The Uuuhs and Aaarghs of my life

Posts tagged ‘Kids’

Healthy Mind, Healthy Child

image

Today, I had so much fun teaching the kids at the Kenyatta National Hospital Paediatric Learning Centre.
image

The children were energetic and excited to learn. Some coloured some drawings, others wrote stories, others played with word blocks and others followed the teachers with books in their hands saying, “Teacher! Teacher! Please give me some homework…”
Now, how often do we hear children ask teachers for homework?
These kids love learning despite their state of physical health.
image

The smiles on the faces of the little ones was like sunshine. They would like to stay engaged at the learning center but there aren’t enough volunteer teachers.
image

Guess what? There is hope! This Friday, 23rd 2014 there will be a training session for volunteer teachers. This will be from 2:00 to 3:30pm at the Kenyatta National Hospital Paediatric Learning Centre (3rd floor). You are most welcome to join the team of volunteers!
image

Volunteering at KNH Paediatric Learning Centre

Young people are encouraged to volunteer at the learning center.
Volunteering hours are usually from 11am – 3pm and from Monday to Thursday. Every volunteer will be part of any of the teams which work in two-day intervals. E.g. Team 1: Mondays and Wednesdays.
Kindly forward your name to Liz (below) for security clearance at the Paediatric Ward.
image

Cancer Survivor Party!
You are invited to a great party at the KNH Paediatric Ward on June 2nd, 2014. Join the kids for a fun day of Arts & Crafts, Puzzle games and other fun activities.
Kindly confirm attendance by 30th, May 2014.

Sponsorship for this event is welcomed and will be much appreciated.

Paediatric Learning Centre Wish List

Priority
Toilet paper, toothpaste, toothbrushes, soap (washing & bathing), petroleum jelly, baby diapers (Huggies diapers, 0-3months), face towels, sanitary pads.

Classroom
Exercise books, pencils, colour pencils, crayons, erasers, rulers, ink pens, writing ink.
image

Contact person:
Liz
Programme Director
Colour My World Kenya
(Partners with Kenyatta National Hospital Paediatric Learning Center)
Mobile: +254714481371

Advertisements

Turkey Funeral by @ayumyum

Turkey Funeral

Turkey Funeral

COCK-A-DOODLE-DOO! The farm’s cockerel stirred up life in the farm. Mama walked into my room and found me staring at the ceiling. The carroty rays of the morning sun had pierced through the old curtains creating lovely patterns of light. One pattern looked like a peacock’s tail. Mama thought so too when I pointed it out on my bedroom wall. She then told me to go take the warm bath she had prepared for me and later on head to the hut where Nyanya, my grandmother, was. I sprung out of my mattress and left my little sister Dory* tucked into her bedspread. Mama didn’t bother waking her up. The poor girl was exhausted! She had spent her entire afternoon running around the farm on the previous day when we had arrived at our rural home.

My older cousins had already started doing their chores in preparation for the great family feast in the evening. The boys helped my uncles to choose the best cow for the banquet. The girls accompanied my aunts to the market to buy kitchen supplies and grind sun-dried maize at the millers.

Papa was a busy man. His quick and long strides told it all. He walked from one side of the farm to the other making sure that everything was in order. The cattle had been released. The cows had been milked. The poultry in the farm had been freed from their pens. The guard dogs had been fed. Money had been given to purchase supplies for the feast. A true Kenyan man he was, attested by his special request for a generous order for beer – Tusker to be specific! I never understood why Papa and my uncles liked the soda they called Tusker. I had tasted it once from Papa’s glass but it did not taste nice. It gave people a funny smell in the mouth!

Omwitsukhulu (grandchild) let’s go!” Nyanya called out to me. It was time for our walk. She liked morning walks in the forest. It was the only time she got to take-in fresh whiffs from the Kakamega forest, before the farm filled with activity. I liked accompanying Nyanya. She was the tallest old woman I knew. No one really knew how old she was apart from Kuka, my grandfather.  Whenever she sang, I hummed silently to her tune as we picked fresh wild mushrooms amid the jamboree of trees. She sang in a language that mother had been trying to teach me. Her voice blended well with the choirs of forest birds and the chattering of monkeys. At times I just stopped and stared at her as she slowly knelt to pick mushrooms. The gingery sunrise waves settled on her so gracefully, covering her with a golden coat of light. I followed her closely behind as I picked the mushrooms she uprooted and stored them in a small sisal basket. From a distance, a group of women gathered firewood for their households. They all waved at Nyanya who was quite popular with women from the local church. Every harvest season she gathered women from the fellowship to harvest crop at our farm and go home with a sack full of produce as a token of appreciation.

