Friday, June 15, 2012
Jambo is the usual greeting in swahili, but all the cool kids say mambo. My brain is all over the place, so expect tangents, and I apologize in advance. Also, this is from yesterday and taken straight out of my journal.
Last night was not nearly as restful as I had originally anticipated. I passed out before 11pm, woke up at 3am and was in and out of sleep till about 8:15. Apparently birds like sitting right outside my room and sing, but there is a sort of large hole in the wall for air to pass through from the outside which allows sound to travel through quite easily. Needless to say, its kinda hard to sleep when birds are singing quite loud essential in your room. Luckily I got up in a good mood since my cousin knocked on my door with the appropriate Aggie knock, to which I whooped (redass, huh?). Also to my luck, Moses had made much of the same breakfast today with the exception of french toast in place of eggs. I'm not complaining. Oh, and Moses just brought me peanut butter cookies as I type this, he's the best.
Upon pulling up to the Kibera I could see all the kids cheering and screaming for us to come to the school, I think they might have been a bit excited. Sadly, when we got there it was time for class so they had all been rustled up into their class rooms by their teachers. This did work to our advantage, photo/video wise. Our assignment was to get photos and video of the kids in class, as well as the Biashara women. Just so you know, there is no lighting in the rooms, just natural lighting from the windows, which makes shooting video and photo kinda difficult. Dont worry thought, we got it done.
We went from class to class doing our best to get some photos and videos of the kids working/learning in the middle of class while their teacher's taught. We went from youngest to oldest, so K - 3 for today. The goal is to get the kids to be as normal as possible, or to at least look like their involved in class and not staring at the camera. Didnt work too well. I can't blame them thought, in my case, having a 6'3'' white guy with a camera in your face telling you not to look at the camera, I probably would. Also, every kid wants to be in every picture....a little overwhelming.
One of the things that I began to notice was the that each of the kids bring their own cup and bowl for water and food that the school provides. The school provides breakfast and lunch in addition to some strange drink that they gave out during one of the breaks. Today the kids had cornmeal and beans, a change from the rice and beans from the other day. Their cornmeal is something like cornbread, but not sweet or really have any flavor at all. During the lunch break I usually hangut with the grade 8 boys, mainly because the speak the best english out of all the students. They enjoy being in photos just as much as the little kids, but I also decided to let them have a go with my camera. Risky? Very. Entertaining? Oh goodness yes.
The Biashara ladies had been hard at work making their bracelets necklaces and all sorts of cool things. This was good for us. Ava, Daniel and I were able to get some video and photos of the women as there were doing their work. We also asked one of the ladies, Grace, for an interview. Grace has been involved with Biashara for years, possibly since its founding, I'm not entirely sure. Part of Grace's story involves her adopted daughter, Brenda. Bren (as well call her) was left on Grace's doorstep one day, and one thing that you should know is that Grace is a grandmother, she is old. Grace took this emaciated baby and got her healthy and has been raising her I think two years now. Grace is a prime example of something that I have witnessed since coming to Kibera, "everyone takes care of everyone" (note: I heard this from Sandy, Ava's father).
So, we loaded up in the bus and headed to Langata High School, were about 20-30 students sponsored by the Penda Project. On the ride there, I realized just how dirty my arms and hands were. I have done some physical labor that has caused me to get pretty dirty, but my arms and hands were filthy. But what should I expect, most of these kids sleep on the ground. Also, I'm pretty sure it isnt just dirt on my arms, if you catch my drift (gross). Anyway, we got to Langata and met some of the students. For the next hour or so I had the please to talk with Meshach. Meshach was more than happy to speak with me about the different parts of the bible and the application of particular scripture. He essentially gave me a mini-sermon on what we should ask for from God and wisdom. He cited 1 Kings 3:1-15 and Proverbs - 4. Needless to say, I throughly enjoyed our conversation and look forward to seeing him next week for study hall.
The day has been so much fun, but equally exhausting. Some of the girls are beginning feel ill and I'm not too different. Prayers for strength and health are much needed. Thanks for the prayer's you already sent, keep 'em coming!