The past two mornings after getting off the daladala I have walked passed a slow-moving herd of cows. I don’t know why but for some reason I found it pretty funny. The past few days I have been doing orientation half of the work day and then working the other half. For orientation I have to sit and talk with a staff member at Amani and they explain what their role and job is and for some of them I watch them do their job or help them do their job. So yesterday I oriented with Rogasian who does essential support and with Joyce who is a teacher for the ‘starter level’. The starters are the children who are fresh off the street who are not caught up in education with the other children. The range of education is extremely broad at the level, some of the children cannot read or write while others are literate. I sat in on her class and it was funny to see the children behaving and not running around playing. Some seemed very eager to learn while others seemed distracted and uninterested. She was teaching English and the kids were learning introductions. They went around the room saying “My name is ______. I come from _____. My father’s name is _______. I am ______ years old.” Some of them got it instantly and others struggled the whole way through. I then taught them to play simon says, which they loved and then they wanted to learn songs and I couldn’t think of any so I taught them one about a frog and then ten little monkeys jumping on a bed. If anyone is an early childhood education major or can remember any songs or games from growing up please please please let me know of them so I can write them down for Joyce to teach the children!!
Yesterday, Johnny, one of the younger children was extremely sick. He has malaria and pneumonia and has been sick for a few days but finally went to get tested. Rovina, Amani’s nurse, had to give him his medication for pneumonia intravenously but without an iv so she injected it into his vein using a syringe which anna told me is extremely painful. He was really dehydrated so when it was time for his second dose we had to stick him five or six times before we were able to get a vein. He was really upset and I felt bad for him. My heart breaks for these children when they get sick because when I was younger, and even still, when I am sick all I want is my parents to sit with me and rub my back and these children have no parents, or at least no parents with them. Anna is really motherly with them though which is good but the idea of them laying alone at night when they are feeling sick is so sad to me.
Today, for orientation I worked with the kitchen staff. Cooking for 100 people is an extremely difficult task. They had me chopping up vegetables, with a knife so dull I don’t think it would even cut play dough. The wooden handle on the knife was broken and sliding back and forth so I have a huge blister on my hand. I was sweating profusely because I was standing next to a huge oven-type thing while I was chopping. The food at lunch today definitely tasted extra salty and I think it was because my sweat kept dripping into the vegetables. Showing a vegetarian with OCD how things are done in their kitchen was a bad idea. I decided I never wanted to eat lunch there again…but when lunch was served and my stomach was growling I quickly got over it.
My Swahili is getting better because everyday at lunch the special education teacher/therapist tutors me in Swahili. She is American but speaks fluent Swahili. As soon as I get used to the heat and time change and regain my energy I will write in detail about Amani.