Tanzania and Trills

13 Commentsby   |  07.12.11  |  Kenya

This past week has been an ordinary week here at the orphanage. When I left off last Wednesday, Caroline hadn’t left yet, but later that afternoon, her mother came, packed her up, and took her home. It was so sad for all of us to see her leave but I know that God has a plan for her outside of Sam’s Place. That very same day a 7 year old girl was admitted to Sam’s Place. Both of her parents had died when she was very young and she understands/knows absolutely no sign. She has never been given a name so Simeone gave us the task of naming her and together we decided that Daisy was a great name for this young, sweet girl. We gave her a sign name and instantly the other children picked it up. At first she was very disobedient, refusing to go to classes and hitting the other children. Now, however, she seems to enjoy Sam’s Place and has made friends with many of the other children. One of the newly hired teacher’s had attended the other deaf academy in Rongo, Kuju School of the Deaf, when he was younger. He also happened to be on their dance team and has agreed to teach the children traditional African dances. It has been so fascinating watching him teach the children to feel the rhythm of the drum, rather than to hear it. They are all naturally so talented and we have been so surprised, yet pleased, at how quickly they’ve learned and retained the dances.

The neighbors of Sam’s Place, a family that has started an orphanage known as the Gift Academy, are very fond of Savannah, Bonnie, and I. They continuously visit us at Sam’s Place and invite us to differing activities they host, however, we are very busy with our responsibilities at Sam’s Place and it is difficult for us to find the free time to join them. Well, Saturday’s are set aside as our personal days so we agreed to join them for a bible study. However, we were unaware that this study was in, oh I don’t know, another country! Apparently, the Gift Academy has a sister school on the border on Tanzania, about 2.5 hours away from Rongo. So we traveled to Tanzania and were allowed entrance for the day, surprisingly without our passports.

On Sunday, we had church with the children and then traveled to Kisii to attend Simeone’s sisters’ church. The first time we attended an African church, Simeone’s home congregation, we immediately noticed that everyone trills in upbeat and uplifting songs. So for the past couple of weeks, Savannah, Bonnie, and I have been practicing our trills in the hopes of utilizing it one day in church. Well, as it so happens, I mastered the trill from the very beginning but have hesitated in utilizing it. So as we stood in church on this fine day, singing and praising God, I heard a trill come from the crowd and immediately knew that the time had come. So I trilled and trilled, just like the best of them, and it was as if every single person had whipped around simultaneously to stare (in awe of course). Although this proved to be a joyous day for me, Savannah could not say the same. The church is deep in a valley and we had to climb up a winding, rocky path to get back to the car. Right when we had reached the top of the hill, I heard an awful scream and turned around just in time to see Savannah fall. At the time we thought it was very funny, until we realized she had actually sprained her ankle, and thus another injury was added to our list of sicknesses.

The week started off as it normally does, with the only deviation being that Stephen, the youngest boy here, had to be taken to the hospital. What had started as scratches on his ankles, had turned into huge sores and were spreading up his body. At the hospital, we discovered that Stephen had malaria (not a shock since all of the children here have it or have had it in the past) and had a massive infection. He’s being treated with daily shots and we know that with the Lord’s will, he will be healed! We have a little over 2 weeks left at Sam’s Place and I’m still in complete awe of how fast it has flown by. But, I don’t want to think about the end just yet, so until next time, Owimore!


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    5:20 am, 11.29.22

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    4:24 am, 03.24.23

    We gave her a sign name, and the other kids recognized it right away. It has been quite amazing to watch him instruct the kids to feel the drum’s rhythm rather than just hear it.

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