Kid's Clubs and Babies

Trip Start Oct 25, 2012
Trip End Nov 17, 2012

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Flag of Kenya  , Nairobi,
Thursday, November 8, 2012

Today has been a much more quiet day than usual in Nairobi.

Pip did some shared teaching in the morning with Anne Chege, Peter's wife from Ruiru. They were teaching on positive ways of disciplining children who are in care. It is illegal in Kenya to inflict corporal punishment on children at school. To a Western ear that sounds reasonable (although the teacher in me knows that there are moments when...) but the reality is that in Kenya, it is not unusual to make your own child lie down on the floor and beat them with a stick until they apologise for their actions. Neither is it unheard of for total strangers to strike children or young people if they are misbehaving in the street and no one would batt an eyelid. This can make it difficult for care organisations, including but by no means exclusive to New Life, to explain to employees (who are often unschooled) that beating a misbehaving child is not acceptable. For them it seems counter-cultural and so this is vital teaching which needs to be repeated on a regular basis.

While Pip was otherwise engaged, Ella and Isaac got on with some more of their school work. They have both been given a set of worksheets and tasks to complete, including writing a diary of their stay. Actually, their both really enjoying doing the work, especially the diary part, although we need to keep an eye on it to make sure they are recording the correct things and not going off on flights of fancy!

After lunch (more Kenyan food from the place we ate yesterday!), we had a swim to cool down and then headed over to the Ark again. There was a marked difference from yesterday as when we arrived there was no TV on and the children told us that they had been playing all day. Hmmm. It all sounded a little rehearsed to us, especially the emphatic denial of watching any TV but it was good to know that something had changed. Having checked with Susanna, we know that she had not yet spoken with the Aunties but they were obviously aware that they had been caught out yesterday, hence the dramatic change today!

Between Pip and myself we managed to cobble together a bit of a kid's club style afternoon with games, craft activities and a Bible story. It was a little disjointed but the children seemed to enjoy it and want us to do it again. At least it was an hour and a half of structured time that they would not otherwise have had.

On our way home from the Ark we popped in to see Guy and Susanna for a cuppa. While we were there Susanna told Isaac that there had been another new arrival. A new baby, only a week old, had been given up for adoption. It was a little boy and she had named him Isaac. Our own Isaac was really thrilled and demanded instantly that we go to see him. He was in the same room as Baby Ella and we all thought that was really sweet. Baby Isaac was born on the second of November to a young girl who could not keep him and offered him for adoption. Baby Ella had been found in a plastic bag hanging from the branch of a tree. No one knows who her mother is.

Giraffes tomorrow. They have blue tongues. Apparently.
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