A Visit with Mama Emmanuel
Mama Emmanuel last year with social worker Robert.
Yesterday, I met Emmanuel for the first time at his tiny second grade classroom behind the Bondeni School.
I also met his preschool brother Shadrack at the Area 2 school. I learned today how excited the boys were just to have me take their photos.
We cross the street and head down an alleyway, turn right next to a wall, and walk past other smaller alleys on the left where tin shanties are crowded together.
The black door opens into the coach. Only one person can enter her home at a time as you have to enter and then close the door before walking into the living space. That is social worker Jackie on the coach.
We talked for a long time as she updated me on her boys, their schooling, and her living conditions. Emmanuel was the number one rated student in his class. He felt more comfortable living at home this year as his brother now lived with them because he was now going to school so he didn't have to come home to an empty house while Sofia was working. He had also been able to deal with bullies who were fighting him and a neighbor lady who had been yelling at him. He had told his mother that he was going to work even harder at school now that an American was interested in him and took his photograph.
Sofia also talked about how she wants her boys to love education and how they came home from school and did their homework each night. She told about their struggles with missing their father.
It really was a wonderful visit and she is so happy that someone has taken an interest in her life and story. I told her that I have met many people in Kenya and seen thousands and thousands of people on the streets of the slum, but now I can say that I have one special friend that somehow stood out among all the others and that I will often think of her family and if I ever have the chance to come back, I will most definitely visit her and her boys.
It was time to leave and walk back to school.
Past the dog drinking sewage water and the goats eating corn cobs in the street until we could see the Area 2 School.