"Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you....For I am the Lord, your God...." Isaiah 43:1-3

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

I miss this life every day

waking up to the sound of this bird knocking on my window
sorting beans and rice with Grace
githeri for lunch
kids everywhere 
kids swinging
the smell of smoke, beans and people 
colors everywhere
bright sunny days
rice with stones
hot nights
late night parties with tomato-butter and eggs
new friends
working on the down-farm
lizards on the walls
 sleeping in my room with open door
red concrete floors
 dogs silently walking around at night
the feeling of the dust between bare toes
 kids playing with my camera
wearing jeans and hoodie in rainy days
dinners in darkness
sweet kisses and good night prayers

Sunday, 22 January 2012

secret places you need to find...

lots of info about secret places around the orphanage is passed down from one generation of volunteers to another - sometimes there are gaps of no volunteers, sometimes the information get lost in translation...

so here is a list of nice places which I wouldn't know about if Sabrina and all the other volunteers from my first trip didn't tell me about them...


x you are here

standing close to this sign, WWB behind you

-MAKUYU is to the LEFT (45min walk)
-PUNDAMILIA to the RIGHT (5min walk)
-ACROSS the road is "Cornerstore" (10 seconds walk)

you can buy basic things there - bread, sometimes even milk (the long-life kind)
if you're going to buy something, ask Grace how much it should cost - if they tell you higher price try to call them racists :D like Tom did when we were buying soda and then he got a fair price and even an apology


we went to Pundamilia almost every day, for Coke (Pineapple Fanta, Blackberry Fanta, Krest (bitter lemon soda) and Stoney Tangawizi (strong ginger soda)) but you can buy there almost everything.



to get to the samosas you need to turn left (at the end of the straight road - where the main road turns to the right) and follow narrow path...



find this place and ask for samosas - they cost 5Ksh each - and they always give you fair price

to get a bottle of soda, follow the main road, after it turns right, then a little bit to the left (as if you were going around the buildings on your left side) and you'll see a tiny shop on your RIGHT side - it has ropes, buckets and bicycle seats displayed "outside" ...they have a "fridge" with sodas (they'll have room temperature - the fridge doesn't work)
and they should cost 40-50 Ksh - and you should get 10 Ksh back after you return the glass bottle
(you can give the bottle to the older boys at WWB and they'll bring it back and earn those 10 Ksh)
ALWAYS bring bottles back - even if you don't want the money back - recycle and save the planet :)

MAKUYU

I love going there on Sunday - for the market... but you can go there any time you want if you have time (45 min. walk there)
my favorite place for a cup of Chai and mandazi (or chips, or samosas) is chez Nancy


if you're coming from the orphanage , get on the big asphalt road and walk down the hill, Nancy's place will be on your right side, it's aqua/turquoise and it has two tables outside on a little porch and also some tables inside, I've never been inside because I like the atmosphere of the porch.
this is what you can see from behind the outside tables...


...the Market on Sunday starts in the afternoon 2-3p.m. but more sellers come later...you can get scarfs there - lovely, but you'll have to bargain for the price. (fair price should be 100 Ksh, but last time they didn't want to go lower than 250Ksh, but it's not a hill to die on)


you get to the market by turning right from the main road (WWB is behind you)

you can buy fruits and veggies every day, but the biggest selection is on Sunday (ask Grace for fair price, but they usually have set prices for food and don' try to sell it for more)
if someone tells you higher price for food and you're sure it's too high, don't bargain, just go and buy it from someone else

/yes, I did see racism in Africa/

there's a cute little bakery in Makuyu - with set prices and really nice selection
just follow the main road- all the way until it turns left, keep going and you'll see it on your left side


it has open front and it looks like this ... (minus me with dirty hair and work clothes on)


SODA in MAKUYU - you can get soda in Makuyu but they might ask you to drink it there -and give the bottle right back...

I'll draw a plan later and post it here, maybe that'd be easier to understand :)


some prices:

matatu to Thika 80Ksh
matatu from Thika 70Ksh
pineapple (big) 20Ksh
soda 40-50Ksh
samosas 5Ksh
mandazi 5Ksh
chips 20Ksh
Chai 5 Ksh
marble cake (from bakery) 80Ksh


Friday, 30 December 2011

africa 2011 -day 6 - rain

it's raining and it's freakin' cold but there was a lot of water in the morning!



every time we start digging, local people come to have a look at us -white people working- they have to think we're a bunch of crazy mzungus who laugh when one of us climbs the ladder and take pictures of each other in a muddy hole.

had another samosa and Coke before lunch - local cuisine takes some "getting used to"

I washed my feet - it didn't really work

Zach is absolutely amazing with kids - so natural.

