Today was the first day I didn't feel like I was going to pass out in the early evening. Perhaps because the Power Women celebration and Skype with some of LitWorld team in the New York office was just so great; perhaps because departure is nigh; or maybe I'm simply just now getting my bearings on how these days go.
Today I also ate a lot of reddish brown dust. It covers everything in Kibera. I spent most of the morning and early afternoon sorting through the non-book stuff that had been deposited in the library when they moved stuff over the other day. It was a really interesting process, seeing how much or how little LitClub notebooks had been used; unearthing hidden treasure troves of crayons and markers.
I got a solid glimpse of how hard it is for the people who live here to throw things away, because for one thing they are in real need of so much, and for another, the trash lives in endless heaps in their neighborhoods, so they can't actually escape it unless it's burnable.
Today we sent the Power Women off into initial Moms Club-ness with a great meeting and Skype. Before we got online with the LitWorld team in the New York office, we read a book called "Owl Babies" where 3 baby owls are worried because their mom isn't coming back and then she comes back and they're happy, and that's the whole plot, it's very sweet.
We then went around the circle and told stories about when the Power Women had made their children worried or their children had made them worried, but then it all turned out fine in the end, and those of us with no children yet told stories from our childhood. Lots of stories of children worrying while their parents were away or vice versa, with some humorous versions here and there.
After our great story-sharing circle, we handed out bags and certificates with cheers, and sang some songs while we were waiting for the Skype to get set-up, and some of the Power Women's children wandered in while we were getting ready. They were as cute as could be and it was my pleasure to have one of them snuggle with me for the Skype. It was so perfect that the LitWorld team grabbed "Llama Llama Red Pajama" to read because the theme went right along perfectly with our other book and our stories- it was like we planned it somewhere other than just in our hearts, but so often it turns out that is all it takes for things to be in sync.
Tonight Jen and I packed our bags so we can load up the car with our (now much smaller) luggage in the morning when we head out for our last day with our Kibera friends, for this time around.
The photo above is of the library space near the end of the day today. It may not look totally organized yet, we are still waiting for the shelves to come over from the other room, and then they'll still need a fresh coat of paint, so there are still stacks of books on the floor, but all the floor space you see there used to be covered in all kinds of stuff, just stuff, stuff that didn't belong in a library for children, so those clear patches of floor were a big achievement for today.