Life at Sam’s Place

3 Commentsby   |  06.30.11  |  Kenya

Although I have to admit that I am one of the few that loves change, it is so great to finally be in a daily routine here in Africa. Now that we are at Sam’s Place for the remainder of our stay in Kenya, we have been able to maintain a relatively structured day. On school days we wake up at 7, layer on mosquito repellent, and eat breakfast before class begins at 8. Then, Savannah, Bonnie, and I each teach our own classes, subjects including English, Math, Science, Social Studies, Bible, and ending with Computer or Music on alternating days. The children have come to love computer class, always asking me when our class gets to go and then not wanting to leave once our time slot is over. Music class has become one of the most enjoyable parts of my day. We write children bible songs on the chalkboard and then teach the children them in sign so that we can “sing” them together. One of their favorites is “My God is so big, so strong, and so mighty, there’s nothing my God cannot do!” We’ve also constructed a makeshift drum out of a large water container and use sticks to beat on it with. Although the children are unable to hear the drum, they can feel the vibration and enjoy dancing to the beat. We’ve discovered that one particular boy, Elphas, has excellent rhythm. Elphas is 15 years old and came to Sam’s Place about 5 months ago. Before Sam’s Place, he had never been to school. He has progressed so much and has a desire and willingness to learn that is not surmounted by anyone!

In the afternoon, we’ve made it a routine to walk to Rongo, which takes about 30-45 minute, to visit with the locals and to explore the town and market. On Monday, Nancy accompanied us and on Tuesday, a neighbor of Sam’s Place, Ben, joined Bonnie and I. Ben taught us many words in the Luo language, the mother tounge of Rongo. As we walked, Bonnie and I greeted people with “Amosi”, “Owimore”, and “Idhi nade” and every single time the people would laugh while responding! We were starting to doubt our teacher when someone finally told us that they’ve never heard a “mazungu” (white person) speak their native language. We became quite popular after that! Wednesday is market day and we were all very excited to see Rongo at it’s busiest. Jennas and Jane, teachers at Sam’s Place, both of whom are deaf, and Naomi took us to Rongo, where we had a bit of an incident. Two men would not leave Savannah, Bonnie, and I alone, grabbing our arms and following us down the road. One even offered me a marriage proposal! Naomi, a very kind and gentle woman, became very protective and made us promise not to come to Rongo alone and we hastily agreed. Savannah has been wanting to take a “piki piki” taxi (motorcycle) this entire trip, so on the way home, we took them in the rain. It was terrifying, especially since we weren’t wearing helmets (sorry mom) After our walks, we play with the kids or help them with their homework until dinner is ready. After dinner, the children lead songs (many that we have taught them) and prayers and then Simeon provides an enthusiastic lesson that even the children who do not know sign can understand. Simeon is truly a Godly man and a blessing to Sam’s Place.

A couple of other random happenings, it has been raining every single day, which is a blessing because Kenya frequently has droughts, but also means more mosquitoes. I have discovered millions (maybe a slight exaggeration) bites on my body so let’s just pray that our Malaria medication works! Also, we’ve taught the children a new past time, hand games! The older ones we can teach more complex games such as Double Double This This and Boom Snap Clap, but the younger ones are content with just slapping your hand over and over. They’ve even moved on from just playing with Savannah, Bonnie, and I to playing with each other. For meals meat is hardly ever provided, so when they do prepare it for dinner, it is fascinating to watch the children gnaw it down to the bone. The youngest girl, Caroline, who is 6 years old, literally tries to eat the bone as well! Lastly, one of the little girl’s here named Orpah has had a loose tooth since we arrived at Sam’s Place 4 weeks ago. On Tuesday I finally pulled it out! All of the children gathered around me in awe as I showed them the tooth (which I might add was rotted). That same little girl has been sick for the past couple of weeks and we found out Wednesday that she has worms. Bonnie also woke up sick today and was unable to teach, staying in bed all day. Please pray for Orpah and Bonnie’s quick recovery!

We leave here in exactly 4 weeks from today. We are halfway through our time in Kenya and I can’t believe how fast it has gone by. I am so thankful that I am here. At night we go upstairs and hug and kiss each child, reminding them that we love them and will see them tomorrow. I have never in all my life met such appreciative children and I am beyond blessed to have been given such an amazing opportunity. God has shown me love and faith that I have never experienced and I can’t wait to see what else He has in store for us the rest of our time here.

3 Comments

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