Thursday, 29 December 2011

africa 2011 -day 4 and 5

day 4 got lost, there are absolutely no notes in my notebook indicating it actually happened, but it did, I'm sure... it was just one of those gray rainy days, filled with digging and throwing chunks of dirt...



photo credit: CoraLee Baerg
BUT we DID go to Pundamillia for Coke and samosas (I didn't get coke. You can get coke everywhere, but there are only few places that have Pineapple Fanta - so that's what I got)
It's fun showing people "new" places around here - I'm sure all the volunteers staying longer would appreciate Pundamilia and it's little shops. - if you're going to volunteer with WWB you have to check it out :) - much closer than Makuyu.

DAY5

WE HAVE WATER! - tiny tiny pool, but still...

I'm going to help Grace today - it's Chapatti night - my favorite
-it's cold- my toes are freezing as I'm sitting on the bed writing this - legwarmers on..
it was almost raining this morning.

I promised myself I won't write this but... I'm STARVING - hungry hungry hungry...now I'll just wait for Chapatti and then go to sleep.

oh yes, these are my feet in africa - I'm sure you love photos like this :D don't worry, I have few more saved for later ;)

I love the afternoons and slow nights, little prayer after dinner, than taking little ones to bed, kissing them good-night ...and wearing socks to bed - to protect my bedsheets from my dirty legs.

It's insane how hot it gets at night - two years ago it was much hotter during the day but we had really cold nights, now it's the other way around.

africa 2011 - day 3 - Nancy's place

" eeek - Tom (and maybe Hannah ) probably have Typhoid, we're digging the well again,
it's almost 160 cm deep and we have nice system now - boys cut the soil, girls throw the chunks of mud out - it's easier this way (at least for us - girls :D ) "

...we went to Makuyu after work,

and took Edwin, Albert and George with us.
I love Nancy's little shop and Chai and mandazi - yumm

it feels so good to be back - walking down the road to Makuyu, sitting outside, mamma Nancy brings you Chai and a plate of mandazi, kids yell at you - mzungu how are you?! ... I forgot I'm mzungu. I haven't been mzungu for 2 years.



it was a good day.
I sleep like 10 hours every day and I'm still tired.

Thursday, 24 November 2011

I miss africa

one more post about wishing I was there...

{Julius - august 2011}

I miss my kids so much these days…I mean, I’ve missed them every day since Africa but it’s been really hard now, I’m not sure why exactly…

Christmas is almost here and I’d love to be home for chiristmas but I won’t…

Well, I’ll be with mom, daddy and sis, and we’ll go visit grandparentsand I’m grateful for that, and I love Christmas with my family, but I want to be Home with my kids.

Can you imagine how awesome it would be? – first Christmas in shorts and tee, it would be hot and we would probably have chapatti – because it’s the best meal they have and I’m pretty sure Grace will save it for the Christmas Eve.

I miss my kids,

but I also miss Africa – the simple way of life,

how I could feel the presence of God everywhere…

I miss waking up in the morning and feeling hungry,

I miss kids knocking on my door and asking for bubbles-all the time.

I wish I could hug someone at night and carry a kid to bed,

I miss someone in wet pants sitting on my knees,

I miss the sound of bare feet on the concrete floor in the Hall,

I miss full portion of cooked beans and rice dropped in the middle of the room,

I miss kissing good-night

I miss evening trips to Punda – for a bottle of coke

I miss chai for breakfast

I miss silent nights and starry skies

I miss swinging under the mango trees

I miss whistling while walking to the bathroom – to let the dogs know it’s you…

I imagine someone else sleeping in my bed,

Someone else loving on my kids

Someone else cutting carrots for Grace and sorting beans.

I miss the heat and the dust

I miss having no clean clothes, yet feeling awesome

I miss boredom of slow days

I miss Africa

I miss matatus filled with people,

I miss the smell of beans, corn and people, present everywhere

I miss random moments

Like doing laundry and than hanging my washcloth on the door handle ,

Like having three piles of clothes – clean from home – relatively clean – work,

Like waiting 12 hours at the airport and wishing time would hurry up, but still enjoying the last luxuries of western world – like real toilets and common sense,

Like folding all my tees and blanket and pillow and getting it all ready for Grace,

Like never staying up after 9p.m.

I need to go back.

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Questions and Answers


so ...Anonymous asked me a couple of questions ( you didn't leave me your e-mail or blog address so I can't write you but I'm happy to answer your questions here) :

PILLOW AND PILLOWCASE JUST IN CASE

I did bring my own little pillow every time - originally it was for the plane, but I used it at WWB and it was very useful.

they had a pillow on my bed (second time) but it wasn't very comfy - too hard for me :P + if you bring your own pillow you can leave it there - give it to the kids/staff

always bring things which you'll have no problem to leave there - like, I wouldn't bring my favorite pillowcase from childhood which I want to keep forever :) :D - you know what I mean...
on the way back I had an empty backpack (with nothing but a couple of souvenirs inside) as a checked-in baggage - it was actually much lighter than my carry-on (where I had laptop, camera etc.)

