All Good Things Come in 3s
by Suzzanne Pautler
by Suzzanne Pautler
According to our Kenyan friends, El Niño has arrived in Nairobi. The weather pattern coincides with the December 25th arrival of Baby Jesus, hence the name El Niño. All around Nairobi is evidence of both: Christmas trees in every lobby, seasonal displays in the grocery stores, angel decorations made of dried sisal, and rain and mud...thick, oozing, chocolate-brown mud. Gumboots and galoshes in every color of the rainbow plod through the mud along the winding streets of Embakasi leading us to the orphanage. Even Baby Grace, who never steps foot outside the home, stomps around in her bright red gumboots. Our 4-wheel drive vehicle slips and slides all the way to the front door of the orphanage, allowing us to walk right in. The students are scrubbing the floors in preparation for tomorrow's wedding, and are thrilled to throw down their sponges to work instead with Necessary Arts.
Additional children joined us for today’s workshop, including several new additions to the family, as well as a few children who were staying at the home for the wedding celebration. Despite the rainy, overcast day outside, the warmth and love shines inside through the 35 children. The NA team "reaches the unreachable" on each visit to Kenya, and today was no exception. We spent 4 hours reaching out to this youthful community through large group team building, as well as one group reading and memorizing scripts, and the other group writing monologues and sharing their personal stories. NA sets the stage for the students to deliver, and they rise above our expectations every time. Working with such an eager, motivated student population makes it no wonder why I've returned to work with these children on three subsequent visits this year.
As a result of the frequency and continuity of the NA visits, the students have shifted in their departure greetings from an almost desperate "please come back" to a much more relaxed "good bye", "we miss you", and "thanks for coming again". The students of Jeho consider us as an integral part of their family; likewise NA is honored to have so many sons and daughters in our family.