June 14, 2010
Quote: As told to me by a 23 year old nanny
I was starving around 10 after they had had breakfast and been changed and were just playing in the main room, so I decided to run upstairs and bring down a snack to eat. I was eating it in secret in the changing room when Juliette came in there and asked why I was eating in there. I told her that I didn’t want the kids to see because they would obviously want some. They are NEVER full!! She said to come into the kitchen and eat it so I did. Little did I know that all the nannies ate in the kitchen at that time in shifts somewhat. So I sat down and finished my snack (my daybreak blend…Thanks mom!) Then Juliette fixed me some tea and gave me one of her rolls. It tastes like a pancake though and is incredibly greasy, meaning so good! After I finished that another nanny gave me another roll. Nannies kept giving me food and by the end I had 2 cups of tea, eaten my snack, 2 rolls, and 4 slices of white bread with butter on them. Needless to say I didn’t need to have lunch that day. Juliette asked me some questions about what things costs in America and said that a lot of people here think that they can just go there and make money and live like they see people living in magazines and TV. I told her that it wasn’t the case at all and the majority of people don’t live like that and that things are very expensive there comparatively. She was shocked that an avocado was so much money, given that it cost approximately .34 cents to buy one here. It was fun to get to have some human interaction since its mostly silent or very little talking when we are all actually holding or doing things with the kids. Especially since I had my day shifts Saturday, Sunday, and Monday so 2 of the days there were no day volunteers that came so it was literally just the nannies with the kids. It’s different on the weekdays because about 3-6 day volunteers come in the morning and play with the kids. I also felt like I was being accepted into the ‘circle of trust’ with the nannies, or maybe not but I can pretend. They could have been talking about me the whole time in Swahili and I would have no clue J. I’ll take it though. I continued with the tradition today except I brought a granola bar and gave some of mine to Juliette, mainly so I wouldn’t be that ‘mzungu who eats our food’. Today I also got to talk with some day volunteers (there were actually 6 here today) and I would say by far we are lucky that we get to stay here for free and don’t have to travel up to an hour on a dala dala to get to work.
On another note, I feel bad for one of the little boys Jacob. He is an invisible child a lot of days, though I can see that sometimes everyone gets to be that way. But two days in a row he ‘went missing’. One day we were all outside and he walked into the large laundry room and no one noticed him missing for probably 5-10 minutes and then when someone called for him he came to the door and I was thinking how could he have been in there with no one noticing? Then yesterday we were all in the changing room, which is crazy because everyone is sharing 2 long changing tables, 2 toilets, 4 sinks, and like 30 kids to get changed and cleaned up so it isn’t that difficult to see that a child can go missing but the door to outside was open and Susan brought Jacob in the door and said that Justin (our gate guard) found him wandering around outside. Who knows how long he had been out there? I can’t really fault the nannies because I feel like it could happen to me as well, though I am terrified to losing one so I keep a close eye on my 6. I don’t want to be, not only the girl that’s slow at nappies, but the one that loses her kids as well. All that being said to say that its inevitable with 4 nannies and 30+ kids that one will be misplaced at some point. It’s just sad that lately it’s been the same one.On yet another note (I have a lot to say when internet goes out; I go ahead and write it all and then post when possible) A couple came by yesterday to possibly look at adopting Rosie. That is a good thing for sure because she is a relinquishable child, meaning that her parents or family have signed saying that she is available to be adopted. Most children here are not though; they are likely going back with family, or to another children’s home for older kids. The sad thing is that Ilse really has a connection with Rosie and wants/wanted to adopt her and had been emailing with an adoption lawyer here in Tanzania to see about getting the process started. There were a few set backs because of the laws that are changing but people have been able to adopt even if they aren’t married so she was going to at least try. It is a good thing that this family lives in Tanzania and would be able to give her that experience, as well as having both a mother and father to raise her, but I know that Ilse could have given her a great life as well and loves her so much already. Nothing is set in stone though so anything could happen. Today was my last day of 8-5 this week so we are going into Arusha tonight with Ilse to have dinner and relax!