Richard and Enok

Eliciting Smiles: a Good Week All Round

When it comes to eliciting smiles, last week must have been one of the best in recent months. Not only did Margaret, our newest arrival, start smiling (and has continued doing so), but Elinipa also returned from hospital after 9 days there. She is now able to take part in games, enjoy her food and interact with the other kids, which she hadn’t been doing for some time.

Eliciting Smiles from Richard and Glory

Eliciting smiles from Richard

Eliciting smiles from Richard

Later in the week one of our very serious little crawlers, Richard, was also caught smiling. He has big, round eyes and it’s hard to get him to smile, so it was lovely to see. Then Glory’s mood changed, and she’s been much more cheerful than I’ve ever seen her. Eliciting smiles from her is challenging. She doesn’t usually play with the other kids, or even with the adults. But maybe she will cheer up even more once she learns to walk, which should be soon.

All 25 of the kids at Watoto Kicheko are at home. Even Careen and Rose, who have spent more of their lives in hospital than out, are doing well. Rose has been putting on weight, albeit slowly, which is wonderful to hear. She is spending more time awake and watching the comings and goings in the sitting room of the director, whose house she is staying in at the moment. The next task will be eliciting smiles from them, although they are still very small!

Eliciting Smiles all Week

Eliciting smiles from Margaret

Eliciting smiles from Margaret

So it’s worth celebrating these happy circumstances. There are three volunteers from the UK and they are teaching the kids songs, playing games with them, doing drawing and craft work and generally keeping them busy. The kids are happy, of course, but the most gratifying thing is seeing kids who normally find things difficult gradually adjusting to their surroundings.

Watoto Kicheko is a very happy place, as it should be. But sometimes kids may come here with illnesses, especially malnutrition, so it can take them a bit of time, and often a bit of medical care, too. Others may have been neglected, often because those caring for them have to work for a living and can not spend enough time with their children.

Finally, there are only 9 days left in our campaign to raise $2,000 to pay Rose and Careen’s hospital bills. This is just a fraction of the overall cost, and we have still only raised 40%, $600. So if you, or anyone you know, can donate something, please do sThe care and treatment have already been given and the girls are well, but we can not provide the neediest kids with lifesaving care without the kindness and generosity of our donors and sponsors.

Girl twin 1

Laughter Hugs Smiles: Welcome to Work

Laughter hugs smiles and a lot of shouting and roaring greeted me when I arrived at work this morning, accompanied by my son. I was hardly able to walk with so many kids attached to my legs. My son wasn’t even allowed to take his shoes off before being hauled off to play.

Three New Children in the Last Week!

New girl twin at Watoto Kicheko

Laughter, hugs and smiles at Watoto Kicheko

First, I had to see the new arrivals, four month old girl twins, Lena and Linda. No one here knows which one is which, although one is noticeably darker than the other (I was later told that the first one below is Linda and the second is Lena, but that may need to be verified!). They are both smilers, needing only a little encouragement. They can add to the mix of laughter hugs smiles and fun!

Baby Neema, who was sick at the end of last week, has made a quick recovery and is smiling already this morning. All the other kids are well and happy, which is all you can ask for. Colin, who arrived on Thursday, is doing very well, having taken no time whatsoever to settle in.

Even Rose, who has spent a lot of time in hospital, should be coming home in the next few days. Her friend Careen, who also spent time in hospital, is much better, and is getting mounds of attention from the many people around her.

Girl twin 2

Laughter, hugs and smiles from the second twin

Adding to the laughter hugs smiles and general mayhem, the carers are working hard to keep everyone healthy, happy and entertained. It’s quite a job. I can come and go, spending some of my time in the office (or under the mango tree, where I can sometimes get an internet connection), but even that can be exhausting.

Sending you Laughter Hugs Smiles and Kisses

There will be updates on Facebook and Twitter, as well as here on the blog, and photos will be posted when the connection permits. Meanwhile, the children and adults at Watoto Kicheko wish you all a great week, with plenty of laughter, hugs, smiles, kisses and other good things!