They asked me to write a ‘blog’ – whatever that is – but I thought I’d write a bit about Tumaini instead. Tumaini is a school, an orphanage, a village, a community, full of lovely, warm hearted people, adults and children, who, despite the hardships in their lives, are ready to sing, dance, educate and learn, serve food and serve the Lord in generous quantities topped up with enthusiastic joy. Yet I know that in their backgrounds are many tales of grief and sorrow, the loss of children, the loss of parents, the need of a job, the need of hope. But they made me welcome, gave me hugs and handshakes, helped me with my Swahili so that I can now say ‘kikombe cha chai kizuri’ – ‘a nice cup of tea’ and other useful English phrases, – and they beat me 21 – 4 at table tennis – and I can play ‘Cheat’ in Swahili too now – the children taught me.
So, to the Askaris who looked after us all so well and were always ready for a friendly chat, to Juma who looked after me so well and was always ready for a friendly chat, to Mary and Charles and the children who fed me, and to all the people from whom I learned so much in 3 weeks, I want to say thank you and I hope you learned just a little bit from me too, even if it was only English Grammar! I will miss you all so much!
Love from Jan – (Mad English lady with camera, table tennis teacher to the under 7′s (anybody else beat the suruali (pants) off me.) and volunteer English teacher.)
Oh and P.S. If you want to know anything – from how the shower works, to the Swahili for WD40 – just ask Juma – he’ll know.