Kelly Garber

Full Hearts, Can’t Lose

You might have guessed that the reason I haven’t been writing lately is because I a) ate myself into a falafel coma, b) wanted to leave you with a frustrating cliffhanger, or c) couldn’t type because my hands were sore from doing massive amount of arts and crafts. While C is partially true, the real reason for my lack of communication is that I’ve been too darn busy having a fantastic time!

You may recall that I said I was eating most of my meals with a 6-year-old girl, Tendo from Uganda, and her mother. I’m happy to report that Tendo was called in for surgery shortly after my last blog post, so she is now recovering! This, however, means that Tendo and her mother have been in the hospital (completely normal) and haven’t been able to provide me with three giant meals per day. Fortunately, Mamas from other countries have taken me under their wings and have continually served me large amounts of food. I have had the opportunity to eat with countries such as Ethiopia, Kenya, Somaliland, Tanzania, and Zanzibar. One thing they all have in common: their love for rice. Good thing I like rice! Also, one of the moms from Tanzania noticed that I really like pasta. She watched one night as I made my own pasta sauce. Since that night, she frequently makes the sauce the same way just for me! So sweet!

Last week we had a very special visitor at SACH…THE PRESIDENT OF KENYA! He was visiting Israel and made a special stop at SACH to see the children from Kenya (and see where past Kenyan children have been treated). I was told to wait at the hospital with Dinah, a 7 year-old from Kenya, and to introduce her upon his arrival. Well, let’s just say, I didn’t get a chance to introduce her… Things were CRAZY! Mr. Uhuru Kenyatta (Side note: I love that his last name has the word “Kenya” in it!) was accompanied by a giant entourage of almost 50 people! Crazy! And even crazier, I got to meet him and shake his hand! I also think I might have impressed him with my Swahili. Not sure why he seemed surprised that a white, blonde girl was talking to him in Swahili

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Anyways, in case meeting the president of Kenya wasn’t cool enough, I’m in (the background of) a picture that Mr. Kenyatta tweeted and a Kenyan newspaper published!!

I’ll finish up by sayinng that I’m now in my last week here at SACH. I leave for America on Saturday night and while I’m looking forward to the comfort of my bed and the snuggles of my puppies, I’m dreading saying goodbye to the children and mothers here. Living in the house with everyone is such a unique experience that has allowed me to get unbelievably close to everyone. The thought of saying goodbye is literally breaking my heart right now. I’ve offered to take a few of the kids to America, but for some reason, their mothers don’t seem 100% sold on the idea. Fortunately, I have a plan b: put the smallest kids in my backpack and if I get rid of some clothes, I can probably fit three of the bigger kids in my suitcase.. Just kiddingggggg! But for real, they’re adorable and I never want to say goodbye!

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Dawit from Ethiopia taking his first steps!

But for now, I’ll say goodbye to you and wish you a pleasant day filled with smiles, sunshine, and sugar cookies!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Baby Dawit from Ethiopia is learning to walk! (This picture was taken by one of the kids and I love it! I think we have some budding photographers!)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’ve had a few chances to visit children in the hospital, which is always fun! The kids love visitors with familiar faces (especially those who bring new activities. Cough cough me.). I was honored that Tendo (in the top picture) asked me to escort her to the operating room to wait for the anesthesiologist… I’m still not sure if she actually wanted me there or just wanted my phone so she could play Temple Run and go on Snapchat. I also got to spend time putting crafts together with Dinah (in the bottom picture) who was modeling the fancy hospital pajamas.

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