BLANKET/SLEEPING BAG DILEMA

first time I was there july/august and it was pretty cold at night - but you have to remember that August is winter-season in KEnya, and I slept in sleeping-bag, wearing long thermal underwear and flannel PJs -but it was hot and sunny during the day (shorts and tees)

second time - September - it was colder during the day ( jeans/sweatshirt most of the time) and it was raining a lot but it was pretty warm at night and I only slept under the blanket and I was still hot (in shorts and tank-top)

I don't think you'll need sleeping-bag in May/April but I'd bring a blanket - you'll get one from WWB but it's always nice to have an extra blanket - just in case + on the flight from Amsterdam to Nairobi it was REALLY COLD - EVERYONE WAS FREEZING so bring a blanket - just in case ;)

BRING MIRROR - if you do, you won't have to take awkward self-portraits in the morning to see what you look like after days without shower :D


what's the wether like?

I'm not sure about may/april but I think it will rain a lot? - maybe? - you can ask Geoffrey he'll be able to tell you.

and I know I repeat this over and over but PACK AS MUCH AS YOU CAN (or at least the essentials) IN YOUR CARRY ON BACKPACK

+bring food/snacks/instant soup/chocolate/crackers FOR YOURSELF. believe me, you'll need it at the beginning, and if you bring some stuff for yourself, then you won't feel guilty if you eat a chocolate which you brought for the kids.
COMFORT FOOD is important - because relaxed and happy volunteer can do so much more ;)

-I know I should be writing about how awesome it was, about all the experience and memories I made, how much I love my kids and how I miss them...AND I DO...but there are some bare necessities which you have to know and that's why I'm writing about long underwear and chocolate.

PLEASE ask more questions - I love answering them - hundreds, thousands of questions - really :)


/or send me an e-mail : jajinka123 (at) gmail (dot) com /

Saturday, 1 October 2011

africa 2011 - day 2-well

today I woke up early - a way too early, not even the kids were up yet.
I asked Coralee what they were going to do while they are here. It's nice to hang out with Grace and kids but I wanted to start some project this time around...

and so...we're going to dig a well. I know, it's the most cliché thing I could do - dig a well in africa.
Peter needs the well, it's going to provide water for a big part of his farm and we're happy to help.
10 feet across, 20 feet deep. - and as we use metric system at home, I had absolutely no idea what these dimensions meant.

we had githeri for lunch - I missed it so much.

{Jerremy - Peter's little son - with a paper tissue I gave him - I've never seen someone laugh with happiness just because he was given a paper issue before}


Nicole left today. I almost cried - not for Nicole, as lovely as she is, I'm not going to miss her - we've only known each other for 2 days... but her leaving, reminded me that I will have to say good-bye to everyone soon - sooner that I want.


/and all the time I was in africa I had to think about how short this trip was and how I would leave soon. I know I wasn't very good company, because even though I tried to be happy and pretend everything's great, I felt sad most of the time and all I wanted was to hold my kids in my arms and never let them go. I was there for my kids, not for the volunteers, but still, I feel like I should apologize for not being 100% myself...of maybe not, because I was there for my kids and that's what matters./

Friday, 30 September 2011

day1

Many things changed, new buildings, new kids, new staff.

I found out I can’t send multi-media messages or make any calls. Awesome.

I went to bed early – at 9:30 and all I remember is that I was so tired after two nights when I didn’t sleep properly. I have my room for myself, but I don’t care right now, I feel at home.

I remember we didn’t lock the door at night when I shared my room with Sabrina last time I was in africa – and I never closed or locked my door during my second time here. I mean, do you lock the door on your room at home? When everyone else’s there? – of course not.

Friday, 23 September 2011

africa 2011 - journey (day 0)

I remember all the planning, vaccinations and dreaming before africa n°1.

I don't really know what exactly happened before africa n°2. I know I've been at school, I remember passing my last exam and suddenly having 3 weeks of free time ahead of me.

I remember checking flight ticket prices.

and then two days later I was at the airport, writing this and this post

it was a long flight, and I'm an expert in the field of "waiting at the airport" by now.
I've sent few postcards from Amsterdam, I roamed the lonely moving sidewalks of the airport lounge 1 and 2, I've visited duty-free shops selling a way too expensive items, I slept and crocheted a hat - too small for anyone bigger than a doll - which I, later, disassembled into a very nice yarn-ball.
I crossed the passport control and checked out few more stores.
I slept through the majority of the AMS-NBO flight. Food was delicious. like always.
I never really understood why people complain about airplane food.


I had 3 seats for myself. Staff was extra nice. Seriously, I fell in love with one of the stewards just by watching him prepare a cradle for a baby who was traveling with mom. I know they are payed for doing this, but they don't get extra money for bringing extra pillow and extra blanket for the baby, they should.
I just think it's incredibly sexy when a man's being so gentle with a baby.

aaanyway, I arrived on Sunday, in the morning, excited to see everyone again, but I wasn't nervous about anything this time... I felt like coming home after two long years.

and when I saw Grace standing there in front of the kitchen I knew I was where God wanted me to be, everything seemed right.

