“Meeting the Boys of Nyumba Ya Tumaini”
By Chris Donelan
August 5, 2013
The emotions and connections I experienced today can only be described in one word: Unforgettable. It was one hell of a day. We began with a delicious breakfast consisting of potatoes, sausage, toast with jam, and juicy mango. Shortly after, we were on our way to Nyumba Ya Tumaini. Our incredible day started with a tour of the facility followed by an introduction from some of the boys and the director of the home. Their stories made any story I could ever tell seem very unreal and lame. One of the boys named Gibson openly talked about his struggle on the streets of Nairobi and how he eventually ended up as a member of the home. It made me realize that in the United States, no one would ever talk so openly about something so personal. Gibson’s story touched me and made me realize how fortunate I am to have grown up with a roof over my head and three meals provided for me a day.
After the stories, we began to play name games of all sorts. These games began connections that I knew none of us would forget for the rest of our lives. Needless to say, the games we played were the result of much laughter, and the laughter I experienced gave me more joy than I had experienced in a very long time.
Next, the cleaning commenced. Unfortunately, we were short on brooms, so I joined Gibson on a walk to the hardware store. Immediately we struck up a rich conversation that covered everything from sports to a comparison of taxes in the United States vs. Kenya. When we arrived, I watched a man construct five sweeping brooms right in front of eyes. First he whittled one end of a long wooden pole. He then attached the pole to the sweeping end of the broom and nailed the two pieces together. The walk to the hardware store made me feel alive and happy and was definitely one of the high points of my day.
To conclude our amazing day, I taught a lesson on the not-so-fine points of Ultimate Frisbee. We played an intense game, even if it was somewhat of a joke. At this time I felt that we had built a stronger bond in one day than any bond I had built with people on any past mission trips. At reflection that night, it was the most incredible feeling to hear some people say that their highpoint of the day was playing Ultimate Frisbee with us.