by Shuang, Lei and Tingting, Voluntourist, IHF Kenya
On the first day, we helped the director paint a spare house. It was my first time doing this job, so I felt very excited. At first I thought that painting a house was similar to drawing a picture, but when the work actually began, I realized that I was totally wrong. Special skills are needed when using the brushes. If you only apply a little strength, it will not work. The paint also easily splashed on our clothes, so after the work, all our clothes and hands were covered by it. Although the work was not so easy, we enjoyed it a lot, and we look forward to the day when children come to live in the house.
Not every kid always has fun on the weekends; some older ones are often busy with schoolwork. Nelson Apura, who is 18 years old, spent a whole day studying. He kept silent all day and paid full attention to his work. Even though he was surrounded by the noise of the other children, he kept focused on the exercise book.
“You always work hard, right?” I asked him.
“Yeah…this is my last year in the center,” he said with sadness in his eyes, “and I am preparing for university.”
I am not sure what he is sad about. Maybe he is worried about what university might be like, or maybe he knows he will feel lonely when he leaves the home. But I am sure that he is cherishing every moment spent in the center. He probably has very little time to play with the younger kids, because of the huge responsibility. According to him, he must try his best to get a B+ in the final examination. If that happens, he can save a tremendous amount of money on his university fees.
He kept asking for help for Mathematics and Physics. He complained that some questions would be asked in the final test, but the teachers never taught him how to answer them. I tried my best to answer his questions. However, there are many others like him, in a similarly tough situation, who need more academic help.
We worked on the beans these past few days, and we found it interesting despite the strong heat from the sun. The kids use a batten to beat against a pile of dried beans, and place the beans with the cortices in a plate. Later they shake the plate so that only beans are left inside. That’s really a clever method. I think beans are the main food in the center and we eat them for lunch every day, so it’s important to get rid of the cortices and other things like tiny stones, in case they hurt everybody’s teeth. Anyway, it was our first time working with the beans, and we really had a lot of fun with it.