[written by Marie]

Hi to all you wonderful people!

Just a quick email, as after 3 hours sleep, a slippery walk through the mud with too much luggage, red teary eyes and a heavy heart we said goodbye to all those beautiful young ladies at Mercy home.
Yesterday they had a public holiday so as they dont celebrate their birthdays, Zoe and I thought we would have a surprise party for them all! we had lollies and balloons, biscuits, and pass the parcel, pin the tail on the donkey, musical chairs and even a treasure hunt organised…….This is Africa, and what did we expect – most of the kids had to attend school – oh only for an hour or three – then they had to go at different times….grrrrrrr – then they had their chores – we tryed to pack and get organised but that wasnt happening either!

The work men were there as well – plastering walls in the new building, others putting up security windows and doors that were also donated. The new aerial also was being looked at for the new colour tv, visitors popping in to bless us and say good bye….. what a day! We finally had lunch at 5pm and our first game at 8.30 pm which they loved….all the girls got a party bag, with lots of goodies for everyone – they were so happy – all dancing till 12.30 so gorgeous – my can these africans move! Zoe and I ended up going to bed at around 1.30am and up again at 4am, in the dark trying to pack those last things – sobbing little ones in our beds – oh dear. I dont think these girls have ever been hugged and kissed – some didnt even know how to kiss – so over the last couple of months we have been hugging them hello, kissing them goodnight – not accepting their hand shakes! We even got technical with eskimo kisses and butterfly kisses! Not to mention many tickle sessions! They all wrote a special note to us in an exercise book and gave it to us this morning – reading though the watering eyes – the thing all commented on was the hugs, the kisses and kind words of encouagement. Also the “notorious laughing and tickling…..

We did take 3 of the girls into Kisumu last Sunday to help us with gifts, and they tryed ice cream for the first time – showed them how the internet works – amazed…..then introduced the flushing toilet – that really got a huge reaction! How lucky are we to give these young ladies their first experience of these few things we take for granted….wow. Little Melisa fell asleep in my arms as soon as we boarded the bus, just delightful.

On the Saturday before, I went into another orphanage/widow community in Rabour, just outside Kisumu, Where I donated 4 solar cookers to the community in the hope that they can bake and cook for some income. We had the demonstration which was great – the food was so tasty. The old ladies didnt believe you could roast meat, boil eggs, bake cakes, stews, vegetables, pasteurize water and milk….cutting down costs for charcoal and wood for fires, decreasing burns, safer water and tastier food! The whole community was so amazed – as were I! It was a very humbleing experience. This is a very new group- not having hardly anything at all. They live in such a dry barren land – hardly rains. Many total orphans – the youngest 7 months (looks like 4 months). They have a building they want to turn into a community place/library/volunteer boarding/orphans home….the shell is there, roof and doors- but no furniture or water. They have a very deep well and a bucket on a rope – but the rope keeps breaking! They are trying to grow seedlings to sell and vegies in the garden but the soil is so very dry. They are a lovely, welcoming, hopeful group – keen to try something that will be income generating for the good of community…I hope this small thing helps! A big thank you to Alison at AVIF for organising the demonstration for free – the guys were fantastic! So many thank you’s and blessings! Hopefully with help and a little income, they can furnish the place for next years volunteers – or any sooner? This would be fantastic as these people hardly speak any english, they need help with so many little things. I would also like to return there, when there is a bed!

13 Oct

ok – I had to give up – my eyes were burning…..we have just spent a day in Nakuru – where I got to go to the National Park – Lake Nakuru, where flamigos are abundant,and even saw the elusive rhino’s – wow – such a beautiful place! We also did some serious bargaining at the local markets, and sent a box home……good remedy for being sad! Yesterday we arrived in Nairobi- quite a different feeling to the first time! Seem to be very tired, I guess its accumilative……I will stay here for a couple of days before heading into Arusha in Tanzania. There I shall visit my sponsor boy Yusufu, I cant wait! I really wanted to look at getting my camera looked at or a new one -but the shops were shut due to a public holiday – most unfortunate…the ones that were open were so expensive…hmmmmmm – not sure what to do..tomorrow another day!

Zoe leaves for her tour tomorrow- its been an awesome time together- going through so much. Wow I will miss her! Typing on this computer is difficult the space bar is stuck and very difficult to use! I will attempt to write again shortly…take care,and hope all is well with you!

Hugs and smiles Marie xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx