16 July 2011

It's Friday, I'm In Love

Friday morning, we headed over to Oasis...our eyes already filled with tears at the thought of having to say goodbye.

We walked from classroom to classroom, taking photos and saying goodbyes through chokes of tears.

Class One

Class Four

Class Three
A group from Overlake Church visiting Class Three
Naomi washing dishes
Bridget teaching Class One
Class Two

Ailona reading a book to Class Two
At break, we took individual pictures...said individual goodbyes...said "Nakupenda" (I love you) about 300 times.

Etao kept saying, "I have things to say, but I won't because it makes me feel sick."
Watching Etao tear-up never failed to make me cry.

At 10:30, we said goodbye (with lots of tears) and jumped in the car to make some visits to secondary schools. I knew this would be one of the most difficult afternoons, since these are some of my favorite boys. It's hard enough to see them for only a few nights in a year, but to see them for less than 15 minutes in a year just killed me.

First stop: Moses and Kevin at Kamusinde Secondary School (about an hour from Kitale)
They called the boys to the office, but didn't tell them why...Moses' face of shock and excitement was the best. The two women in the office, watching the two of us be SUPER excited to see each other, were laughing at us.
The man in the office told us that they were in class, so we had to be brief. Geoffrey said, "Why don't you walk them out to the car to say goodbye, I want to talk to the Deputy Principal for a few minutes." (Such a good Geoffrey, buying us time.)

We sat outside for another 10-15 minutes...and I cried a few times, thinking of having to say goodbye.
Ryanne brought her Polaroid camera and took one of me with each of the boys. They were so excited to keep a photo from our visit.

We got back in the car...and I cried down the road, already missing Moses.

About 20 minutes later, we were at Kabuyefwe, to visit Steward, Edwin and Paul.
The teacher that met us was kinda mean and almost didn't let us see the boys (even though it was lunchtime). He told us no one was allowed to have visitors unless it was visiting day.

Once again, brilliant Geoffrey to the rescue. "They came all the way from America to see the boys they support."

So, he went to get them. But, of course, told us we had to keep it brief.
All three boys
With Geoffrey
We took Polaroids and gave them gifts (sugar, bread, drinking chocolate, soap and toilet paper).
It was so hard to see the boys for such a short time, but I would rather see them for a few minutes than not see them at all.

A quick lunch at home and then we walked over to Oasis to help prep for the party.
There are 22 boys that sleep at the Centre. The boys eat each night, but there's not always enough food to go around. So last night, there was a feast: chapati, chicken, potatoes, rice and soda.

There was a kitchen filled with people prepping for hours.

This giant pot of chicken and potatoes...they were stirring it with a big giant wooden spoon (that made me want to sing "Cheer Up Charlie" everytime they pulled it out).
The chickens were freshly killed, so their heads and feet were still in the kitchen.
Chapati for 27
P.I.G. and Etao hanging out, waiting for dinner
Ryanne keeping everyone entertained...
Manu and Kevin
The boys set the church as a GIANT dining room

How cute is this kid?

The kitchen got more and more smokey
Boy band?

Charlotte really wanted to help prepare the chapati...
so we gave her a little bit of dough to play with
I'm not very domestic, so I lost interest in helping in the kitchen after an hour or so...
So I headed outside to take a bunch of pictures and hang out with the boys.

We moved inside to watch a movie as we waited for dinner to be served.
Mr. Bean's Holiday was a big hit (not much dialogue, which was great for the smaller boys).
Charlotte, who was uninterested in being my friend this week, crawled up on my lap to watch the movie and then fell asleep. I looked over to get Ryanne's attention and said, "Victory!"
Around 7:30, the food was ready. Onesmus and Jane served up the dishes (piled high with rice and chapati!)

The boys lined up, smallest to biggest, to receive their plates and then headed back inside to the church to grab a soda, pray and eat.
Onesmus and his niece, Charlotte
Our HUGE dinner party

I want to have dinner with this little boy everyday
After dinner, we finished the movie and took some Polaroids.
P.I.G and Etao were having trouble being serious.
One final surprise: new shirts and sandals for everyone!
Geoffrey organized them by-size, to help with distribution.
The boys lined-up, smallest first, to get their presents.
Once everything was given out (and sizes exchanged to fit), we took some pictures.

We prayed over the boys (I cried, of course) and then helped to clean up the room. (Surprisingly efficient for a room of teenage boys!)

I couldn't say goodbye...so I just said "See you tomorrow" and we'll have to go by to say "see ya" this afternoon. I'm definitely not ready for that.

Just a few places to visit today...a few more souvenirs to purchase...
And then, dinner with Ben and Christine.

We fly out tomorrow...
Not sure I'm ready to leave...but, I'm assuming you knew that.

1 comment:

Julie Hibbard said...

I love the thought of you singing, "Cheer up Charlie"...you're favorite song.
I know these next 24 hours are going to be so hard for you. I'll be sending you much love, as I know you'll be leaving much of your heart there.