So, we’ve learned a new game! Here’s how it goes: It all starts with two teams comprised of 10 Kenyan kiddos, 5 wazungu (white people) and a ball. Next, divide the lot into two teams, drop the ball in the middle of the school court and run for cover. Sounds like the makings of ye-old soccer or “football” game to me – but no, this wonderful and exciting game has a deviant twist.
You see, in soccer, your primary objective is to kick the ball from one end of the field into the net at the other end of the field hence scoring a goal. The rules of show ball are completely different. While one is still attempting to gain a goal by kicking the ball into the net, the primary objective changes from goal scoring to ultimate self-defense! In shoe ball, the primary objective is to tuck your head and dodge all of the shoes that come flying at your head, face, stomach and back. Shoe Ball is a game you play when you try to play soccer with 10 kids whose shoes are missing shoe laces or are so worn that the remaining shreds of leather fly up and ping off your head every other time said child kicks at the ball. It’s loads of fun and makes you super grateful for those donated medical supplies!
We all know how clumsy I am. So I find myself marveling at how deftly these children navigate the world with nothing holding their shoes on but a piece of twine secured with a twist tie or simply the tongue of the shoe. I, on the other hand, cannot seem to make it through the front gate of the school without tripping…much to the amusement of the children and teachers.
So, you’ve guessed it! We interviewed every sole (pun intended) on campus and found that we need a minimum of 56 new pairs of uniform shoes. WOW!!! That’s a lot of shoes!! Well, the happy news is, we can replace the ruined shoes with new ones for about $10.00 a piece.
I got this email from Rebecca yesterday and found it to be so ironic. With the early spring weather we have been enjoying here in Maryland, I have been busy this week clearing the winter clothing out of my children’s closets and replacing it with the summer. Yes, that’s right, I have to store winter clothing to make space for summer clothing…
To me, that’s a sad irony when faced with fact that our kiddos in Kenya are wearing shoes that don’t fit, have holes that fill with rain and mud as they walk to school, or become weapons of mass destruction during recess games! We laugh, and certainly Rebecca puts a cute spin on the need, but the reality is that I would never let this happen to my own kids. In fact, while I am sorting and storing, these kids are wearing the same dresses and shirts that they received when they came into school one or two years ago.
The good news is, we have been able to find ways to greatly reduce the cost of the uniforms. By mobilizing local finance project groups, we have found that a new uniform can be purchased for as little as $20.00. This number includes a dress or shirt and shorts, a new pair of socks, and new shoes. We are no longer purchasing sweaters as a partner in England has donated new sweatshirts complete with a logo for PEC for every child. These sweatshirts will far outlast the wool sweaters than unravel so quickly. This is a huge cost cut for us as the cost for a sweater has gone up to nearly $15.00.
We are excited to tell you, that because of a yard sale last year, we are able right now to purchase new uniforms for the 17 children that board at the school. It is our goal at We Are Kenya that each child receive a new uniform each year. Shall we challenge each other? With 170 children and 17 purchased… we have only 153 to go. I’ll keep you posted on the progress! As always, we are grateful, beyond explanation, for your continued partnership.
Stay tuned…news of Loren’s surgery coming soon!!! Schedules are being checked and appointments being made! She is super excited and so are we. Please keep her in your prayers in the upcoming weeks as she prepares and undergoes this potentially life changing event.