Walking Talking and Other Challenges

Walking Talking Maggie

Walking Talking Maggie

One of our little girls is well past the age where she should be able to walk, 2 and a quarter years. But she has been neglected, and her skinny legs are weak. She is not confident standing, yet she can stand. So I stood her up, sat ten meters from her, and waited for her to walk over to me.

It took several attempts as she wanted to sit down again, but she eventually walked, then enjoyed a good cuddle. That was Wednesday afternoon. She walked again on Thursday afternoon and Friday morning. Each time I had to stand her up and coax her from 10 meters away.

Walking with Confidence

Walking Talking Maggie

Walking Talking Maggie

Maggie is not very confident, not like many of the other children here. But she is good natured and smiles and laughs when you play with her. Hopefully she will stand up of her own accord and walk without coaxing very soon. I’ll be looking out for that!

All the other children continue to be well. The ones who were sick, sad or otherwise a cause for worry are all improving, some very quickly. It’s easy to forget sometimes that there are children with very serious health problems, and children who will need treatment for their entire lives.

Palpable Happiness

But the happiness here at Watoto Kicheko is palpable; it’s a lovely place to arrive in the morning and to spend the day. Sometimes I get impatient with the administrative work I have to do and want to march upstairs and find out who is crying and why, who is doing something they haven’t done before.

Maggie, Glory and Elinipa started babbling this week. The only noises they had been making for the past weeks and months were sobs and wails (especially Maggie, whose wail would bring tears to a statue’s eyes). But Maggie and Glory seem to be copying each other’s baa baa baa noises and Elinipa mimics some of the sounds she hears around her, such as people’s names.

UK Volunteers

Walking Talking Learning Materials

Walking Talking Learning Materials

Here at Watoto Kicheko, several volunteers from the UK have been creating a bit of artwork and some learning materials for the kids. They have also spent time trying to get the kids to creat some artwork of their own. The facepaints were a treat at first, but once the kids decided to paint their own faces, and the faces of others, some of them didn’t look quite so good!

It has been another good week, all considered. The fundraising drive for part of Careen and Rose’s hospital fees has now closed. Sadly, we only raised 40% of the $2,000 we hoped for. But we are grateful to those who contributed and thank you very much. The good news is that they both continue to do well and stay healthy, which is the important thing. We wish all our followers a lovely weekend.

By Simon Collery

Simon Collery has been an online content writer and blogger since the late 1990s, developing content for an information industry website, and later, writing about development, HIV, human rights and other subjects, mainly in East Africa. He is a co-founder of the Don't Get Stuck Collective, a group of people who write and agitate for greater recognition of non-sexually transmitted HIV and other bloodborne disease, especially through unsafe healthcare, cosmetic and traditional practices, mainly in Africa and Asia. He also blogs about media depictions of African people, unethical practices by publicly funded western institutions in African countries, mass male circumcision programs carried out in African countries using mainly US funding, and other subjects. He has a particular interest in Kenya and Tanzania.