Saturday, 15 February 2020

A School Full of Valentines

As promised, here is our blog about February 14th. We have also included today’s activities so we will be all caught up!

February 14 - Valentine’s Day!

We returned to Compass school in the morning to complete our scheduled two and a half day visits. 

The classroom painting and some more repairs were completed thanks to Faraj’s coordinating the students, mixing the paint and drawing the lines for the "baseboards".  Holly and Micheline jumped in on the painting as well. A few students were even checking in on them and congratulated them on their work. Foremen in the making!!!

Bruce focused on repairs including door hinges and a few more of the many desks that require lots of work! The students will finally have something decent to write on!!! Having said that, there are still so many repairs left. 

Grade 3 students benefited from an art lesson with Judy, Linda and Jeannine. (They were a little disappointed they hadn’t had it yesterday like the younger ones.) Linda was very touched by a young girl who made her a special Valentine’s Day card... a testament to how much she loved the time spent with her.

Then came lunch!  The Tumaini Afrika crew distributed Canada and Ontario pins, peanuts, bananas, oranges and Valentine’s Day candy to all students and staff.  Luckily, the students had pockets to carry all their treats. It is important to know that they seldom get fresh fruits and treats. We cannot possibly explain who was happier, the children and staff or the TA team who witnessed the joy!

Before leaving after lunch, students wanted to dance and sing with us.  The children gathered around Jeannine and Micheline.  Jeannine started us off with « This Little Light Mine ».  WOW!! So many children dancing with happiness!  We followed with the Alleluia we had taught them yesterday. What a choir!!! 

We thought that that would be it and before we could start our goodbyes, two children started a new song that all students jumped in on. They certainly taught us a few moves of their own. No sooner did one song finish, another student started a new song with the actions and dance moves to go with it.  This kept going for at least another 15 minutes.  We all got our cardio in for the day! We finally worked our way to the van amongst children giving us hugs and saying their goodbyes. Thank goodness we will be going back and are already afraid  of how hard it will be for us to say goodbye to them before we leave for Sault Ste. Marie.  Nonetheless, this was by far the best day ever!!!!

February 15 

Just when we thought we had the best day ever...

As we shared breakfast, Holly read a message from Flora, our rock at Compass school. Here is a little excerpt:
"Compass staff spent the rest of yesterday repeating how they had seen God...You do great works, may you all live healthy long lives, we keep you  in our thoughts and prayers. Have a good day and weekend."
Compass School Staff

Thank you to all our supporters for helping us make these moments with these special friends!  We are truly blessed!

After such a great start to the day, we visited the giraffe sanctuary and had a blast feeding them. Many giraffe kisses for all. We then worked our way to Kazuri Beads to buy some handmade beads and pottery in support of a co-op of women that was created to fight poverty in the area. 

Unbeknownst to us, the best was yet to come. 

Faraj and his family invited us to have lunch at his home in the Kibera slum (1 1/2 square miles, with over 1 million people, in the center of Nairobi).  As soon as we arrived, we were greeted by his daughters, Ilham and Nusyba, his wife Fatima and his mother (We just called her Mama Faraj ).  We each got to hold their new born son, Mohammed and met Faraj’s younger sister and uncle. We shared stories about their home, their traditions and ours back in the Sault. We feasted on a traditional African meal and just enjoyed the feeling of being family. This is a moment we will never forget as it is forever etched in our hearts. A very touching experience!!
When we asked Faraj if we could post pictures of our time spent together he replied: “It is fine. You are my family.”

We are off to church tomorrow and the Mathare slum on Monday. More to come...

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