When I announced that I was going on a trip to Kenya some of my friends joked that I would be eaten by a lion or were worried that I would be the victim of some horrible crime, while I was abroad. This could not have been farther from the truth. Upon my arrival, Pastor Samuel made it abundantly clear both in words and actions that our whole group was now a part of the family and that we would be taken care of as such. I felt this same care and protection from every single person at Provision Education Center. As we were helping with projects around the school everyone, even the small children tried to help whenever they could. They helped to move soil for the gardens, pick up small rocks and wash dishes – even when we insisted that we were there to help them. Grace hovered like a mother hen and made sure that we were all eating enough and she was constantly trying to give up her seat to us when she felt that we should rest. And the teachers and older children were very quick to help us when our pitiful Kiswahili was not enough to have the children line up or return to the class we had disrupted with playtime. Everyone I met was lovely and I hated to leave them all on Tuesday night.
After I returned home, one of my friends said that she did not think that she could travel to Kenya because the sight of all the children who are so poor would have her constantly in tears. While this may be a possibility in the streets of Soweto, it was not the case for me inside the community of our school. In fact, more frequently than not, my tears were the result of laughing so hard that I could not breathe. The children there are amazing. They don’t ask for anything; and in fact quite a few of them offered their lunches to me on occasion. These kids play games with ferocious intensity and laugh, sing and dance whenever the option arises. I wanted to take every single one of these awesome kids home with me – not out of pity or because I felt that I could give them a better life. Simply because they radiate joy and happiness. They have a precious gift which consists of a contagious smile, fantastic attitude, devotion to all they do and the tightest warmest hugs I have ever received. I am truly blessed for the opportunity to spend time with them and I cannot wait until I can see them all again. I hope that the last ten days which I have gotten to spend with these incredible people, pale in comparison to the amount of time which I hope to spend with them in the future.
– Eileen W.