A Post From Juli

October 18, 2007

Well I am home, sort of.

Rocky and I arrived in California yesterday afternoon. I am staying here till Friday to visit with nieces and nephews and my mom who is here from WV helping Jeff take care of all of them while Rocky and I were away. My other brother, Digger, is at my home watching over my two teenage boys. I will see them soon.

I am glad to be here. I am thankful for the Rib Eye Steak I had for dinner last night. I have been up since 4 am this morning, (my body still thinks it is the afternoon) I was woken by a missed call from country code 254. I immediately called the number back. It was Assumphta, one of the Aunties. She is in charge of helping the girls with anything having to do with school. She is a bright spirit and all the girls respected and loved her, even when she was scolding them for getting up late the day before. She wanted to say thank you to me for the purse I left her . The Jean purse I had used the entire time I was there, the zipper was broke and it had a small tear in it, but she had admired it so I left it for her. She told me that she missed us and that she and the girls were still sad. So am I.

I sat this morning reading all the posts from our trip and comments everyone made and I cried.

I will get with Jeff today and get all the photos uploaded. The photos of the girls at St. Monica’s as well as the photos from Kibera, and the other orphanages we visited while we were there. Looking at all the photos reminded me of all of the orphanages we saw and heard about from other volunteers.

julis-post-1.pngSt. Monica’s Children’s Home by far the best. Other orphanages have so little to offer the children and so many children to care for. After visiting one particular orphanage, I questioned whether an orphanage should limit the number of children so that they could provide a better quality of life to children in the home. I believe it is a valid question, the answer should be simply “yes”. But that is the wrong answer Reality is that the orphanage that has the children sleeping 5 to bed, that is so overcrowded that they may miss the signs of sickness in one child that leads to that child’s death, that keeps the children under 2 in cribs all day because they do not have the room or the staff to provide them with anything else, that orphanage IS a better quality of life then the children had before. That is a tough pill to swallow. The fact is that if this orphanage did not take these 80 children, the children would be either living on the streets, maybe only getting one meal a day instead of three, or all of them would be dead.

So the answer is not so simple…

There needs to be more orphanages, as well as more funds to provide better care, better living conditions, better quality of life. Until there are we can only do our best to help the orphanages and the children in them, one child or one orphanage at a time.

I was lucky enough to be a part of helping one orphanage and I know I made a difference in 25 girls life.  They also made a difference in mine.