# 8 Visitors at Home and at School June 23, 2015
Last weekend was non-stop visitors, one of whom was a young girl whose face I recognized but I couldn’t put her in context – what was her name? Finally she reminded me she was the younger sister of an SFG grad. I’ll call her M because some of the story is sensitive. M’s an alcoholic who had a number of children, not all the same father. She’s just a sad case. She didn’t feed them properly, clothe them, or love them. They were left to fend for themselves. M’s older sister was taken to SFG on scholarship and did very well, but M wasn’t so fortunate. But she is very resourceful, very determined and she knows what she is and what she isn’t going to do. She took a job as a house girl, just to have a place to live and food. In time she found the lady of the house to be a critical nag, so she left. Fortunately an agency found her and found a lady who would take her in. I’ll call her L.
So here were L and M at my door. I know M from her older sister and from having her in my tutoring group 2 summers ago. She didn’t come every day and I learned she had run away from where she had been staying. She was 16 and not about to be pushed around. So when L took her in, was kind to her and took her back to school it changed her life. She is now in form 3 at the day school right next door to the children’s home. The students there come from very poor families, which is why they attend a day school instead of a boarding school, here seen to be far superior. Yet this school performs very well. M is doing beautifully, but has struggled with math. When she saw my car outside the gate, she convinced L to come with her to visit me.
I always liked M and knew she was very bright. When she admitted math was hard for her, we set up some dates for her to come for help. She arrived right on time, every time. If I offered her food or water, she gratefully accepted, but she never asked. We’ve probably put in 5 or 6 hours and she told me today when she showed her teacher all she has learned, the teacher was mightily impressed. There is nothing like 1-1 teaching. The student can’t help but learn.
After I had to send her away because it was dusk and she has a good walk home, I decided to give some food scraps to Fr. Mwangi’s goat, which is being fattened up in our enclosure. I have become his nearest and dearest friend. Whenever I appear, he thinks he has died and gone to goat heaven, which will probably happen fairly soon. He looks up, hoping for some choice morsel. Just now I went out to get his picture and seeing my camera, which he mistook for a tasty treat he strained at his leash. I was sad to disappoint him.
As I was feeding my friend, the goat, I noticed some little boys outside the gate, using the spare tire cover as a drum. I wagged my finger (no!), but they were a bit clueless. Approaching the gate, I noted one of them was Joseph, 10 years, living at Mji Wa Neema. Joseph is a typical impish, mischievous kid, but when he saw me he and the other 2 stopped the drumming. I rumpled what little hair he had and said, “Joseph, please don’t bang my car”, adding, “or the peanut butter will be gone!” OOH! That’s a threat. Previous readers will remember my blog of several years ago about “Joseph, the peanut butter thief.” Honestly he is so cute; he could melt the Antarctic ice shelf! Hmmm, maybe he is responsible to global warming. No, I guess not, but he is really cute. He looks up with his big, innocent brown eyes and you know he is up to no good.
At SFG today, we again had visitors who wanted to see the school. They had been told that it was a very nice school, run in an efficient and organized manner. This school had a bus, a very nice one, something Ruth, our principal covets. Evidently the visitors were very impressed with the buildings, which are nice by Kenyan standards. I went out to meet them and talked to some of the girls briefly. Kids are all the same here, shy but curious. They had been rewarded with an outing for being the top performers in their school.
Uniforms here are 1 of 2 styles, pencil straight, always too tight across the backside, or pleated plaid. Ours, designed by the students about 4 years ago, are a combination of both, stitched down about 4 inches below the waist, then flaring into a pleat with a flash panel of red and white. Whoever makes them didn’t quite get the picture, but the girls seem to like them. Many have commented that our girls look “smart,” which means stylish.
I’m falling asleep over the computer. Time to pack it in.