When you move out to an orphanage in a rural town in Kenya, you can rest assure many of your perspectives change.
You, in certain way, became more thankful for all the chances which were presented to you in life but also realise that you could have lived with a lot less.
The children of here have nothing to do with the children we know from there. The ones from here eat everything is given to them, being either sprouts or cabbage. They lick and almost eat the plate, and there is always space for more. They help in the household chores. They compete for taking medicine for cold and flu or the pills for worms.
Here there is not clothes for boys or for girls. Each one wears what fits and no one seems to note it – how wonderful to see that! The boy puts on a pinky shoes with flowers on it and he is happy for simply having something to put on his feet. And the football shorts is worn by the girl, who is also very happy.
Oh, they also do not complain about anything. It can be a stomachache, a big cut in their feet or a horrible skin infection. They just do not complain. You only note they are in pain when they are about to pass out.
The children from here made us realise that we are perhaps handling the ones from there with opposed social values.
We thought that here we had got in touch with some of the most strong and brave children in the world, real models of overcoming… Until we went spending two days as volunteers in an institute for disabled children called Saint Francis.
The first impression is a bit shocking with some children in wheelchair, cerebral palsy, ones without a leg, others the ears, or atrophied members.
Some of them need to be fed and changed and also need help to take a shower or go to the toilet. And all works perfectly well. They do it ALL: cook, clean, wash. The ones with less motor restrictions help the ones with more difficulties. They guide the wheelchair (a boy who seems to have 6 years happily pushes another boy of about 14 as they were racing), take them to the toilet, clean and put their clothes on.
We have never been in contact with such children, so intelligent and hard workers. It might have been the 30 hours we learned the most during our time here. The night not well slept (our room was really bad and with a lot of mosquitoes) gave us more fuel for the restless mind and we did not stop thinking that is all a matter of perspective.
Looking at that place, meeting extraordinary human beings, made us realise that the children at the orphanage we are living are actually very lucky and maybe a bit spoiled too. We never let them cook or wash their clothes. And after seeing the cooperation of the children there, it made us think that the children here could have been doing a lot more.
Well, it might be a pointless post with no reason to be shown. But all of this just reinforces our thoughts that we don’t know anything and maybe we never will. We need to be opened to see things from a different angle and allow us to see the world through different perspectives.
That is why we are here. And here we go, as there are a lot more things to see and learn.
Fernanda and Tiago