Friday, 26 August 2011

going back

only for 3 weeks but still, I'll get to see my kids! after 2 years!
split second decision..

I'll tell you more soon.
stay tuned...

Friday, 10 June 2011

things you can't leave at home


get washcloth when you go...it makes bucket-showers so much easier :)
now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to take one bucket shower myself - just for the sake of old times...awwh memories...

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

3 meals per day and yet ...starving...

the scariest thing in the world is looking through current photos of your kiddos - seeing them after 17 months (yes, still counting) and wondering if you can name them all...thankfully I can, but oh my, they are so grown up...

seeing my angels on photos of someone else, realizing how much older they are now - year and a half...
seeing my boys turning into young men and girls beautiful as always...

I cried (luckily I'm home alone - it wasn't a pretty sight - I'm not a nice crier).
and I'm happy they have all the wonderful people coming to them and loving them with all their hearts, and I'm happy there are people who put them to bed and who wake them up for school...but oh my, am I jealous of them. I would give everything for a chance to see them again, to hold their hands and laugh with them,...

on one photo I saw a bit of the floor and next to the door there were sneakers, covered in red dust as well as everything else around...and I remember my sneakers waiting in that spot, although I didn't wear them very often, and I remember giving them to Felister...and I remember sleeping on that bed and walking around those buildings, I remember sitting on the ground one evening, before dinner, watching kids wash their hair, I remember it was cold and I was hungry, I remember waking up to give medicine to kids and then cuddling in my bed for one more hour freeing - and hungry again - or should I say still hungry?

sometimes I read a blog post written by some parents who just brought their kid home from a country far far away...and they often say that they're concerned because their son or daughter sneaks to the kitchen, takes food out of the fridge and eats even though they can't be hungry because they just finished their family dinner, I read about kids taking food with them everywhere they go, kids hiding food in their rooms,...

and I'll tell you one thing. I've been there, done that, know how they feel. No, not the parents. The kids.
just think about this - I've been in the orphanage for 7 weeks - 3 meals per day and by the end of my stay, insane amounts of PB and jelly sandwiches in between, because I was so hungry I just had to buy more food...still, when I came home I would eat everything I saw, I would get up at 11 or 12 p.m. take something out of the fridge and eat it in my bed. there was a bottle of juice or milk on my window sill every night and chocolate, cheese, crackers packages all around my bed. and still I was hungry. Yes, me who before, didn't eat after 6 p.m. because it wasn't healthy , me almost 20 years old (back then) and yet, I was eating like crazy after this "trip". It took me whole month to get back to "normal"

because you don't know what being hungry means (I don't know it!) ...of course we get hungry from time to time...we forget our lunch, we're too busy..we start some stupid diet to get our weight back after Christmas ;) but that's not hunger. you don't eat half of the bread loaf with PB and drink liter of tea just to be equally hungry after it,..you don't know...and I DON'T KNOW...I just tried two months of that and it gives me no right to tell you I KNOW because if I knew, I wouldn't be here typing this...I would be in the kitchen sitting on the floor in front of our fridge, stuffing my face with some cheese or something.
then imagine how your kid must feel after spending years in the orphanage...
all I'm saying is...try to understand a little bit...and give them some time....

Friday, 5 November 2010

tomorrow's friday...

this will be going on 5500KM - far far away from me, and I won't be there :( I wonder who's helping Grace make all the chapatti :( video
(in this video - Grace, Teresia...)

Tuesday, 29 June 2010

missing


don´t you get a feel

that someone should be sitting

here right by your side?

Saturday, 26 June 2010

once upon a time...

there was one little girl who lived her dream... it was the summer of 2009 when she learned magic.

african magic - full of love, compassion and prayers, the greatest magic of the world. 

It changed her, first step into the unknown world, first child´s hand she did hold, first star-full night she slept under heavenly sky, made her grew up. 

until then she was a kid, bu now all she longs for is to put her kids to bed at night and hold their hands when they go to the dentist. she´s missing her new home too much. it hurts too badly to be this far away... to know that one year ago....


she held God in her arms.

Thursday, 25 March 2010

I´ve forgotten

I´ve forgotten, almost forgotten how damn lucky we are.
but then I took my evening shower and I remembered.
I´m damn lucky for having a shower, for having it right here in the dorms, just few meters from my room, for having insane quantity of hot/warm/cold water - whichever I wish, for having it whenever I want.
I´m damn lucky to have water.

And I would write an e-mail to my parents or sis, chat with them on g-mail, skype, wherever...I would call them at night. I would talk for hours on the phone with Prince M. ...
How damn lucky I am to be surrounded by people who care about me.
I can tell them how much I love them.
I know that "I love you" is powerful and valuable, it shouldn´t be said automaticaly at the end of the phone-calls, it should be meant, really meant. And so some people don´t say it very often because they know it´s value and don´t want to waste it.
But it´s not wasting if you say it to those whom you love. And so I´m damn lucky to be able to say it, to have someone who´s so precious that deserves it.

I´m so damn lucky to have family.

I do have food, and drinking water, I do have money and lots of nice clean clothes, cosy room to sleep in...
and I do try to persuade myself that my kiddos are lucky to get three meals a day, clean and safe drinking water and bed for the night, I try to tell myself that it´s great for them to go to school regularly and have enough light at night to do their homeworks...
but it´s so ...stupid.
Every single kid would change all this without even blinking, just to have one more opportunity to hug their mom, to have mommy, just for one night who would put them to bed, just one more time..
no, they have three meals a day and regular schooling.
how damn lucky they are?

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

sick of being homesick

and I see it all now.

wide streets with trees and flowers (ok, maybe not right now in winter, but in general..), clean trains and buses with real tickets, big room with actual ceiling and comfly bed, fridge full of food, handful of Maltesers right next to my laptop which is constantly pluged in, hot showers, flushing toilets, washing machines,...

and as I see all this, I keep wondering why did I miss it so much...
I did like the narrow dusty roads with corn-fields around them, matatus full of people with no tickets and apparently no limits, small room which I shared with Sabrina, my top bunk with no noticable materess, three poor meals a day, electricity from solar panels, bucket "showers" every 4 days, toilets...well, with no actual toilet at all, brush and a bit of soap to wash our clothes... I didn´t just liked it, I LOVED it. like I said

I LOVE my

Amazing

Frustrating

Ridicculous

Incredible

Colorful

Africa




I didn´t miss our "civilised" way of life. I didn´t miss our delicious meals eaten on the go, somewhere between catching a bus and finishing homework, I didn´t miss our smileless streets and people with no identity who pretend that no one else exists, I didn´t miss this...

I just missed my family, I missed my mom, and every second I was there I wished she would have come with me, she´d be such a wonderful mom for all my kids. I missed daddy, if he came with me every moment of every day would be brighter and every single one of my kids would love him so much, as he is the sweetest daddy a kid can wish for. I missed my sis, she´d heve loved it there, playing with all my kiddos and helping me to put them to bed. I missed my family, because I knew how fortunate I am to have one, I missed my family and at the same time I felt sick about having one, when my kids don´t have parents, I felt sick of missing my home, while my own kids there didn´t have any.


I wanted to go back and just hug my mom and daddy and talk to my sis and never let them go, because I knew my kids will never get a chance to do that again. I missed my family which was always with me, I missed my family, how unfair this is.



all I want now is to go back, hug my kids, hold them close to my heard and rock them all night in my lap and let them cry, and let them smile...as it´s the only thing I can do for them.

AND YOU! HEY LISTEN TO ME! GO AND HUG YOUR MOM, DADDY, KIDS, WHOEVER YOU LOVE! JUST GO RIGHT NOW AND TELL THEM HOW MUCH YOU LOVE THEM BECAUSE THEY DESERVE TO KNOW :)

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

under african sky

many people before me, as well as many many after me would say that african sky is magical...but none of them prepared me for the truth. It´s not only magical, it´s incredibly deep.
One night, before going to bed, I was standing outside with a cup of water in my hand and a toothbrush stucked in my face, and there I saw it. It seriously scared me at first. In complete darkness, interupted only by shimmering light of Soldier´s torch, I was standing there, looking up, and I felt like I´ll fall into that sky.. I could feel my feet loosing the ground underneath them, I could feel myself falling up into that freakishly deep blackness. No, it´s not the different constelations which make the african sky so different. it´s its´ depth which calls you, which surrounds you, which scares you, which makes you stand in awe with a toothbrush in your mouth.

and nights are so peaceful in africa (apart from a couple of stray dogs crossing the orphanage compound). It´s dark black everywhere - and not just black - there´s complete lack of light. Just like when we were flying to Nairobi and I looked down, I could see tiny tiny lights now and then, but nothing else, just complete lack of light in between. I imagined that this is how God saw the Earth at the very beginning, peaceful, covered with silent darkness, and I can understand why He said it was good.

Friday, 22 January 2010

world has to keep turning

because my kids need to know it´s brighter side,

I need them to find paradise here.

I want every twig of every tree to be covered with oranges,

every twig of every tree, I don´t care if it´s apple-tree of pine.

I want every eye to shine and every mouth to smile,

a cat sitting on every shoulder, or at least little white rat turning it´s tail around every neck and kissing every cheek from time to time.

I want every man to talk to animals, but also to listen.

I want every hand to have a hand to hold,

I want all hearts filled, all minds free.

I want daddy for every child and no mommy with empty hands.

I wish it would snow icecream, and rain rainbow,

I want every wanderer to have a clean soft bed waiting for him at the end of this long day,

I want every doctor to hear thanks directly from his patient,

I want every child to be born, and every tear to be understood.

