This past Saturday, we held the 2nd annual Watoto water race in Ilula. This was a race that was started by a past intern who has a passion for physical fitness and helping the needy. He had been training the kids to run. You know all those big marathons that happen in the West and it is always a Kenyan who wins? Well most of them come from this area as the high altitude climate is perfect for training. The kids had been training every morning for a few months so we had almost 85 kids participate. The younger kids did a 4km race and the older ones did a 10km race. I got to stand at one of the final corners and see them as they were on the last leg of the run. It was so exciting watching them dash around the corner.
This is one of the youngest children in the children's home, Kelvin. Although small, he was able to keep up with the crowd.
Above is Alex, our star runner. He won the 10km race with a time of 36:18. He didn't know he had a talent for running until this intern came and started teaching them to run. Alex has a lot of potential. We had a few professional runners run with the kids and he was able to beat most of them. I believe, with the
proper training, he will have a future in running.
Valentine is my sponsor child. She too is a runner. The day before the race, some of the kids went for a district track meet. She did a 5000m race and came 2nd! It was so exciting watching this little girl beat about 25 girls to become 2nd. I was so proud of her.
This is my 'mom' here in Kenya. I took this picture because, in the 5 years I have known her, I have NEVER seen her wear pants! Even her kids were shocked to see her in track pants. Although she didn't run, she dressed the part.
The kids have formed a choir called the Tumaini choir. Tumaini means 'hope' in swahili. They have their own CD with their own original songs. They are now about to start shooting a music video. This was the first time I got to see their snazzy t-shirts that someone in America made for them. They are really talented. I am already a big fan!
This is a funny story. Kenyan schools have started to ask for birth certificates for the children in order for them to take exams. So many the staff at the home had to go to the children's previous homes and try find their original birth certificates. What is funny is that many of the birth certificates said the kids had different names than what we have been calling them. Above is Naomi Moraa. I have watched her grow and have known her as Naomi for the past 5 years. However, we she got her birth certificate, she learned her name is actually Befrin Nekesa! We have no idea where we got Naomi Moraa from. They are two very different names. They are even from two different tribes. She learned that she is not Kisii, she is Luhya. It was too funny. Befrin Nekesa or Naomi Moraa, I love her to bits and pieces.
The race was a huge success. We were able to raise around $700 just from the community which is amazing. I think they have about a third of what they need to get a borehole. The compound in needing a large borehole so they can have a cheap, unlimited supply of water. This will cut down a lot of costs and the money will be able to be allocated else where. If you feel compelled to help with this cause please click Here to learn how you can contribute!