The orphanage

Bamburi Travel Blog

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I have been working at the orphanage for two weeks now yet it is still really difficult to put into words my experiences of being there.  Nothing bad has happened there during my time, and I haven't seen anything that I've disapproved of, such as caning but its hard to imagine living the life they have everyday.
For starters they have not moved to the new orphanage yet, that should be happening in December and should totally enhance their lives.
At the moment 44 children live in a three bedroom bungalow and 10 of the older boys share 4 bunk beds (8 beds) in an extra room separate and behind the main house.  The lounge is of decent size and around all the edges are battered worn out sofas.  The painted decor of African Savannah and animals is fading.

Outside the play area consists of a very small area of rough concrete combined with stones which the children play football or others games bare foot on.  They've developed tough feet because white people cannot walk on this!!!  I try and walk bare foot on it but every step I take its 'Ow, Ow-Ow,' which the children find hilarious!
It didn't take long at all before I had my new best friend - Peter who is 11 shortly followed by Phillip who is so chilled and cool!
Peter is around me all the time and is very energetic, playful and cheeky, but in a fun way.  He likes to be thrown around and have play fights - with me.  On Monday of the second week Gideon, also 11, started talking to me a lot more.  He is almost the total opposite of Peter, he has energy for football but besides that he is very laid back and extremely sensitive, if I'm sitting down he will be around me and normally resting on me in some way.
  The ironic thing is Peter is certainly a boy who you would put down as causing a bit of trouble in school, perhaps talking or general mischief but Peter is fluent in Swahili, French and almost perfect English, knows all his times tables and excels at other areas.  Gideon knows Swahili and English but struggles with all Maths including his 3x table.  Why?  I think it is down to sponsorship and schooling.  It seems the children that joined the orphanage at a very young age are better at school than those that joined later, and children can get sponsored which means they can then go to an even better school than the standard one.  Peter joined the orphanage at 2 months old and is sponsored whilst Gideon was 6 years and isn't.

I had an interesting conversation with Moses (8 years) and Emmanuel (14 years) yesterday about how it is against the law to smack, let alone cane a child in England schools or by the parents.
  In case you don't know you are allowed to still cane children in Kenya.  Moses was telling me that the English law is wrong because how else will a child learn the difference between right and wrong and caning is a way of teaching children and putting them back on the correct path.  He is a very clever 8yr old but told me still gets caned and really believes that it is good for children.

Another conversation I had was with Peter who asked if I believed in God, and then why not.  I explained that my views are that of Apatheism which is there may be a God, there may not be a God but either way you don't care and it is down to people because over the last hundreds of years God has never shown himself to help mankind and with so much unbalance in the world then surely there can't be or what is he doing?
I asked him why did he believe in God, and he said that when he was abandoned at two months it was God that found him and had him placed in the orphanage, he said without a God he would be dead.
  Its hard to disagree when an 11 year tells you that.  He thinks I should believe in God and in trying to convert me has read several books to me.  I have to say that it is the most convincing someone has ever been, or maybe just my time to find faith?

I have not spent any of the money I have raised yet, I've only been spending my money on them! On Monday I bought a football, a couple of toy guns and a handheld game and then on Tuesday I bought 4kg of meat which is enough for one meal.  Everyone was very thankful as they only have meat during very special days like Christmas, New Year or one or two other days during the year.

After I bought this Meshak told me stop wasting my money on them and save it so I can come back and see him again.

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Gideon
Gideon
Sammy
Sammy
Peter and Gideon
Peter and Gideon
Peter and Victor
Peter and Victor
Peter
Peter
Mileli Beach Hotel
Mileli Beach Hotel
James
James
Peter
Peter
Gideon
Gideon
Gideon
Gideon
Bamburi
photo by: Spikeyboots