Thursday, April 6th:
A group of us left just after 11am for a hike. The purpose of the hike was for Rahim, Tuba, and Esta (secondary school age kids) to make another YouTube video for their channel (The Olive Branch For Children) on Swahili lessons, info about the program, etc. It’s a really empowering thing for them to be in charge of making these videos and they turn out well. I’m going to share the link to the final video here- Nature Video. Please check out their page… it only takes a few minutes to click, like, etc. I’d love to see more viewers for their channel since they spend so much time working on the videos.
They’re trying to do a few videos now during their break from school and Erica and Ellen are helping them out. Sher and I invited ourselves to join them because we had heard about this hike up the “mountain” with a scenic view at the top. I was planning to just watch them film but in the end, Sher ended up filming with his GoPro and we both gave our input into the directing of the clips. I can’t wait to see the final product. I think it’s one thing to give monetary donations to charities (which is definitely important, of course) but it means a lot to support them emotionally, spend time with them, teach them, and encourage them. There’s always a need for that. One thing these kids need besides the valuable education that they are so lucky to receive is encouragement for their projects and eventually their dreams. A lot of them come from really tough backgrounds that in some cases, probably left a lot of emotional scars and damage to their self-esteem. It feels like our most important job here at the house is helping them to rebuild some of that confidence and feel loved. I just wish we could have stayed longer.
Anyways, we didn’t make it all the way to the top of the mountain because it got really grey and windy and we were worried about rain. So we headed back to the village and on the way, it was a lot of fun greeting all the kids we ran into with “mambo” and most of them would reply “poa” which I think means no problems. The smallest kids would go from looking serious to having a huge smile on their faces when we greeted them and sometimes they would wave nonstop until we were out of view. I can’t believe how many adorable kids there are here, everywhere! I want to take them all home. Poor Sher. He doesn’t know what he’s gotten into with me!
Then we stopped for fruit and the lady at the fruit stand walked away from us, climbed a tree, and tossed us fresh guavas. Sher was worried that she was going to fall from the weak branch onto the sharp fence but she didn’t look like she was worried at all. We finally made it back to the village and took a break took have fresh cut french fries with coleslaw on top and a spicy tomato sauce for dipping… much more delicious than it sounds! But the wait was so long that we missed (again! We had missed them the day before as well!) both of our afternoon talks… my backpack talk to the older kids and Sher’s dental talk to the primary school kids. Everyone assured us that it’s ok, time isn’t a big deal here and we could just start late today. So I went ahead with my “Pack it Light and Wear it Right” talk to the pre-teens and teens as well some common stretches and warm ups for them, especially since their posture seems to be worse than most adults in Africa, considering that they spend more time sitting in front of books and computers now. I discussed the importance of posture with them as well. I wished that I could treat some of the kids but we don’t have any permission at this point so I tried to teach them as much as I could about taking care of their bodies. My talk didn’t take too long so I was able to join the later part of Sher’s talk after he was done checkups and hear all about “sugar bugs”. Sher’s buddy, Harry Pota, sometimes seems like a little bit of a troublemaker but Sher said that he came up to Sher after the talk and whispered that one girl didn’t get a prize since she didn’t answer any questions. So Sher made sure to give her a prize and she wasn’t left out, thanks to little H.P. He even drew some pictures in my journal at this point in my writing… better than I could draw!
After dinner and Malala reading, I went to the super crowded movie room to watch one of the movies on the 10-in-1 DVD that Daniel had bought. We watched Part 1 of Twilight: Breaking Dawn and were all ready for Part 2 but realized that of all the 10 movies on the DVD, it was the one Twilight movie that they missed! How annoying. Sher missed the movie but he said he’ll watch the Twilight movies with me one day. Haha we’ll see if he can sit through them. It’s a guilty pleasure of mine to watch them… judge me if you want! I actually think it’s not so bad that the kids like to watch movies once in a while since they prefer the English ones which probably helps their comprehension skills a lot. The smaller kids even sometimes join and some of them barely speak English so far but I’ll bet the movies help a bit.