You know it's going to be a good day when it begins with a tiny child in a onesie...
We had very few plans for Monday except to make sure we were making the most of our last few days in town. There were several kids who still hadn't gone to town for lunch, so we'd made plans to take a big group of girls for lunch and the remaining boys to dinner. Little did we know, we'd miscounted...oh, and that I'm a total sucker!
Japheth was a little overwhelmed by the noisy living room, so they brought him out to the patio to relax
Tiny little Shangi is super smiley
Lounging with Dinah while we watch a movie
with Marvelous and Imani
We loaded up the van as best we could and I went to tell the house moms who we were taking. Then Mama Mo stopped me to say, "Dinah and Sherry want to go, too. They share a bed and every night ask when it will be there turn to go. I told them their turn was coming. Then yesterday, they said, Alice only takes the kids with legs, so we won't get to go."
And it broke my heart. Are you kidding me?! So, of course, we loaded them up in the van, too. But not before they went to get dressed up to go to town. I went back to help and pulled out some leggings, but Mama Salome said, "Oh, no...Sherry said she'd like to wear a dress!" These two are so cute.
So, here we are: eight kids and three adults at lunch! Lillian, Lucy, Dinah, Triza, Sherry, Suzie, Stellah and Marvelous.
It's a bit easier for Dinah (and Suzie) to eat on the floor, so we set them up in their own spots (so Suzie wouldn't eat Dinah's fries) and they ate every bite!
Suzie was a bit overwhelmed by the whole thing. She'd been too hungry when we arrived, so she was already starting to meltdown. Luckily, I had a bag of almonds in my purse, so that kept her preoccupied long enough for her soda to arrive. After lunch, she was clearly done, so I attempted to calm her down the best way I knew how: a piggyback ride. But it was no match for her frustration...she wriggled and fought and scratched all the way to the car. The best part was when I was trying to pay for parking, but the machine wouldn't take my ten shilling coin so I had to ask the man at the stand near the machine to trade me for a new coin. (Just taking his sweet time searching his pockets while Suzie continued to meltdown on my back.) I was so sweaty by the end of the whole ordeal!
Once we were back in the car, she was okay, but she refused to sit down on the ride home. Instead, she stood and looked around and, when she saw a bump coming, would let go of the bars so she would almost lose her balance while we went over it. She's a nut...but she did keep the entire car entertained on the drive.
When we brought Dinah and Stellah back inside, they crawled straight to Mama Mo to tell her all about their afternoon. I thanked her, again, for letting me know that I'd overlooked them and asked to take their picture together. Look at those sweet faces!!
Rooney never misses a photo op!
I grabbed Japheth and headed to the yard.
While we were sitting there, Moses came over to hang out for a bit.
Before long, the wind picked up and it was clear we were in for an amazing rainstorm! Everyone ran inside to take cover.
Sunny had gone to one of the back rooms to take a short nap, but I knew she wouldn't want to miss her first Kitale rainstorm, so I ran back to wake her. Sure enough, the storm picked up--so we sat on the tin-roofed patio enjoying the sound of the heavy rains.
All of the small kids running around inside drove many of the older kids out to the patio with us...
Peter, Ezekiel and Jabal
As the rain continued, we noticed it pouring in to the patio. Slowly, but surely, it grew in to a nice pool. I turned and saw Jabal stomping around and snapped a quick picture. He stopped, pointed at me and said, "Oh, Alice! You know, that is bad manners!" and ran back inside. (I'm pretty sure he meant playing in the muddy water, not taking a photo.)
Some kids went to quite a bit of effort to avoid wading in to the waters. I love this photo of Manu and Kevin (in the doorway.)
Once the rain died-down, we began to talk of dinner plans. Knowing we'd have a big crew that would need to get to town, eat and get back before dark, we'd planned to leave early. The rain had put us behind schedule, so we had to make quick decisions once it'd stopped.
I walked to the back porch to tell some of the bigger kids to get ready, but was cornered by some of the older boys (who'd already gone to town) who were asking to come along tonight, too. Earlier, I had told Sunny that I wanted to take all of the boys again, but didn't want to be unfair to those who hadn't had a turn yet, so when they were asking, it was a very easy 'yes'. (Though I let them think they were working for it. One boy even said, "You are leaving this week...if you let us go to dinner, this will be like your goodbye and we will remember this chicken forever.")
Hard to take them too seriously when one of them is dressed like Captain America.
So, we loaded up fifteen boys--including a few of the smaller boys who hadn't yet had a turn--and headed back to Ruby Deli for our final meal there.
With Junior and Eric David
After dinner, we sent a few of the boys in to the market to buy watermelons for the house moms and cookies for the rest of the kids. And then asked for one thing: a photo together. Here we are! All of the boys!
They even held still for Sunny to get one, too!
As we left the restaurant, it started to rain...hard. A few days before, Pascal had been talking to me as we were leaving and accidentally pulled the windshield wiper off. They hadn't worked for awhile anyway, so it wasn't a huge deal...I casually tossed it on the dashboard.
On the drive home, I'd been attempting to use my old method of wiping the window with a rag, but then it got too damp and wasn't doing much to help me see. Then I remembered the wiper was just in front of me! Sunny reached down to grab it and handed it over. Well, that did the trick! It made it do much easier to see where we were going--and, as a bonus, it made the entire group of kids (plus several vans filled with strangers) laugh!
We dropped the boys just as night fell, so we turned around and headed home ourselves...laughing pretty hard at just how ridiculous this windshield wiper routine was.