Welcome to the Marine Mammal and wildlife Research and Community Development Expedition blog where you can keep up to date with all the happenings and information from Kenya

Friday, July 13, 2012

Stacey takes a trip to the orphanage

I was a bit apprehensive at the thought of visiting the boy’s orphanage in Mkwiro. The word orphanage always springs ideas of sadness, loneliness and a sense of no belonging to my mind.  Embracing the traditional Muslim dress code in Mkwiro, full body coverage, we prepared to leave. We packed readings books for the children, the Uno card game and thread to make bracelets as the children are currently trying to start a little business of making and selling bracelets to earn money for themselves. Although I still felt uneasy at the prospect of visiting an orphanage I was told that some of the boys do have one parent but possibly because of issues at home they could no longer live there.

The boys demonstrate their extreme flexibility
 When we arrived we were greeted by smiling children pleased to see us. Some of the children I had already taught English to in Mkwiro Primary School earlier that day. They all wanted to spend time with us and eager to play a game of Uno. The competitive streak in me took over as a few times as I ended up with Uno card, only to have to pick up several more cards on my next turn. There was only going to be one result, Stacey being a sore loser! Yes I came last but seeing the boys laughing at me made it all okay. Whilst we played Uno, some boys chose to sit in a quiet area and read to themselves, factual books about the big five proved most popular, and later they really enjoyed using the cameras we had brought with us to take photos of each other posing and doing the splits- very impressive!

Stacey with one of the residents at the orphanage
There was no time for bracelet making but I’m sure there will be next week! After one hour in the orphanage I have learnt how lucky I am, listening to their stories and hopes for their futures, but more importantly I know that although the orphanage in Mkwiro is very basic, it isn’t an unhappy place to live. 

Stacey Hubbard – Community Volunteer