...
p.s. I totally love to look at your pictures...

Andrea said...

Long time stalker, first time commenter. Thank you so much for this blog. I'm going to read it to my children. It's amazing how much we take for granted. God bless you all!!!

PETE Di LALLO said...

Have your friend throw a shoe at that hideous doll!!!
That is one scary doll...