Dorothy Arrives in Kenya (Day 1)

First of all, and i know everyone from LitWorld who has come to Kibera has said this, but Wamae (Eddie, our driver) is just so caring and observant and thoughtful. A true guardian spirit in human form.


Secondly, everything at Red Rose and the Children of Kibera offices is smaller than it looked to me in pictures and videos. The doorways are shorter, the children look younger, the teachers are more petite. This makes their palpable strength all the more powerful in person.

It was raining during the usual assembly time this morning, so we didn't officially meet all the children then as planned, but the tiny baby class boys and girls had already come up to hug my legs and grab my hand before getting in their lines without having any idea who i am. They radiate love.


We then went around and did introductions in each of the classrooms. (Some of them are truly like caves, amazing that anyone can learn in that darkness.) The older students were reserved in their classrooms, hiding questions and yearnings to share behind shy smiles.Tthe little ones burst into joyous singing and clapping at the slightest invitation.


I've attached here a snap i took (with one hand, while filming with the other hand...) During Jen's facilitator training session. The footage is raw, but i am excited to see how it will look edited together and primed for the Power Platform training materials. The teachers were giggling away, having a great time thoroughly engaged and asking questions as they practiced community building games and learned about their importance; they did not want to stop.

We did as many of them as we could outside in the yard, and the kids lining up for gym were intrigued to see adults untangle themselves from a human knot, and cycle through their silly sounds and movements for in motion.


We took measurements and brainstormed about furniture for the new space and made arrangements to meet with a local kibera carpenter tomorrow morning with Jeff, but went with Wamae to check out the furniture shops run out of shacks by the side of a main road in another part of town. We looked at cushions and stools and tables and bargained with the furniture-makers and took down prices and phone numbers so we will have a frame of reference for tomorrow morning's meeting, and people to call if we don't like what we see tomorrow.


Now i really do need to rest up so I can be fully present for Day 2, but looking forward to sharing more soon.


- Dorothy