Last week, I spent an amazing seven days in Germany. What was intended to be a sightseeing trip to Berlin turned into a road trip/adventure with my dear friend Stella that I met while volunteering in Kenya. We were roommates at the orphanage and shared many of the same visions for the project and a similar outlook on life. She took an interest in the boys that I assist there, and after I left, she followed up with them. Thanks to her, I have photos of the Video Show project! Since the boys have to leave so early for school, they took Stella to the Video Show at 5:30am so she could check it out. I also have email contact with one of the elder brothers now that he has moved out of the village for schooling. It’s still difficult to get precise information, but I’m working on it :) In Africa, people don’t talk about their problems. If you ask after someone or their family, you will rarely ever get a negative answer. What we consider dire problems are just everyday life for many people there. The video show is still in business and making a little bit of money, but I’m having a hard time judging exactly how much it’s making. I hope to get some concrete numbers soon. Until then, I just wanted to share the photos with you because I was so excited to finally see the Video Show. I will be doing a general Sole Purpose update soon to recap on projects, funds raised, and the future of Sole Purpose!
A few details to further update you:
- John and Patrick (the youngest two) just sat for their exams that will determine what secondary school they will attend. In Kenya, you take an exam at the end of 8th grade. Everything rides on this one test. About six months ago, the boys had to select their top four schools. It’s like applying for college- you pick a safe school, a couple that you would be on par with, and a reach school. Your test results are sent to them, and you hope that you get an offer. Secondary school is not cheap; the annual fees are what many villagers work six months to make. The number of secondary school attendees is growing, as Kenyans recognize the importance of it, but many don’t go due to financial reasons. I’m keeping my fingers crossed to hear how the exams went!
- Onesmus, the second oldest brother (and the oldest one pictured) is finishing up his certificate in IT. He is now considering applying to the Kenyan Army. From what I understand, it is very difficult to get in. Although I don’t know much about Kenya’s army, from the figures Onesmus has given me on the monthly salary, it would be a great opportunity for him.
- And, now for, perhaps, the most exciting piece of news. When I was in Pundamilia back in 2008, I fell in love with the boys’ two nieces. They are daughters of the oldest brother. Due to certain circumstances, John and Onesmus largely cared for these cute girls. About a year after my trip, John wrote to me that the mother had taken off with the girls, and they didn’t know where they were. When I returned this past April, the girls’ whereabouts were still unknown. I was so sad not to be able to hug them and see their bright, smiling faces. Onesmus emailed me a couple of weeks ago to let me know that the girls were back at their house. I couldn’t be happier about this! John was very attached to them, and I know all of the boys are glad that they are safe and back home. And, just in case you needed some convincing of how cute they are…