As soon as we arrived back at the farm, it’s as if we had returned during resurgence.  There was clamour from every corner. People hurried from one point to another. The look on some animals confirmed that I was not the only one in shock. And so I let go of Nyanya’s hand and run towards Dory who was playing with some ducks. Kuka sat nearby on an old tree stump to ensure that Dory finished her breakfast which he held in his hands. The two were inseparable – wherever Kuka was, Dory was just a stone’s throw away. Nyanya said hello to her old love then headed for the kitchen where my aunts and mother were.

As Dory and I played with the birds, groups of men started approaching my grandfather for greetings. It was tradition to do so as a sign of respect. Whenever Kuka wasn’t around, Papa took his place as the eldest son to receive guests at the compound. I couldn’t help but feel so proud of Kuka. He was a short old man but very active in the community’s welfare. After Dory finished her breakfast, he stood up to put the bowl on the stump. Kuka grabbed his brown walking stick and went for a walk near a stream that flowed near his old hut. He did this whenever he wanted to pray. Perhaps he wanted to pray for a good feast and that Nyanya grants his request to make his favourite stew. Or perhaps he wanted to pray that Nyanya doesn’t cook his favourite rooster, she never liked his rooster. “It makes too much noise,” she used to say. Kuka always claimed that the rooster always woke him up in good time. Nyanya often disagreed and took the credit saying that she’s the one who woke it up before other farm animals. I loved how my grandparents got lost in their arguments and then laughed it off in the end.

Dory noticed that Kuka’s turkeys had fed well and gathered under Nyanya’s avocado tree to laze around for a while. The birds were so huge that I thought they would burst if pricked by a sharp object. There was a funny noise they made which I confused for one of Dory’s loud farts. For some reason, she quickly picked up a stone and threw it towards the group of turkeys. The impact it had was unexpected. Suddenly we were scampering from an angry mob of turkeys. The giant ones scared me the most. I thought that I was going to die if even one caught my toe.  “Would it swallow me whole?” But I feared most for Dory and wasn’t sure if a bird had grabbed her already. I cried out loud wondering what I would say if Kuka asked me about Dory. How could I tell him that one of his turkeys had swallowed his best friend?

Luckily, I spotted a clear path that led to the main kitchen at the farm. I could see Mama cleaning some utensils. I thought she was my best chance to prick the turkeys that were chasing me. I hid behind her and watched her scare away the fat birds like a superhero. I clung onto Mama’s colourful khanga tied round her waist and started crying. When she told me to calm down, I let out the secret. “I’m so sorry Mama! Dory threw a stone and the turkeys ate her,” I confessed. “What do you mean?” Mama asked. “Mama, what will I tell Kuka? His turkeys ate Dory!” What I expected to be a loud cry came out as a loud laugh by Mama. I was confused by her reaction then she reassured me that turkeys don’t eat children. I dried off tears from my eyes and jelly from my nose with the hem of Mama’s khanga.

The relief was short-lived as I heard the sound of Dory wailing nearby. Mama and I quickly ran towards the loud cry hoping that she’s alright. I had prepared to see the worst – Dory screaming from the inside of a giant turkey. My heart pounded hard in fright only to find Dory curled up at the foot of the avocado tree. She was crying as she held something in her hands. When she saw us, she uncovered her little hands to show us a young turkey struggling for breath. She asked Mama to rescue it since she was a nurse. Before Mama gave her an unfortunate response, the little bird stopped breathing. I knelt down next to Dory and cried with her. We had never seen anything literally die before our eyes. Mama told us to calm down but Dory shouted, “I killed him mum! I chased his family then his father stepped on him.” We broke into loud cries leading to quizzical reactions from relatives within the compound. To avoid attracting attention, Mama told us to stand up and give turkey to one of the farmers who stood nearby. She said that he would know what to do with turkey. She did not like that Dory held onto a dead bird in her hands. The look on the farmer’s face was so scary that it made Dory immediately surrender turkey to him.

