Our visit to the Children’s Home on Tuesday was absolutely wonderful! We were really able to spend some quality time with the kids.
But before I talk about the time we spent there, I have to tell you about our trip there…
Pastor Richard and Mama Helen drove us through town and down the dirt roads to get to the home. The scenery was beautiful!! The grass is always so completely green. Hedges were growing on both sides of these back roads. I noticed the colorful Lantana flowers blossoming, too! (I grew them in my little flower-bed, back in the states. They grow EVERYWHERE here!! They remind me of home…)
And as we are driving through this lovely place, a large bird decided to drop its…… um…….leftovers on the window shield. The window was totally covered!!
It was at this point that I was reminded once again of the 9,999 reasons guys and girls are so different.
Dad and Pastor Richard were roaring with laughter.
Mom and Mama Helen were screaming with disgust.
Mary and Lydia were making grossed-out faces.
And then all of the boys, (Caleb, Samuel, Noah, Jonah, and Erick,) were in the back screeching, laughing, and shouting,
“That is so awesome!!”
I just sat quietly, shaking my head.
And then my dad grabs his cell phone, takes a picture of the window, and posted it to Facebook…
Once again, guys and girls are so totally different….
We got to the Children’s Home, soon after.
Pastor Richard and Mama Helen wanted to get there before the children got back from school, so they could show us some of the new facilities they had added.
We got inside, and Lydia (age 3) told mom she needed to use the restroom. Mom asked me to take her.
I walked down the hall, knowing all of the rooms had restrooms attached, but not knowing which room I should go in.
Erick opened one of the rooms for us, and Lydia ran right in, not slowing down for a moment.
As she ran in, I heard Mom calling me to bring Lydia back. But what could I do? She was already at the restroom door.
Erick opened this door for her while this was going on, and Lydia ran in. When she was inside, she stopped, looked up at Erick, and said,
“The toilet is broken!”
(I think I have explained this before, but I will explain it again… Most of the toilets in Kenya are holes in the floor with porcelain inserts. Some of you may remember my story about these toilets from my last trip…)
Anyway… Lydia had never seen one of these before, or used one. So, she said,
“The toilet is broken!”
Erick turned away and started laughing.
I jumped up, and ran into the restroom, explaining to Lydia that this is kind of toilet people in Kenya use.
After coaxing her over and over she finally went.
Only then did I remember that we didn’t have any toilet paper!
I dug through my purse, and discovered a tiny sheet of tissue wadded up in the bottom of it.
As I was handing the sheet to her, Lydia’s foot slipped and plunged down into the hole…
Her foot emerged from the hole, covered in a nasty sludge.
She just looked at me, with a disgusted look on her face and said,
“That is so gross!”
I told her to wait, and I ran back out into the hallway to find my mom.
For whatever reason, when I entered the hall, I began to laugh, hysterically. It’s just that the whole situation was embarrassing, I felt horrible for my sister, and the entire thing was so utterly gross.
When mom asked what was wrong, all I could manage to say was,
“Lydia fell in the toilet.”
(It turned out Mom was calling us back because Mama Helen was going to unlock a bathroom that had an “English toilet,” but Lydia hadn’t waited long enough…)
We went back, and mom sent me out to the van to find the baby wipes.
I ran back down the hall, all the while telling myself,
“Get it together, Hannah. This is NOT funny. You shouldn’t be laughing. This is just so wrong!”
I got outside, and all my siblings and Erick were playing together.
Erick looked over in my direction, and as soon as we made eye contact, he busted out laughing again!! This made me start laughing once more, but I felt so terrible about it!!
After that little episode, we had a quiet evening with the children.
I got to be reunited with some of the little girls I hadn’t been able to spend time with the last time. I also got the chance to spend time with some of the new girls that moved in.
A group of girls claimed me, and talked with me for a long time. Two leaned over on either side of me, one sat in front of me, one sat behind me and played with my hair, and we all just talked about my family. My favorite question they asked me was,
“Are you the firstborn child?”
(I thought that sounded so cool!!!)
And Elizabeth was so happy to see us!! She sat with us, took pictures with us, played with us, and just spent some much-needed time with us.
It has truly been a blessing to play a part in her life. I cannot wait to watch her bloom into a young adult!! She is so precious to our family…