Kwa Watoto, Kevin, and other great things that start with K


To truly appreciate the Kwa Watoto Centre, you must see it in person. The Centre is 3 – 4 stories high, with several adjacent schools surrounding it. The Centre also has sleeping quarters for boys and girls. It is the school that all schools in the slums of Nairobi want to be….

When you first arrive, the mere volume of children everywhere is a sight to behold.

As we arrived, I walked up to the top of the school, greeting everyone as I went with smiles and hugs. At the top, I made my way into a corner classroom, the library. I found two little children in there, with the librarian. The children stared at me with fascination as I approached. I could tell they spoke no English. I held out my hands for them to grab, and pulled a book off the shelf. Clifford, that lovable big red dog. I must have read it to them a few times, as they sat entranced. When we were done, I thought it would be best to join the others, and walked out onto the railing shown below.

From my vantage point up top, I looked down to the courtyard area below, when I heard my name being screamed….I looked around below and saw the most excited Kevin, in full school uniform, calling for me. When our eyes met, Kevin immediately bolted up all the flights of stairs towards me. It was a moment I’ll never forget.

Kevin is attending St. Matthews secondary school here. He introduced me to his friends and teachers, and proudly showed me his room were he sleeps with 3 other boys from the school.

Kevin and I first met last year while working together on Eunice’s school. We continued that working tradition this year as well. We dug trenches, carried stones, shoveled and wheel barrelled cement together.

It’s funny to me how age seems to have little relevance in Kenya. Kevin is a teenager, me a middle aged man, and yet we get along like peas and carrots ( yup, it’s a Gump reference!)

 

Kevin also helped me pick out a sweet drum ( since he plays) and even tried to teach me how to play it ( which was a laugh)
On one of our last days in Kenya, the team goes to the local Naku-mart to do some shopping. Kevin came with me and it was awesome. The vendors thought he was my “guide”, and because of this, we worked out some pretty sweet deals.
in the Nakumart with masks and statues aplenty

 

 

the giraffe he wanted me to get. maybe next year.
 At the end of our shopping, at one of the last booths, the lady was telling me how much her husband would love my flip-flops I was wearing. I offered her a straight across trade of mine for ones she had made, and a discounted price on another pair so I could get Kevin some. He was ecstatic. And for those who know Ranger’s story about shoes, you never know what one pair can do for someone….
Kevin is Kindness in it’s purest form. I’m lucky and proud to have him as a friend.
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2 Comments

  1. I pray daily that you try to drag that giraffe onto the flight home next year. I would pay to see the faces of the airline employees as you walk past with that giant thing!

Wench, bring my ale, what say you?