Mama told us to cheer up and go to Kuka’s house to keep him company. She rushed back to the kitchen. Luckily, as soon as our mother disappeared into the kitchen Kuka found us with the farmer. He had heard Dory’s cry which made him worry.

With Kuka by our side, we requested the farmer to let us bury turkey. Kuka told him to let us do what we had asked. He put the bird in an empty packet of wheat flour that had been swept by the wind from the kitchen bin. Kuka walked into his hut and warned us not to get into trouble especially with Nyanya. I think he feared her tempers more than a lion’s roar. The farmer said that we could throw it into the farthest latrine in the farm. Silently, we walked to the latrine as we stared at the packet. The latrine greeted us with a slightly pungent breeze. Luckily, lots of hot ash had been poured into it to mask the full force of a reeking latrine.

A toilet fly kept us company as it buzzed inside the latrine which was made of stone. Dory said that we should pray first before burying turkey, “God please forgive me for throwing a stone at turkey’s family.” I nodded in agreement. “Dear God, please forgive turkey’s father who stepped on him,” she pleaded as she cried. I held her shoulder and helped her complete the prayer by asking God to save some food in heaven for turkey since he would miss food from the feast. “Amen,” we ended the prayer. Dory let go of the packet which landed inside the latrine with a punching plop.

We walked out of the latrine feeling sad that we had lost turkey. But then again we were so glad that he would be in heaven with God who loves turkeys.

Storymoja Hay Festival September 19th -22nd 2013

Storymoja Hay Festival September 19th -22nd 2013

The Storymoja Hay Festival is on September 19 – 22, 2013. Mark the Date. You will definitely leave the festival thinking in a whole new way! Imagine the World
Follow Storymoja Hay Festival on Facebook and on @SMHayFest on Twitter for updates on tickets, travel & accomodation, guest authors, pre-fest events and event programming. see also our official website.

My Indian Boy by Michelle Ayuma

My Indian Boy

My Indian Boy

 

“Wake up! You are going for a motivational talk.” Dad woke me up early on a Saturday morning. He always took-up mum’s role whenever she was gone for her field work. Sleep vanished faster than usual as his rude deep voice woke me up to panic compared with the smooth sail out of sleep my mum’s sweet voice. I had to shake my 12-year-old sister, *Carol, out of bed on Dad’s behalf. She was a tough one! She would envelope herself with her blanket, and pulling the thick bed covering meant playing tag-of-war. That is how I often did my morning exercise.

We took a quick shower and dressed up for the strange event Dad was taking us to. He always wanted the best for us. At times I felt that he tried too much, but I also felt that it would be so disappointing if we dared show disinterest in his push towards our excellence. And so I wore a giant clueless smile for him so that he would see my enthusiasm. I often did this to reassure him that he was doing the right thing.

 

 

We rarely mirrored what our peers did over their school holidays. Dad always insisted that excellence meant making some sacrifices in our lifestyle. Mum was working during the August holidays so he kept the home running and our brains fed with wisdom. At times I wondered how it would have been to live like the other kids in our neighbourhood. They always had interesting stories to tell after the school holidays, especially last year’s Christmas. I rarely have any tales to tell, not unless it is about the interesting documentary I watched on Discovery channel. Or perhaps how funny it was when David Copperfield bit his step-father, Edward, in Charles Dickens’ book which I later on watched as a film by Hallmark.

It didn’t really bother me to go for a motivational talk. I always love to learn new things, go to places I’ve never been to, meet people from different cultures, experience things that sharply intrude on the normality of my life. My only disappointment was Carol’s constant nudge to express her discomfort in going to a strange place early in the morning.

“Excellent! We are on time.” Dad announced to prove a point to an invisible time-thief. He hurried to open the car door and ensured that we had carried our then fashionable “Monkey Bags” stuffed with our glittery Spice Girl pencils, Mickey Mouse rubbers and a classic black pen from Dad’s office.

“Hello girls! Welcome to the Dale Carnegie Leadership Training.” A lady reached out to welcome us. She had a shinny face and a warm smile that had no end. I wondered why she exaggerated her smile but I just followed the direction indicated by her arm. “Be the best girls!” Dad said.

