I’m sitting on my bed listening to the soothing sound of falling rain and wondering how to even start this blog post. It’s been a week—ups downs and everything in between. I’ve been in Kenya just over a month now and overall it just feels right, but that doesn’t mean there haven’t been some bumps. Two weeks ago Ruthann, who has been working at the children’s home for over a year, left to spend four weeks with her family. The same day she left the kids’ teachers decided to go on strike (of course). I wasn’t left by myself though. Vicky, who is Kenyan, works at the children’s home five days a week and does an amazing job cooking. A couple days after Ruthann left Alyssa, who is a new volunteer, arrived.
The best part about the strike is not having to get up at 5:30 am to get the kids ready for school. The four youngest kids are still going to school because they go to nursery school (kindergarten) which is still in session because the teachers are paid by the parents and not by the government. But, getting up at 7 am to get them off to school is much easier than getting up at 5:30am.
Fast forward to Thursday. I walked to get the littlest kids from school and James, the tiniest one of the group, was drooping as he walked. He said his eyes hurt and he was hot all over. I carried him home on my back and checked his temperature when we got to the house. He had a fever of 102 which really worried me because he is so tiny. I can literally put my thumb and middle finger around the bottom of his leg he is so small. Vicky and I took James and two of the other girls who were not feeling well to the hospital. After several hours of waiting the doctor finally saw the kids and sent us home with a bag full of meds.
Friday I woke up with a sore throat. I didn’t think to much of it but as the day went on I keep feeling worse and worse. By the time I went to bed I knew I was sick, and I spent the weekend either in bed or on the couch helping when I could but feeling pretty useless. I blew through my only box of Kleenex and my nose was not happy with my when I had to switch to toilet paper. Every day I would go to bed hoping to feel better in the morning but wake up only feeling worse. The nights were the hardest. I would wake up at crazy hours of the night with a fever and a sore throat that hurt so bad that it would take me forever to fall back to sleep. By Monday, I starting feeling a little better and by Tuesday I was able to function again.
The rest of the week went fairly smoothly. Most of the kids ended up getting sick as well but didn’t stay sick for long. On Wednesday Alyssa and Vicky took one of the older boys to the doctor, but the rest of the kids seemed to get better on their own. Alyssa and I started doing school at home with the kids and for the most part that has gone well.
We’ve taken a lot of walks, gone to a nearby field to play football (soccer), and enjoyed movie night on Fridays. The kids have really been great. They work hard, play together well (for the most part), and are a pleasure to be around.
On Monday afternoon I was starting to feel worn out again. I was sitting on the couch listening to one of the kids read and started thinking about how much I wanted to take a nap. Just as things were starting to look a bit over whelming, Pastor Simon and his wife drove up and gave Alyssa and me the chance to go to Kijabe for a couple days rest. It’s been wonderful- a hot shower, electricity, and good Internet access. Today we headed over to my aunt and uncle’s house where we baked some chocolate chip cookies and just hung out. It’s been nice being able to rest, eat something besides rice and beans, and just take a little breather.
I already miss the kids though. They have such a big piece of my heart, and I’m already ready to go back. Here’s just a taste of my life here. Enjoy and pray that what they are now calling the endless strike will come to an end.