Friday, January 25, 2013

Day 3: Socialite's Dream

I titled this post 'Socialite's Dream' because anyone who loves meeting and mingling with new people several times a day would have enjoyed this day. I thought this day was quite essential because it was the first time it hit me that I was actually in Africa.

The hallways at Helping Hands
An overhead shot of the school
We began our second day in Naivasha with a visit to a school called Helping Hands. This school cares for and educates children with special needs as well as those with out. We met two boys, Charles and Isaac, who use their skills to make ceramic pieces that are made into jewelry as pendants and charms. You will hear more about jewelry in day 4's post. I want to talk a bit about Charles: about 10 years ago during elections and campaigns for Kenya's upcoming leader, Charles remembered seeing men with machetes, riots and chaos at a young age. Shortly after, he lost his mother; his father had also been gone. 

My ability to recall the details accurately is failing, so I've kept this vague. Charles puts all his strength and energy into making great pieces of ceramics for jewelry. Isaac is new at this trade as he is learning and perfecting his skills. He is learning from Charles' skills and work ethic. Isaac was the quieter of the two boys, but he has aspirations to get into a good university when he's done with school. Both boys have such sweet spirits. Being able to see them in their daily life helps me to pray for them more effectively.

Pat (L), Carrie and Amy (R) outside Helping Hands

After leaving Helping Hands, we needed to go to the local grocery store. While living in America and teaching ESL, I have become very accustomed to diversity. I think we were the only four Americans in the store. I experienced being a minority in China, but there were one hundred plus Americans in Xinzheng. In Naivasha, it was real life, not an enclosed bubble of a familiar society. The store was packed with people and the lines were so long that the typical American customer would have gotten antsy. 

Not the grocery store, but in Navaisha Town

Within the same morning, we went to the ladies bible study at a woman's house named Dea. The ladies at this bible study are all missionaries of some sort in the general area. This week, bible study was a surprise birthday party for Dea. She married a Swiss man and he passed away within the last 10 years. Dea is from Tanzania. She is full of life at 68 and doesn't look a day over 50.

After lunch we visited House of Hope for the second time. While we were driving we saw baboons, monkeys, zebra, donkey, lizards, goats, birds, buffalo, camels, gazelle impala , sheep and cows. We asked the ladies to give a list of jobs we could do to lighten their heavy load so they put us to work washing dishes outside. We used boiled water from the wood burning stove.

After that was finished, we spent around two hours sorting through maze while we talked casually and exchanged stories.

We had many dinner guests that night, some of which we met at the bible study for Dea's birthday. Two of the women we met were part of the same family. Most of the family members are missionaries in Africa and have been for 4 generations running. Many of the locals know them well. The 3rd generation of the kids are married and they are bringing up the next. It was so encouraging to see all the families who have chosen to make Africa their home.

After a full day, I felt ready to go to bed. 

Nature Favorites of the day:

Outside Helping Hands

Near Dea's House

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