A boy, possibly a 15-year old just like me hurried past the main door. It was evident that he was Indian as his father’s voice with a heavy accent echoed though the corridor as he helped him look for the right room. They said their goodbyes and we found ourselves walking shyly into the room which greeted us with big clueless eyes from other kids. The Indian boy let me into the room first and Carol followed. There was a large oval table surrounded by kids who assembled while waiting for the smiling instructor who sat at the front to start off the session. The boy sat on the opposite side of the table right next to Carol who placed her Monkey bag on the table as if it were a pet.

He gave away a gentle smile from across the table and I sent him one as well. During introductions, he picked up a pen and notepad and scribbled away. He only looked up when I introduced myself by name. When it reached his turn, Carol nudged him and he was startled for a moment. He introduced himself as *Raj Pandit and when he saw me smile he suddenly went quiet and gave the next kid a chance to introduce herself. He then picked up his pen and notepad and continued sketching. Carol stole a peek whenever she could and sent reports to me though her winks. Silly girl, but I loved her!

During our break, it was like Raj turned into a robot. He suddenly stopped drawing, stood up straight and marched outside, unlike the other kids who rushed for munchies at the snack table. Carol stuffed herself with snacks and threw some sweets into her bag. As I was about to grab a samosa, Raj grabbed it and then handed it to me. We both laughed and he told me that samosas are the only interesting snacks he could spot on the table. How Indian of him! I told him that I hadn’t taken breakfast and that samosas looked more filling than the other snacks. After our samosa talk, the instructor told us to get back to our seats. Raj took up his pen and notepad and continued doodling.

Whenever we could, we stole a stare or two from each other. Raj was a quiet boy but whenever I made a contribution to a discussion he actively participated by listening. His widened eyes made me realise that he really paid attention to what I said. I had met other cool kids but I was sure to pay a little more attention to Raj who was a little reserved and interacted less with the other kids. But one time, he had a deep chat with one of the boys. I bet they were talking about some boring boyish stuff judging from their gestures and words such as ‘gadget’ ‘Beckham’ and ‘NASCAR’ that escaped their bubble of chat.

The toughest moment came when the training period came to an end and all the kids had to say their goodbyes. Although there was no easy way for kids our age to keep in touch, I made the best of the last moments I had with Raj. I laughed a little more so that he wouldn’t forget my smile. I stared at him a little more so that I would not forget his geometric face and his spiky black hair. The colour of his face that was as smooth as the fresh pies that Dad used to buy from a new coffee house near home called Java. The impact of his tiny yet sharp eyes that pierced through mine whenever he stared and his gentle nature even in his silence as he drew on his jotter. My curiosity swelled with every stroke of pen on paper.

During the last session, he looked at his notepad and took a long gaze at me. I smiled and he rested his notepad. The instructor called him to the side and he rushed to listen to what she had to say. Carol sneakily stole a glimpse of Raj’s drawing then quickly moved away from his chair. When he came back for his notebook, I stood up and walked towards the main door along with the other kids. My heart started pounding as I waited to ask about his drawing.

But all this was in vain when his father’s voice echoed into the room. Raj looked at his father who wore a wide smile that raised his thick moustache and had some round glasses just like Mahatma Gandhi’s pair. He took a step towards me but his father patted him on the back indicating that they should get going. The two hastened past the corridor and I rushed outside as if pulled by his last glances only to find Dad at the end of the corridor.

Carol had followed me, curious to find out if Raj would manage to show me his drawing. Our fathers exchanged firm manly nods on our way out as I literally felt the bond between Raj and I tear away. We were from different worlds but the bond I had with him felt so cosmic and familiar that I didn’t want to let go of his watch. There were no quick means to help us reconnect and we barely shared a lifestyle. As soon as Carol got into Dad’s car, she told me about the notepad. “Raj was drawing you,” she said with a worried look on her face as if we were running out of time to do something.

And so I reached home and sank back into my world of excellence – of books and documentaries. But I soon started one of my own – of imagination and wishful thinking. I grabbed a pen and notepad and wrote about Raj –his smile, his eyes and the samosas that he liked so much. Writing became my new world where culture, technology and time could not get into my way. Writing became my haven, where I could escape and meet my Indian boy whose smile will remain eternal in my words.

