February 13, 2012: Today I met up with Shana to see all the work that Jump For Joel is doing in Gathiga, Kenya. Seeing the progress that’s been made and hearing about the plans for the future was very exciting!
We started the day at Gathiga Children’s Home, and it was fun to see so many projects that friends have come to work on! I also got to meet Jeremy and Jordan’s sponsored child, a very sweet kid. We then went to the school, and were surprised to learn it was Sports Day, so ALL the kids from THREE schools were playing in this gigantic lot. “Muzungu!!”, roughly translated = white people, was heard a few times as Shana and I walked in. Within seconds, we were swarmed with kids. Some just wanted to give us a high five or practice their English, others wanted to rub my arm and leg hair (again and again and again…), haha! It was fun to see so many kids out enjoying the weather and playing sports.
After saying our goodbyes in Gathiga, we went to a Masai Market for some heavy negotiating on souvenirs. A bracelet might start out at $30, but you finally work them down to $5. Fun times!
Our next stop was University of Nairobi, where we hoped to meet up with a student who’s on scholarship from Jump for Joel. We weren’t able to connect, but it was still interesting for me to walk around the university and experience it, as well as learn more about the system from Shana.
From there, it was off to Kibera, the largest slum in Nairobi. I left my camera in the car here to avoid “slumdog tourism”, which is popular here for people to hop out, snap a pic or two, and get back in and leave. We took our time, walked through the slums, chatted with a few of the business owners, bought a Sprite, and just soaked in the experience that so many live in every day. Shana had a friend join us for the walk, she actually lived in Kibera for 9 months when she first moved here! It was fun to watch her stop and talk to people she met five years ago, and they would still remember each other because of the friendship that was built.
“Replace apathy with action” is the mission of Jump for Joel. And after seeing and experiencing everything that we saw today, it’s hard to not do just that.
Amelia - you are missed here! @ Gathiga Children’s Hope Home in Gathiga, Kenya
What a great party!! Thanks for including us!! -shana
It was a blast… sorry, sorry, had to say it. The House of Black Christmas party was last night and it went great. I’m not sure yet how much money we raised for Jump 4 Joel, but it was a lot of fun.
We had lots of great food, and white elephant bingo, and of course the tacky sweater…
Today’s Taste of Kenya: Furi Furi Dance
We’re lovin’ the newest sound from D.K and Jimmie Gait! It is the latest in Kenya, both the song and the dancing style. It’s driving the youth crazy everywhere.
-Julius @ J4J