Umwaka mushya everybody!


Umwaka mushya – happy new year, is the latest addition to our lexicon. This one won’t be used again for another twelve months, which is a pity as it usually takes me around three weeks to learn each new word.

We have had our break, are rested and ready to face whatever 2010 has to throw at us. The old year was ushered out gracefully and the relative lack of hype and festivity compared to home gave us a good opportunity to reflect on work done and still to be tackled.

Christmas week brought a couple of unexpected gifts for the project which let us do something extra for the street children at Nyamirambo. They were rounded up and brought into the hall on Christmas Eve where they had prayers and a Christmas service up to midnight. The children slept in the hall and were entertained the next day with a film about the life of Jesus.

Peter the cook had been given a shopping list and provided a veritable feast cooked on two charcoal burners in the back yard of a neighbour’s house. The children were served meat, rice, beans, chips and coleslaw, each serving stacked inches high. Imagine an eight year old devouring a mound that looks bigger than his stomach and turning up with a clean plate for seconds ten minutes later. Oliver Twist wasn’t in it.

Hogmanay has now come and gone. Having started the daily meals down at the project, our next challenge is to find a suitable local property to rent and then set it up to accommodate a dozen children. These are the ones we have identified so far that have no home or family of any description. The strategy is to find school places where we can for these children, and then at a suitable point find a foster home. This is the most daunting challenge we have faced yet. Umwaka mushya.