Saturday, May 22, 2010

airport field trip and others

The rest of the week was great…overwhelmingly long days at work, but, nonetheless it was a good week. First of all, I feel 100% better and am eating a lot again and have my energy back. I really have done nothing but work all week though. I’ve been going into Amani at 830 am and leaving at 8 or 830 pm. In the beginning of the week I took three new boys (ages 6 or 7, 9 and 10) to the clinic. One of the boys, who is either six or seven, came from home and three of his older brothers (two of which are the best behaved children at Amani) are already at Amani. This boy is so tiny, he looks so malnourished and frail- I can see the veins in his head and his arms are like twigs but his little belly is so distended, he weighs 30 lbs. He is such a happy kid, laughing all the time and so excited to be with his big brothers. We are working on fattening him up and he is already able to eat more than I can in one sitting. Anyway, when I took the three boys to the clinic one of them was very afraid of needles and needed to get his finger pricked. He was sitting on my lap and I was holding his arm still and as the tech was about to prick him he pulled his hand away…she immediately slapped him across the face. I was shocked! I couldn’t believe that she had actually slapped this child. He started balling and I just hugged him and rubbed his back while she pricked him. Poor kid was so upset and I was stunned and tried to imagine that happening in the States…I would’ve been smacked so many times as a child if I had been hit for pulling away from needles.
Thursday, all of the children that stay at Amani for school went on a fieldtrip to the airport. They were so excited to see the big planes and to be able to stand on the air field while planes were taking off. I arrived at the end of the trip to bring the kids lunch of chipsikuku (French fries and chicken), which I helped make…and cut my thumb with a knife in the process. When we got there the kids were so excited to show us the planes and the staff was excited too. Everyone, staff included, wanted their pictures taken in front of the airplanes. It is amazing how much I take for granted. The kids ended up having a great time and they all looked adorable (and like prisoners) in their orange t-shirts.
Today, Friday, Rovina had to leave work after I came in and one of the boys was pretty sick. He had a bad headache, threw up and seemed sort of confused. He ended up being okay but it took him a while to feel better. One of the social workers came in to tell me that 8 boys had just arrived off the street. Three of which had run away from Amani a few months before (I had seen them on the streets in Arusha after they ran away). I was so excited to have them back. After they showered, got clean clothes and shaved their heads I ran over and hugged each of them. I then did physicals on each of these eight children. Lucikly, they all seem pretty healthy with the exception of minor things like wounds and head fungus. A few of the new ones that had not been to Amani before were so filthy that they had to use a scrub brush to clean off. I cleaned under their fingernails with scissors and tweezers to get all of the dirt out. It is amazing what a difference a soapy shower and clean clothes can make.

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