Friday, August 3, 2018

A day of joyful children

Thursday morning we drove the most rutted dirt roads imaginable to arrive at a rustic elementary school in the middle of lush forest. The students were at an end-of-year assembly on the sloping red dirt courtyard. Hundreds of staring eyes followed us as we walked in. After the assembly ended we visited classrooms and chatted with children drinking their porridge. Most exciting to the Kenyan children was stroking the hair of the white children. The headmaster joyfully received the soccer ball and playground ball we gave them before taking off.

We proceeded to another village school - Josephine’s primary school! We were greeted with beautifully dressed women singing “welcome!” in Swahili and dancing with us as we paraded in. We enjoyed the end of their assembly, then shared a snack of bread, boiled eggs, and Fanta pop. This school has the defending national champion baseball team! We ended our visit with a long-grass/steep-slope game of baseball between the Wenz/Bosh kids and the Kenyan ball players. Three catchers did their best to keep the ball from rolling way down the hill and out of sight!

Next we visited Dorothy— the teen (now young adult) who received a wheelchair from UPPC in 2010. She was so joyful to see everyone and the wheelchair still works great!

Next we did the groundbreaking party for Watoto Center! It is currently a sloping cornfield, but the Mburugus can already picture the three terraces of playground, community center, then garden/farm at the bottom. Emily poured the official groundbreaking glop of cement between heavy stones that will eventually support the gate to the Watoto Center. Just before the big moment, Josephine’s father Ibrahim donned an orange vest and hard hat, then looking over his shoulder, quipped, “How smart do I look?”

We proceeded to Ibrahim’s shamba for dinner, including a chicken slaughtered that morning. Everyone loved seeing the acre of fertile land, teeming with healthy crops, a few livestock, and several outbuildings with new friends perpetually pouring forth from them. All people that Ibrahim has embraced, helped, and loved like family. The kids played soccer with Ibrahim’s youngest friends for a long time, then the soccer ball stayed with the littlest friend - a boy of maybe 3 - who had giggled his way through the whole game.

Just two more stops. Are you tired yet?  Patrick’s house (the high school senior sponsored by Jason and Emily) and finally a joyful reunion between the Boshes and their hosts from 2005. They were chagrined we couldn’t stay for tea, but it’s safe to say we were all bushed! What an incredible day. In John Lewis’s words: “This is the stuff!”


  1. We are looking forward to hearing more about Patrick, his grandmother, and their family and how they are all doing. I can't wait to see how the Watoto Center looks in another few years. That is a dream very long-held and it is really encouraging to see it come to fruition.

  2. What a joy it is to read about this visit !!! Did you see Gladys, Patrick's grandmother and Robert and Evan (Lau sponsored) and Catherine (Kelley sponsored) when you were at their home??? Thank you, thank you for the gift of sharing this with us !!! Oh my.....

    1. We saw Gladys! Unfortunately we didn’t see the others you listed at the house. It was fun getting a photo for the Kellys with Catherine today at Seminar!

    2. Oh yes.....So glad she could be there !!

  3. Also...Was one of the schools where our friend and visitor Juster teaches ???