I wish flights to Kenya were cheaper, and I could see my kids whenever they´d need me.
I want every door unlocked, every tummy fed,
I want every knee to bend in front of every baby born, because that´s when it will be christmas again

I want stars to glow through night and day - even though we don´t see them.

I want the world to keep turning for my kids need a chance o grow and learn.


and one day, oh how I´m waiting for that day,


when I´ll go to sleep without saying prayer, because I´ll be so close to Him that no words will be needed, we´ll be in Eden again

oh how I´m waiting for that day.

Friday, 15 January 2010

chapatti night :)

so today´s friday, that means chapatti night right?
oh Greace, I wish I could be there and help you make them, I would give up my lunch, I would actually give up all week´s meals just to be able to get a bowl of peas, or whatever and one chapatti...no, scratch that, I would give up whole month worth of food just to be there and help Grace make them, I don´t even care for the chapatti, I just miss sitting on the ground in that small kitchen full of smoke, listening to Grace´s radio and just soaking in the atmosphere :)

Monday, 4 January 2010

what to bring, what to leave, what to forget....

I´ve decided to write this post for myself, because I want to remember what I needed, what was extra, and what was completly useless in africa. I might use this list when I´ll be packing next time, or some of you might use it etc. ... I just thought it would be handy to have a complete list of things needed to survive in rural africa :)

CARRY ON :
-aka the most important part of your luggage and the only one about which you can be sure that it will still be there at the end of the flight.

-passport, international vaccination papers, money etc. (usual stuff)
-antimalaria pills
-camera, camera charger, spare memory cards
-set of clean clothes
-cell phone + charger

hmmm that´s about it...this is all you´ll need in first few days/weeks, while they´ll be looking for your checked in bag which decided to make holiday in Cairo.
+ I tyed a blanket to the side of my backpack and the airlines didn´t have a problem with that so just try to stuff your carry on with as many items as you can, not just the bare necessities. You don't want to travel comfortably, for goodness sake you're traveling to africa!

CHECKED IN:
- aka the useless bag without which you´d be able to survive 8 to 10 days (depending on the speed with which they decide to search for it)

-clothes
take only the shirts and t-shirts which you want to leave there, because they will be probably destroyed by the end of your stay, and if not, then you´ll leave everything there anyway because people there could use them better than you.
-following numbers are based on prediction that you´ll travel fully dressed, with sock and everything...
-approx. 7 t-shirts
-2 or 3 shorts
-1 long pants
-2 long sleeved tops
-1hoodie
-2 pair of socks
-underwear
-water bottle (you might want to bring water purrifying tablets or something, but I didn´t use them after all, water was clean safe to drink in WWB )
-flipp-flopps /crocks
-stuff for the kids
-2 or 3 packs of baby wet wipes
-tissues
-toothbrush + toothpaste
-soap, shampoo
-medication: band-aids, Imodium AD, pain-killers, Strepsils (I didn´t use anything else)
-sleeping bag
-small pillow
-long PJs or just bottoms (I used clean T-shirt for sleeping)
-head torch, torch, batteries
-diary + pen/pencil

everything else is optional, and I didn´t need it while I was in WWB - I´m sure the conditions change from place to place but this is what I know about WWB :)

- I might have forgotten something, so feel free to ask, if you see something missing in here, I´ll be happy to add it there, or explain why it´s not listed.

traveling in Kenya is....interesting

did I ever tell you how funny it was to travel around in Kenya?

first of all there are those bike-riding guys who are willing to take you everywhere for a couple of shillings = highly ecological but a little bit uncomfortable (at least it looked like that - I´ve never tried it)


then there are "matatu" vans who are originaly designed for 12 people, but matatu can officialy take 14 people (+ tons of other stuff) and usually it ends up with 24-26 people on board - few of them "standing" as much as you can stand in such a small van...

(that photo was a-kind-of-stollen from my friend - one of the volunteers -and please note that this matatu was really NOT full yet :)

but what I wanted to say is that those mad drivers who seemed to drive in absolute chaos with no rules at all managed to make it an amazing ballet and swim in the ocean of cars without stoping, and thankfuly without crashing... but what petrified me was how they went to the petrol station and while the one and only stuff member filled the tank with petrol - smoking all the time of course - they casualy chatted with our driver, shauting in order to hear each other through the noise our car (with the engine turned on) was making... mesmorizing...

most of the time we walkwd, but once you´ve decided to use "public transport" you could be sure that they´ll try to break as many rules as possible - such as smoking forbidden and please turn your engine off at the petrol stations!

Friday, 1 January 2010

new beginning...happy New year

every mom, I´m sure, started new year with prayer for her kids. so did I.
I prayed for wisdom and happiness, for tight sleep and shiny stars on their sky, for someone to hug them at the first day of school, for clear water and many smiles, for cheap flight tickets - so that I could see them again soon, and for thousands of fortunes for every little one on this world, because that´s what they deserve :)
I pray for my kids.