 

The Storymoja Hay Festival is on September 19 – 22, 2013 at the National Museums of Kenya. Follow @SMHayFest on Twitter, and Storymoja Hay Festival on Facebook for updates on guest authors, events, pre-fest events and tickets.

Storymoja Hay Festival 2013 (19th - 22nd September)

Storymoja Hay Festival 2013 (19th – 22nd September)

 

Yours Truly,

Ayuma.

An Oasis at the Heart of Nairobi

Nairobi, which is a Maasai word for “place of cool waters” is an amazing place to be. Not just because of the rich mix of cultures from around the nation of Kenya, but the geographical treasures you find in the city as well.

At the Uhuru Park bridge with Nairobi CBD in the bacground

At the Uhuru Park bridge with Nairobi CBD in the background

One sunny morning, my good friend Esther said that we should kill boredom by taking a nice walk within the Nairobi city centre. As usual, I doubted the crazy ideas that could have started brooding inside Esther’s mind. But then again, I was proved wrong. What we thought could have been a random walk in the city ended up being an amazing experience that took us back to our happy childhood days.

One of the monuments at Uhuru Park - The crest of the cock (jogoo)

One of the monuments at Uhuru Park – The crest of the cock (jogoo)

The most amazing thing is how cheap and available such a lovely experience is, yet many locals never dare to experience it. We alighted at the GPO bus stop and we headed for the Alliance Francaise which is a French cultural centre in Nairobi. Our passion for the arts made us go there as the centre always has amazing events for those who have a rich appetite and appreciation for music, language and various forms of art.

Later on, we headed for another random errand. But first, Esther said she had to take some photos at Uhuru Park which lies right at the centre of the city as if to provoke our pride in our natural treasures during our busy days. I really did not know what Esther expected to see. It had been long since I last visited the park many years ago as a child and the place wasn’t so popular to the average young Kenyan. This is because there wasn’t much to see or enjoy. I remember seeing only green grass, very few trees, interesting looking Kenyan monuments and the typical spread of people sleeping all over the grass. I personally did not like the way many people just sat around on the grass doing nothing. To avoid joining the crowd, I simply used to avoid going to the park.

Park Seats at Uhuru Park with a provoking message to positive action

Park seats at Uhuru Park with a provoking message to positive action

I tried beating all the hesitation in me just to let Esther have fun as she polishes her photography skills at Uhuru Park. Luckily, I never got the chance to regret it. The place had changed so much and I loved it. It literally looks like an Oasis in the middle of the busy sunny city.

There was a lovely cool breeze that helped us better enjoy the lovely sunshine. It comes out as a striking location for a perfect picnic with friends or family. There is a man-made lake with lovely ripples and bunches of palm trees surrounding it. An interesting development of boat-riding is available for water lovers and you can even spot some lovely orange fish swimming in the water. There are ponds with frogs, wide water lilies and some space to sit and just enjoy the view.

For the kids, there is more than enough theme-park fun activities available merry-go-rounds, banana rides and sand box facilities for toddlers. The park is now a popular scene for skateboarding within the city. You can even cycle around the park, do some jogging if you desire, enjoy a nature walk with your dog, take advantage of the wind by flying your kite, do a painting project of your own or just read your favourite book.

Beautiful man-made lake at Uhuru Park with a large pond at the side

Beautiful man-made lake at Uhuru Park with a large pond on the side

After inhaling the WOW factor of the Uhuru park renovations we jumped right into taking photos of ourselves at the park. I am happy that though there were not as many people sitting on the grass as I can remember (which I hope is the sign of an improved working nation), I loved the fact that there is so much more to enjoy at the park than the unfortunate case in my childhood.

So if you’ve got some free time in your hands, perhaps during your lunch break from the busy office, please do make a point of going to Uhuru park to relax and unwind.

If you are a Kenyan 80’s kid, don’t miss this chance to visit this amazing place to relive old memories. If you’ve got kids, why not let them enjoy the park at its present and revamped state?

As we count down to the National Elections in Kenya on March 4th 2013, let us remember to be peaceful and accept the outcome of the results so that we can be able to comfortably enjoy the beauty that’s within our country such as Uhuru Park.

Have fun at Uhuru Park!

Have fun at Uhuru Park!

