How I love this place, let me count the ways...
Never mind, there are too many. :)
First, good news, Imma (the Mama/nanny who I took to the hospital) is feeling much better. She took a few days off work and I was pretty worried, but she came back yesterday with a big smile on her face and many "asante(s) (thank you)." I said, "Imma! How are you? What was wrong?!"
She said, "My wee, was dead."
"My wee...was dead."
"Hmmm...I'm sorry Imma, I do not understand."
"How do you say...???...I have a UTI.
HAHAHHAHAHAHA! How funny huh? Not only did she know the official, English term, but she also knew the abbreviation. I'm glad she is feeling better now.
Tomorrow Michael and Aika are leaving the baby home. They are too old to be there now and have really outgrown the baby home and the other children. It will be REALLY sad saying bye to them, as they were at the baby home the first time I visited two years ago. You should hear their English now! So impressive! They have also learned that most of the volunteers don't speak Swahili and will say things in their sweetest voices with big smiles and hugs such as, "You are a snotty nose." Thinking they are being sweet, the volunteers (me included my first few days until I figured the little stinkers out) go, "Awww..." and give them a big hug.
They are going to live in a place called Mavuna Village. It's a new orphanage-like place where the kids live 10 kids to a house, each with a Mama and Baba. It's a much healthier model and will help give them the attachment and stability they need. They are really excited for their new mommy and daddy. I'm happy for them too, but it will still be sad to see them go. We painted Aika's toes bright pink yesterday, so she will arrive to her new home in style. :)
Zep, Nairi (my two friends from work), and I started doing play therapy with a couple of the older kids. Our first day we decided to try it out with some of the kids who may not be considered in the most need of therapy, just to see how it would go. I decided to do a projective drawing assessment with one of the oldest girls (stated age 4, but she is probably about 6 or even 7). I gave her a blank piece of paper and a pencil and asked her to draw a person. Zep, Nairi, and I do this with our clients at home and it is often very telling about how the child feels about him/herself. What this little girl drew broke my heart. First, I should explain that at the baby home, this little girl is kind of the leader of the pack. Because of her age and size, the other kids don't really mess with her and she typically gets what she wants. She is quiet to the volunteers typically, but seems a bit bossy some of her younger "crew."
She drew a picture of a girl who looked VERY sad. She had a sad face with many, many tears all down the front of her face and dress. The figure had no arms and was standing in pouring rain. She even drew "thunder." In the corner of the picture, she drew a sun. Thinking hopefully, I asked, "oh is the sun coming out to make the rain go away and the little girl happy?" She looked at me directly in the eyes and very quietly said, "no." (Can you hear it? That was my heart breaking).
Imagine what it must be like to be this little girl. Abandoned by her parents. Sent to live in a place with 54 other abandoned babies. Now she has been there for about two years and has seen many of her friends (almost all of the babies that were here last time I was here) be adopted, find their families, or move on. She seems so tough on the outside, but inside she is crying. Poor thing. I am looking forward to working with her for the next five months. I hope I can make a difference.
On another note, today I'm going to visit another orphanage in town. It's an orphanage for older kids, age 4 to 14 I think. Apparently, a twenty-one-year-old Canadian girl just took it over. I really want to meet her. I am going to see if maybe I can do some play therapy at her orphanage eventually too. I'll let you know what it's like.
I can't wait until Cacey gets here! (Shout out to my sista'!). She is going to LOVE these babies just as much as I do. I have a feeling, we will either convince each other to stay forever, or have/need to convince each other to go home again.
OH! And Cacey, if you are reading this...good news! The grocery store here expanded since the last time I was here and they have SO much stuff now! There is even shampoo...annnnddd...Pillsbury (sp?)Strawberry Cake Mix! I made a cake last night, but we had this really shady oil that I'm not to excited about. Oh yeah, and halfway through baking, the power went out, so it was left half-baked for a while. No one wants to eat it. Haha. Leave it to me to ruin a box cake! But yes, don't worry about starving. We will be fine. There is plenty! Oh...and Cacey, they have CHEEEESSSE! It's $10 for a little block, but hey...it's cheese!
Anyways, that's all for now. Much love!