My last day in the village and I’m very sad to be leaving. The last two weeks have absolutely flown by and leaving now seems all too soon. In the first half of my stay I said that whilst I loved it here I don’t think I could return again for such a long period of time. Now having come to the end of my 6 weeks and having fully adapted to village life I feel I could stay for much longer, and definitely think I will be returning. The thing I will miss most, of course, is the children! I would love to take my 100 favourites home in my suitcase to play with me every day! But I know that even if I could, it would be silly, as they are so happy here. The village is such a wonderful institution where the children are raised to be fantastic citizens and provided with opportunities that they would be unlikely to have received anywhere else. I am a firm advocate that this village structure, which creates family-life, works so much better than a traditional orphanage, and think this model should without a doubt be replicated elsewhere.
One of my favourite things I have seen in Kenya is the knitted hats that the little children wear. Even on the hottest of days, you still find many children wearing these hats. We call them turnip heads as they resemble little turnips and they are soooo cute!
Yesterday we made really good progress with the bench, and I am sad not to be able to be here to help finish it. However, hopefully we’ve done a good enough job that it will last for a very long time and I will be able to sit on it when I return!
Things I will not miss about the village are the insects, the toilets, the showers, and the food! However, these are all things that are easily adjusted to and worth putting up with for the incredible experience the village offers.
I am looking forward to my parents coming later today and really excited for them to see the village in person, as it is hard to adequately describe just what a wonderful place it is. I am also really excited for our safari, which looks incredible (and has proper showers and toilets)! We are going to call in and see the Karen Orphanage on Friday, where I began my journey in Kenya, and then we are off to the Elephant orphanage before going on safari for a couple of days.
The red dust of Nyumbani Village will stay in my heart (and my fingernails, and my shoes, and my clothes) forever.