Abby here. Sarah and Donna are safely back home, and that leaves me here with an amazing group of kids, tantines, tantos, and mommas. I’m falling into a rhythm with the occasional surprise here and there. As Sarah’s last post mentioned, the kids did a fantastic job cleaning their classroom. I’m happy to say it stayed very clean the whole week afterward. Clean until today, that is. This morning, at least 50 kids came from church to visit the New Hope children. I walked into the classroom and literally every inch of the floor was inhabited by either a little body or a discarded toy. Usually this wouldn’t phase me much (I teach first grade), but the look on some of our kids’ faces reminded me of how hard they had worked to make their classroom clean. Luckily, when all was said and done, the disarray was not completely overwhelming. With help from the visitors, we were able to clean it up quickly, much to the kid’s relief. It definitely helped, too, that we had organized well the week before!
Tonight I helped Momma with a heaping pile of laundry. We washed as we waited for dinner to be ready. Laundry / wash here is meaningful to me. That may sound strange, but sitting around a bucket with women who work tirelessly reminds me of what it takes to care for these children. Scrubbing endless piles of clothes each day is not an easy task. Momma and the tantines do it with efficiency and care, each and every time. They laugh at me a lot, because I don’t use enough soap, and I think my hands are much weaker than theirs. I try not to let it phase me… but really, I wish I could wring out a pair of jeans as fast as they can! Perhaps I should start hand washing at home?
Comical relief happens all the time here. Kwizera, a 1 ½ year old boy, is constantly dressed in princess pajamas. When he trots into a room covered in pink and princess, it is enough to bring me to hysterics. Last night, though, he was wearing an especially pink shirt, glittery pants, and (no joke) was prancing around in little girl shoes. I think the girls in his house egg him on… and possibly even dress him at times… but I almost lost it. Sarah and Donna – I wish you would have been there. His outfit and the look on his face topped all of his evening attires of the past month!
Dashaka kajama! (I want sleep!) Goodnight all.