Saturday, August 3, 2013

Day 5

IIt's pretty hard to stare at a blank screen and try and write something half as exciting as yesterday - especially when yesterday involved a safari!  That said, today was a relatively low-key day.  We woke up to more gray weather!  Since we arrived we have been plagued with cool weather.  Lows in the mid 40s and highs in the mid 60s.  It's especially chilly with the wind up here on the hill at the Hekima Place compound.

Because of the chill, the girls spent the morning inside and completing their chores.  I used that time to write all my postcards to my wonderful supporters from the "go fund me" campaign.  I got a little sad writing cards, because I wouldn't be sending one to Gaggy.  She would love all my stories and pictures from this trip.  I started to get a little teary-eyed and then realized she wouldn't want me to be upset, but she would want me to send her's to her favorite correspondence buddy, my cousin Olivia.  So that's what I did!

We spent the afternoon playing outside: soccer, cards and the playground.  

I did score points by bringing nail polish for pedicures!  Doesn't matter where in the world you are, girls love painted toes!  Some did alternating colors, some layered color with sparkles, some did a combination of both!  It was a fun way to spend some time together!  While the girls painted and listened to an R-Kelly CD or Nairobi's KISS radio station, I "took the corn off" of what seemed like a million ears of corn (it was probably 15).  

The most special part of the day came when it was time for dinner.  Every Saturday, that week's birthdays are celebrated.  This week we had Faith's birthday.  

After we ate a delicious and dinner of cabbage, mashed potatoes and chicken (remember those coops I mentioned in an earlier posts?  They are definitely a few chickens lighter), it was time to celebrate.  One of the older girls served as MC and invited a representative from each house to recite a birthday wish for Faith.  All the girls spoke of how much they wished for a wonderful year and life, how much they loved her and how much they prayed for her.  Next her Mum (from the blue house) her a happy birthday and spoke of all the improvements and progress she had made and her love for Faith.  The Head Mom then followed with praise about what a hard and good worker Faith was, and her beauty inside and out.  Then baby Bridget got up to say happy birthday, which was just adorable from a three year old.  After each person went to the front of the room to give their wish, they hugged the birthday girl.  As the visitors, we were asked to give our wishes too.  The choral group came and led in the singing of several songs and finally "Mum Kate" spoke about the blessing that Faith is, and her love for her.  The cake came out next, candles were blown out, and a small present was opened!

It was a special thing to be part of.  Not only was it interesting to see a birthday celebrated in another country, but it was inspiring to see how a birthday was celebrated at Hekima Place.  Every room you enter at Hekima is filled with love, you can just feel it.  What was different with the birthday celebration, was that you couldn't just feel the love, you could hear each person express it: from baby Bridget to founder "Mum Kate."  What a wonderful way to build a confident young woman.  Given the circumstances these young women come from, building them up seems like an impossible task, but I know that there is hope when there are people so eager and willing to share their love and pride for these girls so openly and directly.  I know that tonight, Faith will go to bed knowing she is loved,  important to, and celebrated by many people.  

On a less insightful note, the cake was delicious: like a pound cake with frosting and a side of ice cream!

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