Things Don’t Always Go as Planned
This was my summary following my stay at Ngorika Children’s Home in spring of 2011. It was my first trip to Africa. I was following the Lord’s leading to assist there as needed, using the skills I had, that of bookkeeping and of a practical nurse. I helped around the home with various tasks… cooking, laundry, shucking and spreading corn to dry.
In Peninah’s absence, after the birth of her third child, I helped as I was able at her medical clinic. I also enjoyed spending time with the boys, playing games for fun and to encourage the use of their English.
With David being so busy, I prepared a simple spreadsheet that he could enter the needed information into, thereby enabling a bookkeeper to easily transfer the information into an accounting program. The challenge with computers at Ngorika is the unreliability of the internet connection, as internet is via satellite. I had to continue to remind myself that this was Africa … things don’t always go as planned and life moves slowly.
I enjoyed my time getting to know the boys. They appeared shy but loved to have fun! Though the boys have a variety of different mother tongues, Swahili is the language spoken at the home and at school. They did not use English a lot unless I directed a question/comment at them individually. All teaching at school is done in English, and playing games with them encouraged them to use their English as the extent of my Swahili was only a few common words.
I arrived as the school term was ending, thus having more time with the boys as they were soon on holiday. I assisted one boy with his reading and soon realized how well he was doing for having been in school for such a short time. Another boy, too, needed some help with his math, which is a subject I enjoy. Being that they were on break, playing games was the best way to engage them and have fun doing it. Many of the games I played with them were educational.
Among the many chores around the home, the one I found most difficult was the laundry. Washing clothes by hand while bent over tubs filled with cold water can become VERY uncomfortable for the back if you are not used to it. The clothes are washed in a first soap bucket, then again in a second, then rinsed in one bucket and finally again in a second bucket. If the clothes are really dirty, a scrub brush is used while the clothing is laid out on an upturned bucket. They are then hung to dry in the open air. All in all, quite a process!
An opportunity arose for me to visit Nakuru Lake Game Park with Mark and Catherine Buhler, the FEB and AIM missionaries who were some of the original founders of Ngorika Children’s Home. It was beautiful to watch the sun rise and to see the wild animals in the morning light. I found it a bit like stepping out into the back country rather than an enclosed park. I marveled at the beauty of God’s creation!
I found from my time at Ngorika that I could definitely be of aid. However, I think that it was I who gained so much more from my time there!