( a few people have asking what I do on a ‘normal’ day, everyday is so different but this is what I did yesterday)
When you have a weak bladder (and drink ALOT of water) setting an alarm is not necessary when you practically jump out of bed desperate for a wee as soon as you wake up. I grab tissue paper, slip on my flip flops and hobble (that’s what happens when you try and squeeze your big fluffy slipper socks into £1 Primark flip flops) to the toilet block. I throw on some clothes and walk around the perimeter of the compound with Harmony (not the holy aura) the Labrador puppy and Bengi, (again not a new man in my life) a little ball of white fluff. Starting my day walking allows me to gather my thoughts, set my self up for the day and enjoy the rarity of feeling like I’m the only one here.
So ever days different but Im a creature of habbit so like to have some kind of routine in the mornings. I make porridge, tea and me and my book find a quiet spot to sit, sometimes in the treehouse, other times in the hall or outside. By this time usually 8am the heat is hitting down and I can hear the hustle and bustle of the kids getting ready for school.
I walk down to Pre school, which for us in the UK is a mixture of reception aged and year 1, for not this is what I’m teaching but it changes all the time so I could be teaching abc’s one day and algebra the next to grade 9. I’ll never get over that feeling when you can hear the younger ones scream your name in delight as you enter, not gonna lie it is rather a booster. With normality demonstrated in something as simple as teaching lessons to 5 and 6 year olds, I find my mind sometimes forget what possible paths these children may have had, the lives they once had and that without footprints they wouldn’t be here, wearing decent clothes, eating fresh fruit for snack or being taught in a safe and loving environment.
1.30 an old school English primary school bell is rang and everyone all piles in the hall for lunch.
Today it’s beans and ugali (pup) and it’s a chance to catch up with the older children and other missionary’s. It’s easy to get into a habit of sitting in the same place, talking to the same people and it’s something that I got into the habit of back home. There is nothing wrong with that but for me it’s something I wanted to change. I try and sit with someone different, get to know them, encourage them, find out about their day. It’s so easy when your working, living with the same people to just let time pass by with just the odd hello, how are you. I wanted to be intentional about the time I put into people, to find out about their dreams and passions, to speak life into them and encourage them. It’s such a blessing as there are so many amazing people here and I am learning so much about life from each one of them.
Each afternoon differs but today before I go on outreach I have time to bake a few of the girls. I think I will start doing this a couple times a week with different kids. It’s a chance to spend some quality time with them and also eat some yummy treats. With so many children here it’s easy to not spend quality time with each one and get to know them as individuals and not just part of the bunch. I am loving this precious time.
We then go on outreach, we head to a township (slum) this township is where a little SEN boy live and I have been going there to teach him. He has no birth certificateto get into school, and no one will help as they call him “mentally restarted” and don’t think he needs to go to school anyway.
My heart went out to him immediately. This beautiful 9 year old boy, with the most breathtaking smile and sweet nature.
Though this is only my third week, he sees our truck and comes running up to me eager to see what books I have brought and what other activities I’ve brought with me. Our lessons consist of us sitting in the dirt with a crowd of about 7 other children gathered around us like an audience. They are so happy for their friend to be having a lesson and respect his time immensely. Though progress is slow, seeing him happy and so eager and hungry to learn is just beautiful to see.
At the end of our lesson I do a fun activity with the rest of the kids. Today we decorated gingerbread men cookies. They loves liking their spoons and when I brought the sprinkles out, I mean goodness, I could have brought out the crown Jeweles they were that in awe and excited. Saying goodbye to my very special little student is always hard. He asks me to take him with me every time and I have to use every ounce of self control not to. I mean don’t get me wrong I would but he does have a mother and although she is away she loves him and that’s where he needs to be.
4.30 is prayer for anyone who would like to get together and pray. I love this. There is so much power in prayer and myself and a few other missionary’s get together on a big rock to pray. I love to pray for each of the kids here but also family and friends back home. Especially my dear colleagues I use to work with.
Today I’m on cooking duty. A lot of our food is donated so we are very blessed to eat good food. Myself and my friend heat up vergetavke stew and rice, the pots are so huge I use a sooon that you could almost mistake as a small boat awe. Serious muscles go into stiring, it’s like a pre dinner work out. We gather together 60 odd plates, ring the bell and the children come flooding in ready to be fed.
I am (guilty as charged) a feeder, so feeding all the children and volunteers makes me a very happy holly indeed, even more so when they want seconds. I eat, then prepare for operation clean up. It’s rather a big job. But a lot of the missionary’s join in to help and working altogether and having a laugh at the same time makes it actually quite fun.
The kids all go to their dorms ready to chill out and tonight we have nothing on (sometimes we have family night, worship, staff meeting etc) so myself and a few of the others get together for card games. My friend makes popcorn and I make the tea because well I’m English and that’s what I do. we sit down together and just chill. It gets pitch black at around 6pm here so it always has that warm cosy feeling (almost like it’s winter) however we are in spring, so all very topsy turvey.
It’s really nice to just have time with the other missionary’s and just chill, reflect on the day, encourage one another and have a bit of fun.
We have some great bakers who all love to share their talents so we often share cookies, pancakes or malva pudding.
I then by touch light find my cabin, slump down into bed and count my blessings for a bed, roof over my head and the knowledge that all the children here are safe and part of a family.
We had a few break-ins a couple of weeks ago but I know God is protecting us all and I usually fall asleep as soon as my head hits the pillow.