First things first – I want to remind everyone reading this blog that if they want a third-party perspective on the Arrive volunteer experience, please visit the blogs of Jake Altman or Yazan Fattaleh. Second, I was walking in the market today and saw the best use of a donated GameBoy case – a purse fanny pack. Who knew those cases were actually good for something?
Tonight, Pastor and myself traveled to Kisii to visit the street boys there. While we are offering a home, education, food, clothes, etc. to many here, there still remain countless on the streets. We came equipped; with shirts, underwear, a Bible (thanks to Pastor), and blankets. We first greeted the boys at the side of a dumpster where a small fire, fueled by the citys’ garbage, was burning. The boys were excited to greet us and show us their place of sleep (I refuse to call it a “bed” or anything even close). See photos below.
Pastor and I gave out the gifts we had; most saught after were the blankets. Each child who received a blanket looked like he just won the lottery, and rightly so. It gets cold here at night (relatively), and a homeless orphan child, at the very least, should own a blanket. However, there was a boy there who I am now very farmiliar with who needed a different gift. His name is Fanta (his real name is Alexi, he is 11 years old) because for as long as anyone can remember (I’m talking months), he has worn the same tattered, dirty, faded orange shirt; resembling an orange Fanta soda bottle. I gave him a fresh new white t-shirt and after he proudly put it on, I renamed him “Milk.”
Sitting in a pile of trash around the makeshift fire, I noticed one boy removing some food from the rubbish. He told me it was rice, I was feeling a bit hungry, so I figured why not? In the photo below, I am trying to smile after I took my first and only bite. All I can say was it was not rice. It was someone’s old, used-to-be rice which had been mixed with garbage and infested by small bugs. At least the bugs provided protein, I guess. After I spit out the “rice,” I was astounded to see all the other boys enjoying their meal that I had found repulsive.
Tonight was a success…Arrive was able to help the lives of the least fortunate. Even Victor, whom Pastor gave the Bible too, immediatly sat down and began reading (I am not exactly sure he knows how to read, so he might have been just looking at foreign words). The hardest part, as always, is walking away when all the boys yell “Nataka kwenda shuleni…sasa! Nawe! Twende nyumbani, twende shuleni, leo!” (“I want to go to school…right now! With you! Let’s go home, let’s go to school, today!”) So please, help Arrive help these children. Donate today or spread the word. With your support, Fanta and the rest will have a future far from the extreme poverty and suffering they are currently enduring.