Meet little John. He is two years old but when you first look at his tiny little body you would think him younger than a year. Yet when he stands on his own power and wobbles toward you, your heart melts and you realize that he is older than he looks.
There is a reason why John is so little. When his parents died of AIDS leaving their HIV positive baby behind, the rest of John’s family rejected him. Not knowing what else to do, his grandfather brought him to El-Shaddai Hope Center for Orphans. Although John’s medical record is quite important, the family has not provided the promised information. Though malnourished and tiny, the orphanage took him in and through loving care has nursed him back to health.
I met President Barak Obama’s grandmother in a village in Kenya. She is a gracious 86 year-old woman who says that she loves receiving the visitors that her grandson’s fame brings her way. My Kenyan friends met her several years ago and wanted to take me to meet her. Realizing how unique this opportunity was I readily agreed.
While pulling up to the front gate of her home, I did not know what to expect. On the one hand it seemed that she should have a better situation than most for this area of Kenya but on the other maybe it was fitting that her humble home and life fit so naturally into her local context.
They say that home is where the heart is but my heart is in many places. I guess this means that my home is where I reside among the hospitable. I have now been adopted by two Kenyan families. Meet my lovely Luo family as you accompany me into life in the Kenyan village of Manuanda.
Sad to leave Uganda amidst violent riots, I took heart by anticipating what the final leg of my trip would bring. During my last trip to East Africa I spent the largest portion of my time in Kenya so I have friends and organizations there that I’ve long hoped to revisit. It was a wonderful feeling to get off the bus in Kisumu and to know that the rest of the trip I would be with Kenyan friends.