For the past three days, we have been volunteering at Upendo Orphanage. Everyday we take the “Dala Dala” which is a rickety bus, to the orphanage. On the first day of arrival, we walked in and met the head Sister, Sister Jacinta, who showed us to a waiting room where we waited to first meet the children. While we were waiting for them, we were walking around the building and saw the infant room. We all looked through the window and immediately fell in love with their smiling faces. We met the two Sisters who are working with the infants, who are from Austria, and are volunteering there for 8 months. When we first saw the kids, they all walked out of their room holding hands and singing. This sight alone brought tears to our eyes. When they first walked into the room, they immediately ran up to us and held their arms up, wanting to be held. We were nervous, because we had heard about how you don’t choose the kid, the kid chooses you. So we were really anxious about not being chosen. The feeling subsided when the little kids ran up to us immediately. After meeting the kids we took them into the TV room and sat them on our laps while we watched “Tinga Tinga Tales” (African Cartoon). Around 10:00 everyday, the kids line up at the windows waiting for their snack of warm milk. Before they receive the milk, the nuns would line them up along the windows and lead them in prayer while they folded their hands. Then, all of us would grab a cup of milk and hand it to the children. After they drank their first cup, one of the Sisters would come around with a bucket to give a refill of the milk. When they finished their milk, we played more with the kids and their toys, and watched TV. About an hour later, it was time for lunch. They do their same prayer routine, and pick a table to sit at. We had to feed them their lunch, which usually consists of some type of rice or potatoes, and spinach sauce. After they eat, it is time for nap time. We all take the kids into their rooms based on gender, though some of the young boys sleep in the girls room. We put them into their beds and placed their blankets on top of them, and then it was time to wait for the Dala Dala to come pick us up and bring us back to the lodge. The second day, we took the children on a walk outside, and to go see the chickens or “kookoos” (chickens). After their milk, we watched the Wiggles, and fed them their lunch. After however, it was time for a bath. We had to take them to their gender bedrooms and undress them. They were all running around like crazy naked babies. We set up an assembly line of drying the kids off, moisturizing, and dressing them in crazy outfits. Then it was off to bed for the babies, as they all waved goodbye and tried climbing out of their cribs. Today, which is Friday, was our third day at the orphanage. Today we all played outside and spun them on a merry go round type thing. They were all very sleepy and cranky today, because many of them are sick. Next, after their milk, we took them outside for a walk and they would push each other and fight all over the stairs. Then, we followed the regular routine by giving them lunch and taking them to a bath and lastly putting them to sleep. We’ve been having a great time at Upendo and have formed great relationships with the kids.
fam, hope you are having a great time and I miss you lots!! Can’t wait to see you, I’m having a great time! - Sophie
Mom, Dad, and Grayson, I pretty much don’t wanna come back. Considering I’m not even the favorite child you probably don’t even miss me. JK. Luv ya. -Sydney