Thursday was my last trip into Kibera…for now. While Katie and Margaret needed to meet with a couple of the women, I was just there since it was my last opportunity to spend time with the women. I brought my guitar because I had promised to teach a couple of the women some tunes, so while the other interns met, I serenaded the other women. A couple of them were hanging out just outside of the WEEP center, taking a break from studying and practicing how to sew in a straight line. They were painting each others fingernails and toenails with a silver glitter nailpolish, which I can only assume was donated by one of the HEART teams that came to visit this summer. Street kids were playing a few feet away. They saw me pull out my guitar and their eyes lit up in interest. One girl in particular was captivated as soon as I started to strum. She admired from afar for a little while, but she slowly made her way up to me…Soon right by my side…staring at the guitar. I had fun looking deep into her eyes, pondering her story, as she listened to me play.
Because I kept asking for Everlyne, one of the WEEP women that was going to make me a sweater, one of the women finally called me into the preschool where Everlyne was eating. As I peeked in the door, I did a double take on Everlyne because she was hiding in the corner.
We exchanged smiles and laughed and hugged. It was so good to see her. She is a spectacular woman. We proceeded to talk about the sweater she was going to make me, and before I knew it, we were sitting in chairs…I was strumming the guitar…and we were talking about a million different topics. We talked about how faithful God is, our families, how she sees me as a daughter… It was wonderful. We must have spent a couple of hours talking. It was so easy and delightful to spend my afternoon with her. We shared in laughs as much as we did in stories, and she encouraged me greatly. She even talked about David from the Bible, and I told her how he is my favorite character from the Bible. It was so nice that our conversation was not limited because of language, cultural differences, or age difference.
The entire time that I was chatting with Everlyne, the little girl that was captivated by the guitar was peeking her head in the door. She heard my music and slowly scooted her way into the room, back glued to the wall the entire time. I kept smiling at her over and over. She was adorable. She finally shyly came up to me and looked into my eyes, then back at the guitar, then back into my eyes. I would ask her “Sasa?” and “Habari?” (What’s up?) but without response. Then she got comfortable enough to rest her hands on my knee, so I gently took her hand and ran it against the strings of the guitar to strum it.That was enough—she loved it! She strummed and strummed and strummed. I rubbed her soft cheeks and covered her head with my hand. She smiled at me, and when I asked her “Sasa?” she adorably said “Poa.” (Nothing). It wasn’t long before we would play in and out of my coversation with Everlyne. She would come running up to me with a big smile on her face. As I got ready to leave, she motioned for me to pick her up…which, of course, I did. She was so light and felt so natural in my arms. Then I tossed her up in the air and looked into her eyes, pushing her nose like a little button. When I put her down to leave, she grabbed my hand and wouldn’t let go. It was hard to leave. Another piece of my heart was left in Kibera. I am starting to think I am not going to have a heart left!
Thankfully, I got to see many of the WEEP women and their children at the Kids Fun Day we held for the WEEP women and their children at the Giraffe Center. Katie, Margaret, and I ran the show of about 100 women and children, as we organized them all to see the giraffes and eat lunch. By the grace of God, everything panned out smoothly, and everyone had a great time. We even finished early!
This Kids Fun Day was supported by an 11 year old girl, who has decided for the past couple of years that instead of receiving gifts for her birthday, she would take money people gave to her to help children in Africa. Isn’t that precious? And that’s exactly what she did! These kids would have never had the opportunity to spend their Saturday at the Giraffe Center with a PB&J lunch. It was a special treat for them…especially considering that some of them may have otherwise not even set foot out of the slums where they live. How awesome that an 11 year old could give so radically! Asante sana, Alex.