My heart hurts

Today was a very trying day at Gede Special School. They had run out of diapers, so while Indre and Tasha (She’s a nurse from the UK) washed up the children, Hannah and I went to a shop and picked up some pampers so the children didn’t have to sit in their own filth. I’m going to leave out the details for those of you with weak stomachs but the condition those kids are living in upset my stomach enough to where I skipped out on lunch today.

There’s simply not enough helping hands and not enough money to go around. It kills every single part of me to sit there day in and day out watching these kids live so poorly. Their bright smiles and screeching laughs would never lead you to their broken housing and sad lifestyle. I’m doing all I can while I’m here and the workers tell us how thankful they are constantly and how much we help but I can’t help but think its only short term. Nothing here is permanent. I want to scoop them all up and bring them home. I can’t help but wonder how they would be over joyed to crawl around on carpets rather than, usually wet, concrete floor. I can’t help but picture a better life for them…but it’s only better by my standards. The way of living here is so incredibly different that regardless of how long I were to stay I would never fully adjust. For example, shoes are always optional, no matter where you’re going. And no one is ever in a hurry but even when they are you would never know it. Getting change from the dinner bill sometimes takes up to an hour. Kenyan time is sometimes aggravating lol especially if you’re hungry…

The longer I stay the more I see and learn about not only Kenyan culture but also the school systems. They are so far “behind” when it comes to education and even though caning is now illegal, culture and years of beatings has overrode any legal document that could be put in place. Teachers don’t want to come in early or stay late for meetings so they are held during the school day; leaving kids to roam free for themselves and hopefully not get into too much trouble. The methods of teaching math have boggled my mind more than anything. They use tally marks for addition. It’s a hard system to explain but even more frustrating to try and help kids with. Simplicity is confusing to them which is sad to me.

I’ve had a long, heart wrenching day but I’ll end on a more positive note.

Yesterday was Delany’s last day here so we skipped out of the school during lunch and went swimming at a resort across the street. We got home in time for dinner and then had a few drinks at Savannah’s. The pool was awesome and the resort only costs 6,000 shillings a night for a two person room. That’s like 70-80ish dollars in the US.

Today I placed my order for custom fit pants and custom made flips flops. I get to pick them up tomorrow and I’m very excited.

Overall, I am loving it here. I will miss the passion fruit juice and feta samosas when I go back home. I will not miss the millipedes and other hideous bugs, though. I love the school and all the experiences I’ve had here, I just wish I could help more.


One thought on “My heart hurts

  1. Emily, I love your blogs–I’ve been reading them at school to the 4th graders they too are finding them interesting. The girls hate the “bug” part but the boys love it. Enjoy the rest of your trip. Charise

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