Kabira, Last day, Masai Mara two days

I have been out of internet access for three days. It might as well have been three months.

We had our last day at the Drugfighter’s School in Kabira. I did group counseling with the children all day, small groups of 5 or 6 at a time, listening to stories that I could never have imagined I would hear in person in my life. A child who gets locked out of his house by his stepfather after his mother disappeared and sleeps standing up in other people’s tiny mud washrooms after dark rather than on the streets of Kabira. He doesn’t eat when school is not in session. A child who came home one day from school to an empty house. His mother was evicted because she couldn’t pay rent, so she took the younger children and left this child, 11, without knowing where they had gone. He hasn’t seen her or heard from her in nearly a year. The “homes” I am talking about are mud huts as tiny as most of our closets, on dirty mud, garbage and sewage strewn paths, with no plumbing or electricity anywhere. I listened to story after story like this from boys and girls of every age. I listened and tried to give courage, admiration, hope for new possibilities if they study, whatever I could think of to say. Looking into the eyes of young children who just want to live life and don’t know how to survive, I will never be able to say what this has meant. The teachers and organizers of the school told me these kids have never had “counseling” before, it’s a new concept. I can only hope that looking into their eyes, listening, caring and saying the few words that I can find will mean something new to them. I feel that it has.

Esther, my little friend who I wrote about on the last blog, who cried on my chest for almost two hours, had continued to cry. Agnes, Drugfighters Founder, brought both of us in to talk together to try to find out how to understand what had touched her. Agnes said she doesn’t like to see a child so sad because it makes her sad! So we talked. We tried to tell Esther how much love there is around her and that she has to let it in. What else can we do? Esther will stay on my heart and mind constantly.

The others in our group work heartfully on their projects all day and have such stories to tell also. The two story dormitory for the children to live in is near completion now; we got a music program from the kids by the end of the day from the amazing music teacher, Nina, who taught them songs on recorder. They were so proud to present. When we left the children made a “tunnel of love” as we walked out. All of them lined up on two sides touching our hands as we walked out. I can never tell you the sensation of the tears that were there, mostly on our side. The children are stronger than we are.

Then our group drove the 6 hour really bumpy drive to the Masai Mara for two days – to see the great Mara and Serengeti Plains with wild animals in herds – wildebeasts, giraffe, elephants, lions, water buffalo, zebra and more – and to meet with Masai people and learn of their way of life. We went to a Masai village, and drove through past many of their villages going in and out of the Mara. I is all way too much for me to try to describe here and now, but has been deeply effecting for me.

Soon I will work to catch up with stories and photos. I leave in two days, a changed and grateful woman.

One Response to “Kabira, Last day, Masai Mara two days”

  1. Darita-Rose Alden Says:

    My counseling training is mostly peer counseling, with emphasis on paying attention with unconditional love and allowing for emotional processing. I think that what you did for that crying girl was one of the best things you could do for her. It distresses me when Americans or others who are taught to be ashamed of tears, to shut them down–which is still very much the case, try to stop another person’s emotional processing. Tears are healing. We aren’t used to people crying for a long time, although I am. To shut down the tears does not take away the sadness, it just stops the processing. To tell a child that her sacred tears make an adult sad is to make it about the adult, and to manipulate and shut down the child. All of these children have every right to cry for a long, long time. Days, weeks.

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