Wednesday, 23 December 2009

ALL I ASK FOR

Be the glory to God,
Because thanks to Him,
I have all I need.
And all I could ever ask for
is already here,
Filling my heart
with endless happiness.

Still, some people close their eyes
Choose not to see it,
They wish more luck,
And ask for more blessings
to meet me in my life.
But I know my truth,
I know the Love which came
to give me peace
and so all I ask for
is to make them see.

Show them my Lord,
That you are here.
And if by any chance,
someone still prays for me
Then all I ask for, my God,
is to take these prayers.

Listen to them,
treasure them in your heart
and take care of every single one.
Keep them close,
To never forget
To never get them lost
And one day, when you´ll decide
it´s time to stand up and reply,
once You put them all in one,
wait a minute and add mine,

add it to that lot and send it all
to people who need them more.
And when you´ll be on the way,
bringing your answer to my world,
give many greetings to my soldier,
Myriads of good-night kisses to all my kids

Hug every living creature you meet
Give them all wisdom
and peace they all need.
Look at the orphans,
and parents with empty craddle,
take care of homeless
and men who struggle,
trying to live their lives alone
and fill the needs of my hoping world,
that´s all I ask for.

Monday, 2 November 2009

flight

I love flying, the further I go, the more I enjoy the yourney. I love everything from packing through waiting at the airport to the scent on the board. That magic mixture of coffee, bittersweet Earl Grey tea, microwavable food, recycled air and humans. Who wouldn´t love it?
And then imagine you´re sitting next to some highly interesting passanger and you have full five hours in front of you. Five hours of short polite talks, comments about the food served on board and hours of pretended interest for each other. Even better is if you happen to sit next to a child – it´s great opportunity to throw stuffed Pooh teddy bear at each other and to get that wonderful book where you have to find blue dog hiding on each page, you can smile at each other, no need to talk, just loving the milk-rice they give you together with some kind of dump lasagne and chewy croissant. This is why I love flying so much, that´s why I´ll never grow tired of it. If five hours is absolute delight, then imagine that after that, you´ll board another plane for another five-hours-long heavenly flight.
And after almost half a day of traveling, running across various airports and meeting people who absolutely don´t care about you, you find yourself in Jommo Kenyatta International Airport and the adventure just begins. That´s why I love flying.

news from WWB

all kids are doing well and Jackline and Diana are really great atschool! they were first in their class! I´m so proud of them!

Sunday, 25 October 2009

missing my kids

- getting used to hot water (read: already able to take hot showers :) and I also don´t feel urge to eat as much as I can every time when I come home - that was a bad issue few weeks after my return home - I was just eating and eating - enjoying every bite, every flawor, just stuffing myself with as much food as I could (like in Java house in Nairobi - when we didn´t know when we´ll see "normal" food again) ...now I´m starting to miss Githery - really, and I miss those plastic cups in which water tasted like mixture of beans and laundry soap, and I miss my shaky bed and metal door which we left open every night, I miss cold mornings and silent waiting for hot cup of chai, ...geez I miss africa....and it´s getting worse every day, and every night before I go to sleep I just pray, I pray for my kids, because they are mine and all I need right now is them to be safe and sound, I need them to be happy and I just desperately want to check on them right now, today, in this second.

Friday, 16 October 2009

bad day for my left arm

ouuuch, today was bad day for my left arm.
At first, I went to hospital - to get my blood tested for HLA - to become a bone marrow registrated donor, then my doctor gave me the last vaccination (hep A and B).
Like I said, not a good day for my arm...
so I might say that africa is over - as I´ve been there more than 2 months ago and today I finished all the medical blah blah blah...but it´s not over, and it´ll never be. Africa is forever a part of me.
___________________________
I´m back home, enjoying free friday and it´s snowing!!!! and I keep thinking about my kids in Africa.
For them "winter" has finished.

Tuesday, 25 August 2009

"shower"

do you know which "luxury" I missed in africa?
SHOWER - all we had was bucket of cold water (of course that I could heat up a kettle or two to make the water a litle bit warmer but those of you who know me for a while already know that I' m too lazy to do that, so I "showered" in cold water all the time. can you imagine how excited I was when I came home and I was about to take my first hot shower in 6 weeks? - yes HOT - I didn't care that it was summer, I didn't care that people were sweating all around me becase it even thought it as night, the temperature was still overwhelming. I just wanted my hot shower. And then after 6 weeks of cold buckets all I could manage was mild (almost cold) shower and still I felt as if I was washing with boiling water - even now, after almost 3 weeks of my "luxurious" normal life I can't have hot shower because it would hurt...I just got use to cold water and all what I care about right now is that the water is running and I can take cold shower every night - maybe I'll be back to normal around Christmas and I'll get my hot shower after my first snowboarding trip - or maybe not - I might shower with cold water for the rest of my life - who knows?
BTW mom thought it was fnny that after my first shower all bathtub was filled with red african dust, well, what can I say? - i was just one of the souvenirs I brought home from Kenya - people should learn to appreciate small things.

