By: Yaqing, Work-Study Nakuru
The water is a mystery here. Before I came here, I got used to the idea of no hot showers. And I figured I could tolerate that. When I arrived here, I was told that there is not even cold running water. We use water from a big tank, and the water company comes to refill the tank when it runs out.
Fortunately, two weeks later water started to come regularly, and it was then we started to be disappointed and satisfied. The water may come in the morning or afternoon. It may come after three days, and nobody can wash their uniforms, take showers, or even drink. When the water comes, all the kids are so happy; we wash our clothes, take showers, and save water in buckets—and that’s when there is a shortage of buckets. As a volunteer who needs to prepare the cooking portion for the next day, I can’t always find buckets for storing the rice, ugali, or sugar. They’ve been saved for water or used by others.
I’d never thought about the severe shortages of everything before I came here—and I find myself using “before I came here” a lot these days. We need buckets for kids, plates to have dinner, uniforms, and needlework…and we don’t always have enough money to purchase food. However, I’m impressed by how much the kids are happily tolerating the difficult situations here. I’ve never heard them complaining about anything. I can feel that they love here so much and they have such a strong desire to go to school. And I can also see how good their behavior is. I remember somebody said, “when you come to volunteer for kids, it’s not them being helped, it’s yourself that’s being helped.” And I know well what he is saying now.