Footie Pajamas and Eagles Hoodies

I hate being cold.  Really, I’m just no good when I’m cold. I can’t function, all I can think about is being warm again.  When I’m doing photography, the warmer the better.  I’ve shot weddings in 100 degree temperatures with Maryland humidity for 12 plus hours.  Rock on!  I might be gross and sweaty, but I’ll keep looking for the next shot.  I’m creative, I’m energetic, I smell.  Love it!!   I feel sorry for my brides that I shoot when I’m cold.  I try reaaaalllly hard, but it’s difficult to be creative and energetic.  I seriously can’t stop thinking about being cold.

Did you know that it gets cold in Kenya?  Now, I’m not talking snow cold, but cold enough that I’ll put on a sweatshirt in the mornings and evenings.  Of course, living in Kenya, cold means something different than it does to us living here.  Cold to a child in Kenya is 75 degrees.  Seriously. I’m talking winter coats and hats.  You know how it is the first cold day after summer?  Even though that same day in April will have crazy people going the grocery store in shorts, in September it will have us digging out our sweaters.  That’s Kenya cold.  It’s cold because it isn’t warm anymore.  Get it?

Even though it is really funny to see all of these beautiful dark eyes peering out behind hooded snow coats in 75 degrees, the truth is that they are cold.  I’m an adult (so my driver’s license reminds me).  I should be able to deal with issues and be a professional, but I have a difficult time shooting my clients when I’m cold.  I can’t imagine a child trying to sit in a classroom open to the elements, cold, trying to concentrate on the lesson.  If it’s been raining, they are probably wet as well and they are getting colder.  They don’t complain, ever.  They just sit there and try to learn because getting an education is such a blessing that they would sit freezing to learn the lessons that will hopefully provide them with a better life.  They are children and they are stronger than I am.

Reality is that we have over 120 kids at Provision Academy and many of them don’t have adequate uniforms, sweaters, and shoes.  The approximate cost of a full uniform is about $100 per child.  When my team went over at the end of May, we took a ton of donated clothing.  The boarders at the school were ecstatic.  One of my friends donated some footie pajamas.  She questioned me about donating them since they were so “warm” and the kids live in Kenya.  I assured her that would be very welcome.  One of my favorite pictures is of two of the boarders standing in the dirt wearing these pajamas with huge smiles on their faces.  We had to make sure they understood that these were for sleeping.  I’m convinced they probably wear them during the day after school.

Another one of my favorite images is two of our boarders wearing Eagles sweatshirts donated by Kylie’s family (I guess they’ve given up on them as well – sorry, Raven’s fan here):

Since tomorrow is Thanksgiving, I’m giving thanks that we have footie pajamas and Eagles sweatshirts on some of our kids in Kenya.  I am prayerful that we will have full uniforms for each of the kids one day.  I’m very thankful that I don’t have any winter weddings to shoot.

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