History About Uhuru Park:

Uhuru is a Kiswahili word for freedom. So added to the city’s Maasai name Nairobi, it’s poetic: Freedom at the heart of the place with cool waters. There’s so much beauty and rest within our nation Kenya. Uhuru park is a 12.9 hectare recreational park at the centre of the Nairobi Business Centre. Kenya’s first president, the Late Mzee Jomo Kenyatta officially opened the park to the public on May 23rd 1969. The park is famous as a peaceful protest zone. During the Moi regime in 1989, there was a significant protest against illegal land grabbing led by Kenya’s Nobel Laureate, the Late Prof. Wangari Maathai. Also, there was a significant burning of a heap of condoms by representatives of Kenya’s religious bodies in 1996.

Nobody knows how many more significant events are yet to happen at the park that celebrates freedom of the Kenyan people. But as we wait for more greatness to unveil, simply enjoy this beautiful resource and all that it brings.
So next time you’re in town, swing by Uhuru park!

For more photos on our Uhuru Park visit and other escapades visit Esther’s photography Facebook page: Belle Photography

Yours Truly,

Ayuma.

Ciao Bella 2012!

Dear readers,

As the year 2012 comes to an end, I celebrate those who took a chance to put a smile on someone’s face. Those who dared to make everyday richer with love.

I believe that the road wasn’t easy all-year-round, but we should count ourselves champions for we have made it to the end. Many started the road with us this year but they didn’t make it this far.

So I pray that your heart will remain youthful and full of cheer all through the new year.

Thank you all for taking the time to read my blog and beautify it with your thoughts. Let’s talk some more in 2013!

Love and sunshine…

Yours Truly,

Ayuma.

To put a smile on your face as we countdown to the new year, here’s a lovely tale about my favourite day in December this year. Photographs are courtesy of Paras Gudka of Westlands Chess Club (WECC) and Kirsty McLullich of Vision Africa.

Enjoy the read!

My little friends at Kandara Children's Home

My little friends at Kandara Children’s Home

Oh December! What a lovely ring this month adds to the conclusion of a lovely, yet monstrous yet again a typical other year – 2012.

Let us do a little math, shall we?

Q: What is the result of a public transport strike, plus a car full of visitors, plus road directions, minus following road directions, multiplied by hours in a day to spend?

A: Easy, a Fun Day at Kandara Children’s Home in Murang’a!

Ok fine, not an easy challenge or even math for that matter, but this sure was the plot of the story that led me to the most amazing place to have spent a fun day in December this year.

Swaleh, a trusted taxi driver chatted with my good friend Esther Neema and me as we headed to the Nairobi City Centre to meet up with Paras Gudka, the founder of the Westlands Chess Club (WECC).

Esther Neema and her new baby buddy

Esther Neema and her new baby buddy

Paras Gudka; WECC founder

Paras Gudka; WECC founder

To our surprise, the matatu strike was still on and Swaleh swore that it had reached a point where the public transport operators were charging as much as KSH 400 for what would normally cost KSH 50 for bus fare.

GULP…

Paras gladly came with his team from the WECC to join us for a day of fun and games at the Children’s home. I was super confident that the directions that Kirsty McLullich (a full-time volunteer with Vision Africa) had given me will make me look good as a navigator.

GULP…

The WECC crew; Shammah, Gweyani and George

The WECC crew; Shammah, Gweyani and George

Being the social being that I am, I coloured the atmosphere with my warm personality through a story or two…or three… Ok, I might have talked quite a lot but I promise that I gave everyone else a chance to tell an anecdote or two…Hehe!

All this got me to a point where I forgot to check my phone for directions and we used a route to Thika that seemed familiar yet unfamiliar. What gave me confidence was the fact that the other passengers were on Google Maps, confirming if we are on the right path. Technology!!!

Unfortunately, we confidently made a turn that took us to a town that seemed familiar, yet unfamiliar. When we stopped to ask for directions… Typical Kenyan “asking for directions” Drama happened! There was a gent who went on with stories about how we are so lost and that he doubts if we’ll find our way to Kandara. Talk about a prophet of doom!

Seconds after what we seemed to have been an understanding of the directions the gent gave us, we were lost again.

