Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Porridge and peed on...

Day 1: We were told that the volunteers go downstairs at 9am to feed the babies, and while they said we could sleep in since it was our first day we wanted to go ahead and jump right in. It was a bit overwhelming at first (I have a feeling I am going to be saying that a lot in this post) but as soon as we walked in the room, about 15 toddlers were surrounding us (we were told that they know new people and know that the new people want to hold them and play with them so they take advantage of that lol). The small babies who can’t walk are fed on the ground individually while ones that can walk are put in high chair type things and fed by volunteers or nannies, and the older toddlers sit at a long table and feed themselves. I took on the “high chair table” and usually the volunteers feed 3 at a time so that was definitely a funny experience. The kids like to grab at the bowls and spoons so I had to keep them away while feeding them simultaneously. Rach fed the small babies on the floor and essentially it was like feeding them formula with a spoon, so watery. Lots of porridge ended up on her pants and the floor. After they eat the porridge type breakfast the small babies are taken to a back room while the older toddlers are kept in the main room and just played with. The smaller babies get to hang out and play until their nanny comes to get them to be changed and cleaned and put down for a nap. The smaller children take a nap from around 10-1230 while the older toddlers play. They all eat lunch at the same time and then the older toddlers go down for a nap after lunch. These kids are on the strictest schedule I’ve ever seen. It is really amazing. We played with the toddlers for about an hour and there were 8 other day volunteers who are staying somewhere else and come play with the kids during the day and 2 of the other volunteers staying in the apartments were down there as well. They needed volunteers to help with laundry so Rachel and I offered. I will never complain about laundry ever again! They use cloth diapers here so that, in and of itself, is a large undertaking but the fact that there are 43 babies here now with their clothes being washed every day is a ton of washing! Everything had already been washed but we were helping hang it on the line to dry or bring in the dry clothes to be sorted through. There was also the issue of water about 2 inches thick on the laundry room floor that we needed to “sweep out” with brooms. I have no clue how that even got there. After all that work it was already 1pm and we took a break to eat and decided that we needed more food, other than cliff bars and almonds. We also wanted to go into town. Since it is Angie’s last day, she and Ilsa were going to a place called Tanz hands that is a disabled home but also has a small restaurant where you can get good milkshakes, cakes, and sandwiches. We had good conversation and tried to learn some Swahili (going to definitely take some time, and if our conversation in Paris is any indication things aren’t looking good!) From there we caught a thing called a dala dala, which is like a minivan that packs as many people as possible into it and we rode that into Usa River. Only Ilsa was with us because Angie had to go pack. Ilsa said it was the most packed dala dala she had seen and she mentioned when we got in that it was our first ride and all the people on there started laughing and saying that was a great first experience. We got a few groceries at a place called Rotterdam to hold us over for a few days. Apparently the better market is in Arusha but that is further away so we will save that for another time. We made our way back to COL and rested for about 30 minutes and then at 5pm it was dinner-time for the kids so Rach and I went downstairs to help. Around that time there was about 15-20 monkeys in the trees outside of the home that the kids were going nuts over and I have to say I thought it was pretty awesome as well. Their nighttime routine is about the same as the day except they get baths (more of a nice wipe down) and then the little ones go straight to bed while the bigger kids wait for a “snackie”. Of course feeding, changing, and bathing takes quite a bit of time so they didn’t go to bed until about 8pm. We told all the kids ‘lala salaama’, which means peaceful sleep. After that we were exhausted again so we came back upstairs and decided on dinner, Rach made some pasta with pesto sauce while I tried to post blogs! Onto our next adventures...and side note, Rachel is contributing to my massively long posts.


  1. Ohhh my gosh. I want to meet these precious babies!

  2. What an adventure! I can't wait to hear more about it... I hope you all can enjoy every minute of it!

  3. Ahh! I love your French conversation skills! Bring it, Swahili. Also, love that you have already found the local Moo Moo's :)

  4. jambo and jambo bwana. that's about all i remember. oh....asante sana means thank you.

    living vicariously through your blog!

    -Amy Howard-