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It's very late on Saturday evening and we have a big day planned tomorrow to visit Conor in the Massai Village. We were late home from a long but great day out! Tanz-hands for lunch on Burger Day! Then to Arusha to stop in at Africafe for a soda before we hit the Massai Markets for possibly the last time. Back to Africafe for another refreshment and meet up with Beth, Cara, and Nathan before we head off to Blue Heron for Pizza dinner.
A great day but I just want to tell you about two lovely stories from Friday ...... Firstly we were on the dala dala for our trip from Kilala to Nkoaranga and all four of us sat in the very back and waited patiently for the bus to fill. One lady in front of us and then an elderly lady with her young daughter or granddaughter sat next to the lady in front. By my calculations the yound lady looked about six months pregnant but we all felt she was possibly in labour and sure enough she was. She sat so awkwardly on the seat and not a murmur from her mouth but the most overwhelming waves of pain (as I remember) were making her hold the seat in front with a grip so tight to keep her upright and perhaps not slide off the seat in exhaustion. She fidgeted the whole time we waited for the bus to fill and for the very long journey up the hill of all hills! We wish we had realised sooner that she was in labour and we all would have hailed a taxi for her and paid for it but it was too late and knowing very little swahili would have only hindered our endeavours - yet another great reason to KNOW SWAHILI!
Finally at the end of the road and we waited patiently for her to make her way off the dala dala but it wasn't easy and knowing her pain I just wished we could have lifted her up and carried her into the hospital. The lady who had sat next to her the whole way showed zero sympathy and only found her movements and head wobbling annoying. She made no effort to move to make her more comfortable or try and show any sign of caring for her but that is not for me to judge.
Off the bus and ready to go to work AJ and Erik heading off in front and us to the left I noticed the pregnant lady stopped with her mother and when I looked at them it was as if they didn't know in which direction to go for the hospital. I called out to Erik and AJ to show them the way and they came straight over and took on the support of either side of the young lady to gently take support of her and guide her to where she needed to be. At the end of the day AJ told us that they witnessed the birth of a beautiful baby boy! A very proud day for AJ!! Such an amazing, brilliant day. I would love to hear that blog for the day .... sorry I can only give you my small portion of it but a wonderful story nonetheless.
Not to take away from that story but Ciara and I had our own special day too. It was kind of madness at the Orphanage on Friday. It was just Ciara and I with Mona and Sophia and all the kids were home! Usually 12 older children were in school but they were off for the day. When we arrived Mona, Sophia and Big Franky were taking the school children for a walk. Meanwhile back at the zoo .... I mean home .... all the babies were out of sorts. The mamas very busy working in kitchen, laundry and about so Ciara and I just got stuck in but we had no idea if breakfast was over as it would normally be started around 9.30am. Some babies were still in bed and usually they are up and at 'em. Checking for changes some were clean and some WERE NOT, but it was a hit and miss on who to change and who not to change but they were all screaming for our attention and unfortunately there was only one of us on cuddle patrol and one on poop patrol! We survived the day and breakfast began for all the kids at 10.30am when the older one's returned from their walk. Back on poop patrol before bedtime and everyone was settled by 11.45am in bed. Ciara and I left for the day around 12.10pm and when we reached the dala dala it was completely empty and we knew there was NO way it was filling up in the next hour! So we took to that 'hill of all hills' but thankfully on the downhill side. We'd survived the day before so we set off on foot with aching muscles but high spirits.
Not long into our walk we passed a young school girl in uniform probably around 8 years old or so. She stopped to let us pass by as everyone knows we need to walk down single file. As we walked on by I remembered the balloons in my bag and grabbed one out for her. I pulled it out of my bag (but the whole time we were all walking down the hill) and I started to blow the balloon up. Two nice big puffs and ...........BOOOOOM .... the balloon burst in my face and I let out a squeal and a laugh along with Ciara and the little girl. It took me a little while to recover over the shock but pulled out another balloon for the little girl and showed her I had another, so as not to disappoint her! Of course once I held the balloon to my mouth I was too scared to blow it up so that took a couple of minutes of Ciara cheering me on (of course she can't blow up a balloon so no harm done if it blows up in my face again) and encouraging me so the little girl wouldn't go without that great balloon.
I did eventually find the courage to blow up a balloon (yes I am a 'sooky-lah-lah but a kind one) and I handed to the little girl. Then I was glad I made the effort and wonderful feeling of pleasure is then released and all is good with the world. I know it's not the birth of a baby but it is a really great feeling. Along we travel on down the road and it's hotter this day than the previous day and down the road there is another school girl looking like she is waiting to meet up with our following school girl. We pass on by and I pull out another balloon and the same scenario transpires, more pleasure and laughter from the girls and we continue our walk down the hill.
Not long after there are a couple of kids across the road that either know these girls behind us or are interested in their balloons so they cross the road and are walking with them too. I do a quick head count and there are two kids and I grab out a couple more balloons. As I turn to hand one out there are another couple of kids. Lucky for all of us there are as many kids as balloons in my bag and soon enough we are the 'pied pipers of mzungu balloons' and we are being followed by children ranging from 5 to 8 years old all laughing and giggling with their prized possessions and walking close behind us. A funny sight I am sure for onlooking locals walking home with their baskets on their heads, sitting outside a shop watching or driving by but everyone saw us first and then the children. What they thought we will never know but I can guarantee we made the day of those children. Of course I want to stock up with balloons and walk home Monday and Tuesday to do it all again.
One by one they all dropped off and went home. Some saying 'Bye' and other's too shy to say anything. Every one of those children either said 'thank you' or 'asante' and that was so sweet of them. But would you believe it that the first little girl had to walk the whole way down that 'hill of all hills'!!!! We were dying of thirst and decided if that poor little girl was still behind us when we reached Kilala we would buy her a drink. ....... and we did. We bought her a Fanta (her choice) and soooooooooooooooooo worth it! Now that was our wonderful story .... sure hope you liked it .....
We took a photo of the kids but it is on my Iphone so I can't download until I am home. I will attach to the blog when I am back home as I am sure anyone would love to see them. That was also a treat for them to see us take the photo and show them. They loved that!