Today our girls broke. They broke hard. If you have been on trip with Compassion you can remember the breaking. This was the day it happened for our girls.
Our girls will never be the same and we will never be the same. We are so thankful we spent the money to bring our babies to Africa. It truly is changing our family and we are thankful. We are grateful our kids can share about the world and about the poor. They understand how lucky they are to live in our country. They will never be the same. They have now shed the tears for the world’s poorest children. What they do next is up to them. We have done our part.
Here is the day report from Julia:
I looked over at my dad and laughed/cried “Dad I’m crying at a crocodile farm.” How do you handle the emotions of saying goodbye to a wonderful girl on top of seeing some of the poorest children in the world?
I did the weirdest things today. But the coolest thing was meeting Hannah, our sponsor child. She was so sweet; we held hands the whole day. She never talked but I could tell this was one of the most important things in the world to her. She is twelve and just beautiful. She used to have a sponsor but they never wrote to her and eventually they stopped sponsoring her, she told us that when her sponsor left her, she thought that they would take her out of the program. When we found out that we were going to Kenya we wanted to sponsor a child there, we wanted an older child because we know that they are harder to get sponsored, so we sponsored Hannah. She has been a blessing. Today we told her that we would never stop sponsoring her and that we loved her, because after meeting her today, I don’t know how anyone would not love this beautiful girl. Hannah is part of the Maasai tribe. They marry off their girls in that culture in return for a cow or a goat. Hannah is at an age to be married off, but because she is in the Compassion program she will go to the all girls boarding school in her village so that she will not be traded away. She has a wonderful family, consisting of her, her mother and father, and her five brothers and sisters, who believe that marrying more than one wife is wrong. Her father is the husband of one wife, in the Maasai culture that is a very serious thing because it is breaking tradition to have less than two. The funny thing is that we found this out by asking the project worker, Michael, who came with her because she was very shy.
Okay so that wasn’t such a weird thing like I told you we did today. One weird thing is that I held a baby crocodile. As I was doing that my dad looked at me and said “Julia I bet all your friends are holding baby crocodiles on their spring break”. It was very weird at the crocodile farm, because the guides would take a bamboo stick and poke the ten-foot long crocodiles until they would snap at it, and oh did them crocodiles move fast. When we went to see the babies the guide just hoped over the fence, grabbed the crocodile, and hopped back over the fence. He told us that we could pet it and told us about the scales. Then he said “Okay now who wants to hold it?” and of course Isabel, my brave and bold sister, said “MEMEMEMEME!” At that point my mom screamed NO and my dad laughed at her and told Isabel to go for it. I held it next. So there, how many of you have done that? Next we went and fed and ostrich, but the zookeeper caught us and told us we weren’t allowed to feed the animals. So like any American family would do, we decided to ride the camels. That was one of the weirdest things ever because the camel has to lie down for you to get on it and then lie back down for you to get off of it.
After that we went to sit down. We were telling Hannah that we had some gifts for her. We gave her a backpack full of toys for her. Things that we would take for granted, like soap and kitchen towels, meant so much to her. We also gave her a recorder/flute, and other cool things that we had to explain to her. What we thought was cool and fun to us was like ten Christmases for her. She loved everything and told us thank you very much, which meant a lot to us because she didn’t talk much. Then we prayed for her. What a heavy thing for us to do, what do you pray for when there are so many needs? While we were praying for her I noticed that she was sniffling and had wiped a tear away, I loved that because to me it meant that she felt loved by us, I think I was the only one to see it though.
At the end we had to say goodbye. This was so hard for me. I could not stop crying. I don’t know if it was that I had absorbed so much this week and just needed to let it out, or that I did not want to have to leave Hannah. I think it was a mixture of the two. As she left I saw her waving to us and I knew that this day had changed my life forever. I looked over at my dad and laughed/cried “Dad I’m crying at a crocodile farm.” I will forever remember this day as the best day of my life.
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Riding a camel must have been a new experience for you!
Wow, what an experience you are having! The pictures are wonderful, as are your descriptions of the children you have met there. You are so fortunate to have this experience that you will keep with you for the rest of your life. And don’t worry, no matter what your father told you, I don’t know of anyone at Shahala that was going to be holding baby crocodiles for Spring Break…
I can’t wait to read and see more about your trip!
woah. that’s awesome!! 🙂 thanks for sharing your heart stories!!
I’m so glad you shared all of this on your blog. Julia — you write really well! Thanks for taking the time to share your stories today (and the other girls’ earlier posts too). I hope you all will keep telling us more about this trip — and sharing photos — after you get home.