We had just come back from a short break from the orphanage, spending a week with a friend traveling around the country! We were staying with Michael’s childhood neighbors/wonderful friends/saints. They constantly have people coming in and out of their home from all around the world, and are the sweetest hosts in the world. The time we spent at their home was amazing. It was rejuvenating and SO needed. While there, we met some next door neighbors of theirs that were living in Michael’s old house. And right in Michael’s old bedroom, they had started an organization called Glory of Africa that employs several under-privileged, amazing, and inspiring, women to sew pillows, tablecloths and napkins, and several clothing items as well. We got to know this amazing couple, and were blessed to help out by photographing their new products, shopping for new fabrics, and creating and designing their new website! Go check out their awesome products!
While helping Glory of Africa with the final touches of their site, we also started our big move to Happy Life Christian School. Happy Life has two locations, one just outside Nairobi that houses the 50 infants under 3 years, and the second located in a small town called Juja, an hour down a dirt road, where the kids go after turning 3 years to start school. This was the first time the Children’s Home had full time volunteers, because they don’t have any volunteer housing, and can barely fit the 60 kids in the 4 houses they have! It was only by the grace of God that we met a friend of a friend that just finished renting an 1800’s house just 15 minutes bike ride from the school, and we were lucky enough to be able to rent it from the owners. This house had some serious character: featured in two movies, and the location where President Theodore Roosevelt lived for a year as he wrote his autobiography and hunted big game, WHAT?!.. complete with a lion ring outside the home (where they kept lions to keep the hippos away!), hot water was only available after making a wood fire to heat up the water, holes in the floor, monkeys in the backyard. It was a daily adventure, but it was home and we LOVED staying here! (Check back for some more pictures of the inside of the home)
And this is where we really felt we made a difference. Like we were fulfilling our purpose for moving to Kenya. I was assigned to teach the 2nd grade class every school day from 10am-5pm, and Michael would come and help out with the special needs class and coach soccer practice. We also spent time helping feed lunch to all the kids and play around in the dirt field they called a playground during breaks. I taught to several 7-8 year olds that knew a little English, and covered Math, Science, Reading, and Writing, with the 3 other teachers covering the kids Swahili lessons. There were even some kids that came from the local village to school, as the Children’s Home is free to attend. It’s amazing to see kids there that want to learn, try extremely hard, and listen attentively, even though they don’t really speak the language.
During our months there at the Children’s School in Juja, we got to experience some amazing things with these wonderful kids. We became very close to the 4 house moms that spend their every day loving and caring for these kids, and felt like we became family. The kids knew us by name, and would smile their big, ever so loving, smiles every day we rode up. Here are some of our favorite smiles from Laura’s class, and go check out the rest of the adorable kids on their site! Stay tuned for our next part, we share a few American traditions with these adorable kids, and right when you thought they couldn’t get any cuter!
To catch up on our other Kenyan posts, look here: