Wednesday, November 14, 2007

October 24, 2007

Today we started at the YWCA Malindi campus, and met Padilia, the campus leader. From there, we visited various organizations that the YWCA supports. The first was the Likoni AIDS orphanage. The orphanage was at its maximum capacity of 47 orphans, all were between 5-24 years of age. The orphanage relies entirely on donations, because the Kenyan government does not support orphanages. The orphanage also relies on the money and services of volunteers – one resident of the orphanage was a Spaniard who was staying there for three months, both volunteering and paying rent. The Kenyan government’s rationale of not supporting orphanages is that they are not healthy places for children to grow up in, because several dozen children are commanding attention of fewer than ten adults. Their solution? Encouraging (domestic) adoption. This “solution” is completely illogical because children end up in orphanages because no one in their families can take care of them – not only are their parents dead, but so are their aunts, uncles, cousins, etc. All potential adoptive parents are raising their own children, nieces, nephews, siblings, etc.

The next stop was the school. We arrived in what would be the equivalent of a 7th grade class (the students were between the ages of 11-13). The students were all in uniform and being taught in English, a few of them were badly pockmarked – a sign they were HIV positive. We sat in the class and Margaret (a YWCA Likoni leader) introduced us in Swahili. All of us said a few words to the students, Mama E prayed over them, then it was time to move on and let them get back to their studies. On our way out we peeked into the adjacent classroom of non-uniformed 6-7 year olds being taught in Swahili.

Finally, we went to the Likoni YWCA. Here I chatted with Leah, who I was partnered with for my AIDS presentation. She’s and HIV positive widow with two sons, aged 10 and 14. I also had a lively conversation with Daniel, Purity, Emily and Wilson, a volunteer and employees of the YWCA respectively. Their passion was the lack of hope many young Kenyans face, and they had many ideas for solutions.

After we left the YWCA we went into town. I went shopping for a laptop power source (forgot it at home!) and Mama E went to the bank. The computer store was wwaayyyyyy to expensive, but the clerk let me leave the computer on their pack long enough to download my photos to my laptop. I hurried back to make sure that I didn’t keep Mama E waiting, because I forgot she was banking in a third world country. I could have stayed at the store long enough to juice the battery completely. I think Mama E was in the bank a full two hours (BTW, Said’s matatu had no air conditioning. Pleasant.)

When we got back to the hotel, BJ and I went for a walk on the beach. Unlike most beachside hotels, this was a public beach. Therefore instead of a peaceful walk, we were accosted by people trying to sell to us. I was rather humored by a teenager who insisted he knew everything about America, because he read The Source and XXL. He then asked me where 50 Cent lived. Hilarious. I also insisted that I wouldn’t buy his figurines because ebony and teak would be seized at Customs. I’m not sure if that’s true, but I wasn’t buying either way.

After Kenyan food night at the hotel, I turned in early again. We were in for another long day.


*Would you like to support the Likoni AIDS Orphanage?

Contact: Rev. Ernest Omeva (Director)
Likoni AIDS Orphanage
PO Box 96333
Mombasa, Kenya

Email: laop_2001 at yahoo dot com

Mobile: 254 – 722694619

Bank Account: Barclays Bank of Kenya
PO Box 90184
Mombasa, Kenya
Swift Code Barckeny
For the credit of Laop Anzameo
Sponsorship Africa
A/C No. 16-8339658 Digo Road


Margaret at the orphanage school

Mama E, BJ and Margaret at the orphanage school

Emily at the orphanage school

Emily at the orphanage school

Emily at the orphanage school

eco education at the orphanage school

The posters in the background are about protecting the environment

Padilia, the Malindi YWCA leader

With Padilia of the Malindi YWCA

at the YWCA

Margaret and some Likoni YWCA footballers

Margaret, the Likoni YWCA leader

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