At Village of Hope Mwanza there are 10 childrens homes each with a house mum, an auntie (day worker) and 8-9 children. During the week-long term break at the school I got the opportunity to spend time in 3 of these homes. It was so fun! Although each home was similar in some aspects, they were also extremely unique and getting to be a part of their uniqueness is honestly a highlight of mine so far.
I first visited the home of Mumma Jackie. These two days were filled with many laughs!! She always seemed to be smiling! There was always music playing so often we would break out in spontaneous song or dance. Not only was Mumma Jackie eager to work on her English, but she was very enthusiastic about teaching me Swahili! She was extremely patient when it took me 1 or 2 (or 10) tries to pronounce something correctly. We would often point at different things like trees or clothes or food and I would say the word in English and she would say it in Swahili. It was kind of like a really fun game! She taught me how to help them wash their clothes and how to cook on a coal stove, as well as how to make ugali, which is a very popular food in Mwanza... and very hard to make! It's like trying to stir a really thick dough for an extended period of time. I could only stir it a couple times before my arm hurt! Getting to spend time with these children outside of the classroom was so nice, and getting to know Mumma Jackie and Auntie Jenny more then just saying “Hi” occasionally was so nice.
The second house I got to spend time in was Mumma Cabula's. Mamma Cabula's English isn't as strong as Mumma Jackie's and I am still only speaking very little Swahili, so communicating often turned into a game of sherades. Although this made even simple communication difficult, it forced me to really pay attention and be observant of my surroundings. I also didn't realize how much you learn of something new (for me Swahili) then when you're forced to just figure it out. While at Mumma Cabula's I got the opportunity to spend time with a boy named Sita. Sita has cerebral palsy and a one on one worker who does physiotherapy with him twice a day, as well as care for him. Sita LOVES music, so there is often music playing throughout the house. The song often sung by the other children of the house is “Na penda Sita, na penda Sita, na penda Sita.. yea yea yea!” Which translates to, “I love Sita, I love Sita, I love Sita.. Yes yes yes!” Seeing his face light up when he hears these words could make any heart melt. After lunch both days the children and I spent an hour or so working on times tables. During this time the children also taught me how to count in Swahili, I can now go up to 30!! They also taught me how to play a game featuring bottle caps and a bead which we played once we got tired of times tables.
On Friday I spent the day at Mumma Melissa's. Unfortunately I only got to spend a couple of hours at her home, but it was still very nice! If we wanted to communicate we did so using the children as translators, which made things extra interesting! Before lunch two of the boys, grades 3 and 5, asked if I could help them with their math. I thought, sure I can!!.. or maybe not. I realized my math skills ARE NOTHING without a calculator. What is long division? What is multiplication of seemingly ginormous numbers? I finally understood why math teachers are always saying “Try and do it in your head!” It all makes sense now!! Mamma Melissa also has 2 children with physical disabilities living in her home, Nuru and Amisa, who both have cerebral palsy. The opportunities given to these two girls through the Village of Hope, their one on one workers and the love poured on them from their house siblings is truly heart warming.
I honestly don't have enough words to describe how much I loved spending time at each of these houses. I made so many new friends in the older children as well as the Mumma's, and look forward to hopefully getting to spend time with them again!
In just a week there will be two missionaries from Barrie coming to Mwanza to help with some of the projects that are being started here. Prayer for smooth travels and a safe arrival for them would be amazing! Once again thank you for your continued prayers. I am so thankful to have such an awesome group of people surrounding and supporting me!
|Trying to cook ugali...|
|Bruno, Joshua, Moses, Baraka and Timo posing for the camera!|
|Mumma Jackie's smile is contagious!|
*Kuku means chicken, which they have 4 of!