We took on a challenge and asked a matatu driver for directions and his directions sounded like, “You see that road… Drive down till you reach a junction, ignore the junction and drive on, you’ll see another road but ignore it, then you take a left, then go, then take a right and if you even ask a small child for directions, you will find your way to Kandara.”

[Trust me, this English translation sounds nothing as hilarious as the original Kiswahili one with a local accent.]

As we got lost some more on our way to Kandara, we at least took the chance to sample the lovely green countryside. It was a farming community judging from the patterned strips of crop against recurring steep slopes.

Aha! An old wise man of the land who probably knew the paths more than anyone we had met already. Luckily we had a “translator” amongst us who could communicate with the old “guardian of the land”.

We were directed to a road though a steep slope even though we all doubted it. And soon our doubts were confirmed “doubtworthy” as several little boys directed us back to the right path to the Kandara Children’s Home.

Finally, we arrived after hairpin bends and as soon as we saw the writings on the entrance of the Orphanage’s gate – Kandara Children’s Home – we took a deep breath.

As soon as we arrived, we introduced ourselves to each other as Kirsty made her way to the parking area to welcome us. Yes, we forgot that tiny detail of introductions. Haha!

Kirsty McLullich of Vision Africa and Mary Mwangi of Kandara Children's Home

Kirsty McLullich of Vision Africa and Mary Mwangi of Kandara Children’s Home

The day ripened with richness as soon as the kids came running to hold our hands and welcomed us. The atmosphere was filled with a great anticipation for a great happening judging from the preparations in the kitchen and the farm.

A goat had been slaughtered for a great feast! YUMMY…Mbuzi (Swahili for goat)

After a short tour by Kirsty round the orphanage, we were led to the baby unit. I actually got to learn how to hold a baby, play with one and feed one too. That beat my fear of dropping a baby just because of my skinny hands…Haha!

74779_510775822280207_1687350648_n

Later on the WECC set up a table for a good game of chess starting with some quick lessons for beginners. The magic began! Esther and I got our girl-power kit and secured a spot for the girls on a green yard. Manicures and pedicures, hand massages, make-up and dress-up glam time and not forgetting the girly chat to complete this female bonding session.

There was also some face-painting in the dining hall and the little ones got creative with how they wanted their faces to look with face paint masks.

A lovely game of chess with WECC and the Kandara kids

A lovely game of chess with WECC and the Kandara kids

Pampering the Kandara girls

Pampering the Kandara girls

578017_511012342256555_347973222_n

Some football for the Kandara boys and friends before lunchtime

We girls and make-up. Can't get enough of it...

We girls and make-up. Can’t get enough of it…

Face-painting at Kandara Children's Home

Face-painting at Kandara Children’s Home

The kids who worked really hard this year got their gifts

The kids who worked really hard this year got their gifts

All smiles

All smiles

Goat stew... Yummy!

Goat stew… Yummy!

Fooooooood at Kandara

Fooooooood and cute face

Tasty Mbizu Choma (roasted goat meat)

Tasty Mbuzi Choma (roasted goat meat)

Lunchtime was absolutely heartwarming as all the kids sat together and ate as one big family. As soon as I saw chapattis, my search was over. I love chapattis!

The Kubamba Crew had a great Dj entertaining the crowd as we all gathered for a little booggie woogie outside. As I danced with Teresia, one of the little ones, I realized that the joy I felt inside was more than what I expected from the visit.

There’s something about a child’s smile that somehow makes everything seem alright. It was most definitely hard to say goodbye as well.

Tasty mbuzi for the boy

Tasty mbuzi for the boy

With love, from Kenya

With love, from Kenya

When I say chow-time, I mean chow-time

When I say chow-time, I mean chow-time

The smile of an angel

The smile of an angel

Jolly good times at Kandara

Jolly good times at Kandara

On our way back, we almost got lost again, but we somehow found our way to Nairobi.

A Fun Day?

This was more than just a fun day. It was a great day to get lost, LITERALLY, in fun adventure!

Have a fun-filled 2013!!!

Happy 2013!!! Kandara Children's Home

Happy 2013!!!
Kandara Children’s Home

Say CHEESE...

Say CHEESE…

More about Westlands Chess Club (WECC)

More about Vision Africa and Kandara Children’s Home

More photographs on Kandara Fun Day

Tag Cloud