Friday, 21 August 2009

laundry

I don´t know if I already told you about our laundry experiences in Kenya but washing our clothes was pretty interesting ... we half-filled our bucket with cold water and then used old-fashioned laundry soap and "magic brush" (= ordinary brush which in fact does wonders - it makes disappear the red african dust) or Toss gentle detergent - then we tried our best, but whatever we did, we ended up with bucket of muddy soapy water and at the end we considered everything what was wet to be clean.
sometimes we rinsed the muddy soapy clothes in half-bucket of clean cold water, sometimes not...the more soap we keep in the fabric, the better it will smell - by the end of my stay I didn´t care much about stains, I just wanted something what smelled good better than the rest of my clothes.

shoes, my heart and evening prayer

Shoes are one of the few things which bother me now, after my come-back. I keep fighting with unbearable desire to take off my shoes on the most inappropriate places – in the shorring center, on the street, up on the hills behind our house (well there I gave up and simply walked barefoot as I did in africa but in public it´d be really odd)
And I enjoyed my barefoot summer in the middle of Kenya but still, it´s neither healthy, nor safe for kids to run around with no shoes on, so I left 3 pairs there and so I can say that together with my heart which I left in africa, there are also my sandals and shoes (any many many more items blah blah – not important).
Sospeter has my Teva sandals, big Joyce has my Crocs and Felister has my sneekers. I came home with no summer shoes at all and so daddy bought me new Teva sandals and I can´t wait to go back to africa – to meet my heart there and pass these new sandals to some other kid.
...

Prayer before dinner (only sound) – I absolutely love when they say: „...and then I pray!....“ David used to imitate them and it was one of my favorite moments of the day.


video

Tuesday, 18 August 2009

interesting stuff

I didn´t write much about past events in WWB, mostly because I didn´t know what to say, I didn´t feel like thinking about it again and again,..but the trut is I can´t stop thinking about them and I keep asking myself what happened? Photobucket
...and I think world has to know, and I also promised to let you know... and then today when I chacked my dashboard Ifound David´s great post with facts and explanations for you guys, so... interesting stuff by David :

Thursday, 13 August 2009

Everybody´s asking about Africa, more precisly Kenya, and everybody wants to know everything, and now after few days of doing-nothing, just enjoying my boring „normal“ life, the time has come, to tell you what exactly happened and what I learned...

Africa is different, different from our standards, from all what we´re used to. What did I miss the most? Shower – is the first thing which comes to my mind but the truth is that dirt didn´t bother me so much. The thing which I missed the most was COMMON SENSE. such word doesn´t exist there, for most of the people who we mwt.

Did I find what I was looking for? NO I didn´t. I found much more. At first as a„short-term“ volunteer you have to accept the fact that you won´t change Africa (at least not during your first stay there) but that Africa will CHANGE YOU.
What about experience? – it was the best experience of my life (so far) but no, it wasn´t what I expected. It was hard but after all it was positive.
Did we bring some change after all? I DO hope so, certainly we found problems and we didn´t go home without telling the world.
Africa was overwhelming, and sometimes too different to feel comfortable there, Africa was frustrating and sometimes so slow that I could hardly believe that world is still turning.
Now Geoffrey says that Dona was fired, that he will find the solutions for problems which we found and that he will try to change. –that´s little hope, but still, it´s more than nothing and if Dona´s really gone, then I can sleep better. I never wished anybody anything bad but wanting her to go away, to be as far as possible from our little angels was so important for me, now they are safe protected by all the members of the staff who love them so much.Photobucket

Our group of volunteers left but all our hearts stayed there, in those small rooms with squeaking iron beds and dusty red floor. Our hearts stayed there with 24 amazing kids, and our hearts will stay there until we come back to be reunited with our wonderful children.

I won´t forget, WE won´t forget and every moment of our time while we´re away will be dedicated to the thoughts about them, about Africa, about our home.

I don´t want to say much about the problems which we faced for now,because now Geoffrey says they will be solved and until I know for sure, what´s happening right now, I´ll believe that it´s true and I´ll hope for the best :)

Thursday, 30 July 2009

keep going

yesterday I had a shower, then I washed away, last remains of my „tan“ with baby wet wipes and put some Waterless germ soap on my hands, so now I´m still dirty but it´s clean harmless dirt. And my feet were relatively clean too, until the first step I took after my „shower“.
Yesterday was wonderful day with Boniface, I had my first bite of shugar cane ever and I loved it and I had a cup of tea without shugar and I loved it too and I´m still in love with Africa.
Amazing
Frustrating
Ridiculous
Incredible
Changing
Africa
And btw I changed the date of my flight, so I´ll be home next Sunday (august 9th).

Saturday, 25 July 2009

masai mara




more pictures from safari....