Imagine sitting in a group of five to fifteen orphans from a third-world country, and they were all asking you questions.
What kind of questions would you expect?
For the past few months I have been asked a ton of crazy questions, and I think it’s about time that I write a post about them.
The children and I usually sit in a tight circle, until it just becomes a tight knot with all of them leaning over in my lap and braiding my hair. This is when the questions are brought up. Many of the questions are the usual ones you ask when you first try to get to know someone. ‘How old are you?’ or, ‘what is your favorite food?’ and even ‘what grade are you in?’ But these kids also wonder about things you wouldn't expect.
One of the funniest conversations I have had with them concerns my retainers. (I got my braces off shortly before coming here, so I still have to wear my retainers all the time.)
One of my buddies named Elizabeth, age 12, (not our Elizabeth,) had her head in my lap. As I was talking with one of the others, she jumped up and opened her eyes wide.
“What is that in your mouth?” she questioned.
I didn't know how to explain what they were, so I just stuck with,
“My teeth were messed up, so the dentist had to put them in my mouth to fix it.”
She looked confused, and told all of the others had to come and see the “things in her mouth.”
Then the questions started rolling.
“Is it glass?”
“What do you do with them when you need to eat?”
“Do all of your teeth come out with them?”
I explained again, and they seemed to partially understand.
Then finally the big question came.
“Can you take them out and show us?”
I said no at first, but they were truly very curious and kept asking. So…I popped my top retainer off.
I guess it must have scared them…
Because they all screamed!!
They sat still for a moment after I put it back in, and then Elizabeth quietly said,
“Do it again?”
Another favorite convo I've had makes me laugh every time I think about it…
A different group, mostly of girls, were sitting around and visiting. One of the youngest in the group grabbed my hand, (where I always wear my favorite ring,) and said in Swahili,
“Is this a wedding ring?”
When the others had made it clear what she had asked, I informed her that no, it was certainly not a wedding ring.
Then Susan, aged 11 to 12, tossed me a funny look and asked,
“Well, do you have a boyfriend?”
“No,” I answered.
“Have you ever had a boyfriend?” she questioned.
“I’m not old enough.”
“You are 16!”
“I can when I’m 17.”
“Oh…okay,” she replied, seeming fairly satisfied.
Susan has seemed very concerned about me being single for a while now, though I don’t quite understand why. They way her mind works cracks me up!!
“Hannah, where do you go to school?” Steyncher asked me.
She wrinkled her forehead.
“I do school at home.”
“Oh, you mean you get a tutor?”
“No, my mom is my teacher.”
“At your school?”
“No, my mom teaches me at home.”
Steyncher opened her eyes wide.
“She teaches all of you?”
“Yeah, all eight of us!”
“Wow! That is very interesting.”
She seemed very interested in homeschooling. It isn’t done here in Kenya; all kids go to day-school every weekday, and the highschoolers go to boarding-school for three months at a time, with a month break in-between. The idea of learning your lessons at home is a very strange concept.
Her next question was,
“Does your mother punish you if you don’t learn your lessons?”
“No, she just helps us to correct the mistakes we made and has us do extra work to re-learn the lesson.”
The next time I went to visit, she grabbed one of her friends and said,
“Hannah, tell her about where you go to school!”
I explained again, and the other girl had a similar reaction.
“See, I told you she is taught at home!” she said in triumph to her friend.
She turned to me and smirked, “She wouldn't believe me, when I told her.”
These are only a few of the fun things that the children have spoken with me about… Every visit holds something new. I just love it! And I’m sure I will have much more to laugh about in the future.
Thanks to everyone who reads my Blog!!