The Urban Wanderer

Crossing Borders ~ Bridging Cultures ~ Traveling Responsibly

The Babies of Africa

This post was originally from January 29, 2008

Hello habari za leo?

Things are still going great here in Tanzania. I just enjoy every minute. All the other volunteers are amazing and I am making some really special friends. Part of this group goes home at the end of the week which sucks…but my turn is quickly approaching.
The other day I went back to Kili Kids Orphanage with a few of my friends. We made masks with them out of paper plates and all the fun things we brought from home. These kids have nothing, so doing these activities is like going to Disneyland for them. One of the kids named Michael took a special liking to me. He is the most outgoing 10 year old and loves to dance with me. We sang together and he taught me a song “yes, we are happy, yes we are happy”… He just sat with me and we drew pictures for each other. Before we left that night he got one of the workers to translate for him. He asked me if he could come home with me. This nearly broke my heart….but not nearly as much as when I heard his story. He is here with his two younger brothers.  His mom died of AIDS and the three children were living just with their father. One day his father found out that he too was HIV positive so he slit his throat. Michael found his father dead on the floor and two days later someone found Michael crying with the father’s body. He had sat with his father for 2 whole days before anyone found him. This is so heart wrenching…and this boy comes across so happy. He is a strong little nugget.

A few of the other little girls there have been raped as babies and you can tell they are just not socially normal. We can’t even begin to comprehend what goes on in the lives of so many children. It is a nightmare.1934096_22078855433_2352_n
But let’s change topics…on to a lighter note. Tanzanians name their kids some pretty whacked out things!!!! Names like Forget, Godwilling, Loveness, and here is a doozey—are you ready?  US Dollar Bill. No word of a lie—US Dollar Bill!!!! The only thing that could possibly top that one is Japanese Yen!!! Oh why mom and dad did you not name me Peso???
Tomorrow we are probably heading to Arusha to watch the Rwanda War Crime Tribunal. This is where they are literally prosecuting those who were involved in the massacre in 1994. I say probably because this depends on the UN if there are any trials. We won’t know until we get there. It should be fascinating though.
And on Friday me and another friend are heading to the island of Zanzibar for some R&R.
Well, that is all for now…

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