I have now completed 27 orientation schools in 10 years… and this one was the best!
It was really like being on vacation and I’m afraid I’ve been spoiled. I only had 3 children from a family who is serving in Uganda. They were older (10, 12, 14) so I had been a bit apprehensive of teen/tween angst, but they were unfailingly attentive and cooperative. It was such a joy to actually discuss the lessons and their adjustment to life in Africa and have some impact. I always try to make an impact, but when you have an age range of 3 to 12 or so in one group, the lessons become more like entertainment.
The children also really enjoyed all the craft projects I had for them and they did them well. On the last day we had a little ‘market’ where they showed off to the adults all the things they had made and drawn. They were good artists. In the late afternoons we had a friendly competition of playing the board game “10 Days in
Africa” each day, which helped them learn the African countries very well.
Because we were so few, I was able to fit them in my car and take them on some fun field trips. We visited a “castle”, which was the home of a British lord during colonial times. We also went to a prehistoric site where a settlement of early Kenyans is being excavated on the side of a hill over looking Lake Nakuru. We had a lovely hike up to the top of the hill. The best field trip of all, which we did a few times, was to Java House, Kenya’s version of an American restaurant. The 14 year-old boy was very, very happy when we went there.
The only downer was that they thought it was too cold to swim (Uganda is a much hotter climate and they’d been there 2 months). I had planned to spend a lot of time in the pool but had to content myself with swimming laps early each morning, which I think was very good for my back. I am now completely free of back pain, alleluia.
I returned to Nairobi in time to enjoy the last week of classes at the school in Kibera. Graduation, even from preschool, is a big deal here so I’ll be involved in the preparations. But I will take a day to go with the soccer team girls on a little retreat that my short term worker, Kim, is preparing. She’s been spending time with the girls trying to disciple and encourage them. She leaves on the 21st, so this will be her farewell. She’s found a Kenyan friend who is interested in continuing to disciple the girls, so the retreat will introduce her to them. I’m glad for that because the girls are not very open with me. I know they’ve got some serious issues, especially around sexual abuse, and I want them to have someone to talk to that can give them biblical counseling.
My next big project is to prepare a preschool program for AIM’s spiritual life conference from 29 November to 3 December. I’ll have around 25 three- to five-year olds. Thanks for your prayers!
Many blessings, Carolyn