Monday was the first day that we had to wake up for events. Toast and PB was the perfect way to start the day. We went out to the field where all the classes (baby class through eighth) met us. They greeted us with songs which was soooo cute. "Welcome to Tumaini, welcome to Tumaini, welcome to Tumaini!" We split them up by little kids and big kids and this day I was in charge of rec and crafts class. We started rec by stretching into a big circle. They would sing "1...2....make a circle. 3...4....a big, big circle." When we stretched, I had the kids "shake it out" which pretty much meant wiggle after every stretch. They died laughing every time. We did relays and crafts for the whole day. The kids were so fascinated by the colorful markers and glue. It was so cool and refreshing to see these kids so excited about the littlest things.
One boy stood next to me. He was the tallest in grade 4. "Gino locko ninani" I asked him (what's your name?) "Brevick" he said. For some reason, that whole first day I would keep catching his eyes looking at me. Something about this little guy caught my attention - maybe it was the way we shared a countless amount of laughs together just from the meeting of our eyes on this first day together.
When we made crowns with the kids in crafts class, we were teaching them that they are all kings and queens in their own way and that they're valuable. It was the same thing all week - give them lessons in school that teach them that they mean something. It has been amazing to see the direct correlation between this type of learning and confidence on the soccer field. But hands down the best part of it all was when the kids would leave, a few would run back and say "thank you" for whatever we taught them that day then run away to the soccer field. We spent the second half of the day doing the same thing but with the older kids. By 4pm, school was over. Cue the giant soccer game.
Mr. Robinson, one of the Kenyan teachers came up to me and said "make sides lets play." I got to it. We split 11v11 WITH subs. I turned around and expected to see just the kids knocking it around but THERE. HE. WAS. Mr. Robinson running full speed ahead doing step overs at these kids. It was hilarious, jaw dropping and left me with the widest eyes and the biggest smile on my face. We played all night, teachers included. One girl, her name was Milly, was inching into the game. I knew she wanted to play but she was nervous. I took her by the hands and said "It's okay, come play. You can be on my team." She JUMPED in. Soon lots of girls were playing. One girl, Lucy was killllllling it. TOO fun.
It was this day that we sat down with Rose and asked to hear her full story. We talked for hours, learning that she started by taking one kid in, then three, then five and so on. She told me that it has been amazing to see Tumaini grow and they she is so thankful for all the incredible people that have come through to help build it. Especially our friends at the International Sports Federation. If you want to read Rose's story, told by herself, then you can find it here: