Wednesday June 13th was finally here! Time to get to the airport and make my way back to my beloved Africa! When we got back from Kenya in December there was no doubt in my mind that I would not be back. Little did I know that it was going to be this fast.
After a reasonably comfy flight from Brussels to Bujumbura, thank you Eva, we had a quick unload and load of passengers and luggage before flying further to Nairobi. Luckily that wasn’t too long a flight as there were a lot of screaming children and crying babies on board. So I was very pleased to touch Kenyan soil again.
First possible hurdle along the way could have been some loss of luggage but all 5 bags arrived here safe and sound. Not all in one piece but still, it got here.
Sylvester from African Servalcat Safaris was already waiting for me together with Justus my guide/driver for this trip. They brought me to my ‘home’ away from home, The Stanley Hotel where I spend my first night. I didn’t get too much sleep unfortunately as it was very hot and there was some loud music being played somewhere. But that didn’t stop me from getting up early so I could get ready in time before my 9:30 pick-up.
Today was the day of shopping!! No shopping for me but a lot of shopping for the children at the Mama Tunza Children’s Home here in Nairobi. After raising so much money I did have plenty to spend 🙂 And spending I did!!
First stop was an appliance store where I could buy the much needed washing machine! The biggest non-industrial washing machine they could find here was one that holds 16kg of clothing. So that’s the one we got! Of course our van was parked a few blocks further so they had to bring it to our car before we could set off to another part of the city to do our other shopping. We didn’t go to a big foreign owned mall though! We wanted to spend the money locally so that the economy here profits a bit from it. That being said..that did mean that we could not find 150 of the same plates, cups, spoons,.. so we got a mixture of everything reasonably priced! Let’s see what else we filled our shopping carts with: washing machine powder (bought only 2 big boxes as the shop had run out…more will be bought next Wednesday); soap, toothpaste and brushes, vaseline for their skins (and they definitely need it as many children had very dry and cracked skin), toilet paper, shoe polish, panties for the girls (more will be bought as well) and I am pretty sure I am forgetting a few things!
By the time everything was payed for we started to get rather hungry so we had a quick bite to eat in the car before heading over the Mama Tunza 🙂 I am sure you can all imagine that I was getting pretty excited, right? The drive didn’t take that long as we shopped in the town, Ngong, where Mama Tunza is situated.
When we arrived kids came running to the van and both Mama Tunza and Valeria were hurrying me to get out 🙂 Not easy when a big washing machine blocks your wait out.
I was welcomed with the biggest hug I had ever seen or felt! Mama had tears in her eyes and no need to say.. so did I.
At the same time people were shouting: Susan, go and get Susan 🙂 Some children were already outside eating their lunch out of some plates. When I turned around..what did I see? Indeed, a little Angel in the form of Miss Susan. Even though she had no more hair I recognized her immediately. A tiny little girl with the prettiest eyes ever!! She was a little shy at first as everyone wanted her to sing but I told her she could do that later if she wanted to. Not sure if she understood everything I said though. Well, pretty sure she didn’t.
In the mean time the unloading of the van had started but this time around they didn’t distribute the clothes immediately. Which I think wasn’t a bad idea as now they will have time to sort through it all and I will see them running around in all the Belgian and some UK clothes very soon.
Valeria was very eager to see her new laptop and was of course very happy with it!
She was speechless and so was Mama when we sat together in the office.
I could tell them that there’s more to come as I hadn’t spend all the fundraising money yet. So they are going to make up a list of other items I can buy at the store and I will get it on Saturday when we go and pick up Suzy and 5 of her friends to go to the Sheldrick elephant orphanage. The kids don’t know it yet 🙂
I got a bigger tour of the primacies this time and got an even better look at everything.. hmm poor things do need a bit more comfort! Suzy sleeps in a tiny room with 4 beds in. Her bed is still the crib kind of bed and she’s getting close to 5..
I was pleased to see that the children that did have personal belongings kept them on their own bed in a box or something similar. Some had dolls or stuffed animals which brought a little smile to my face.
Suzy walked me around the grounds a lot, leading me with her hand firmly attached to mine. When I hold a child’s hand I tend to rub it with my thumb and after a few minutes she started doing the same thing. This is what they all really need, some TLC. Don’t get me wrong they are well looked after with the means they have but the one on one or two is something they all crave for and who can blame them. After a while another little girl grabbed my other hand and whenever Suzy let go she would grab my two hands but.. Suzy would not have this! She’s got quiet the temper I must say. No is no and this way is this way.
Susan had some scars on her face and I think they were caused by the firewood. kids were playing with it, breaking it and well, just not looking what they were doing with it. She also had a very uneven skin with lot’s of little bumps. On top of her head you could see that through the tiny little hairs there was some sort of rash as well. Turned out these were from worms!!! A few of the children have them.
They can take medicine for it but they don’t have it there.. so since we still have money left I will go to the pharmacist and get a good bunch of them so that the children who are affected with it can be treated. Poor things. These things break my heart..!!
I can’t wait to go back on Saturday and next week! I will leave there with so much pain in my heart as my wish to adopt her is even bigger.. But it sure looks like this won’t be possible at all. I won’t stop looking into it that’s for sure.
Time had come to leave again, way too soon as I had been playing a bit with the kids and they just LOVED having their picture taken and of course looking b ack at it afterwards.
Sylvester and Justus must have know what was ahead of us as traffic was SOOOO bad when we were getting back into the city! I had ‘forgotten’ this a bit but boy, was I reminded again. I would not dare to drive in Nairobi I can tell you that much!!
Now I am back at the hotel, just had some room service dinner delivered as I didn’t feel like going downstairs again and it was delicious! A less-than-12 dollar meal and I wasn’t even able to finish it!
Tomorrow is another exciting day as I will be going to the the Born Free offices and meet Makenna and Phoebe again.
Let the story continue… 🙂