I continue to love my and the people at Shalom City. With my departure date starting to approach my mind starts to wander to how i will feel leaving this place. This place that depicts much of what is wrong with the world; a place resulting from jealousy, a thirst for power, corruption and fear. Yet it equally symbolises everything that is right and good- the endurance of the human spirit, community and hope.
I've grown attached to many of the young people- as i hear their stories my heart aches. Although i will not allow myself to cry in this place- as the last thing people here need is an over emotional mzungu. There is something groaning daily within me for a better world for these people. Hope is what they cling to- hope is what i cling to- hope of a better day and life. in the middle of this waiting camp- people continue to laugh and their smiles are contagious.
Although i can not speak for all the people in this camp and dont even fully understand the experiences of those that i am closest to; for these people i feel frustration. People who have been used to another way of life. people who had been enjoying a simple life. Know everything is on hold and is on hold indefinately. Young people who had dreams and plans and a future a head of them, now wait although they do not know what it is that they are waiting for.
There are many need here... to many to explain; fresh water, food, shelter. All of them are urgent. Within all of this the thing that i fear the most is peoples spirits being broken- that they stop hoping, hat the frustration overtakes them and they surrender. Young people who had such bright futures- who had finished high schol with excellent grades; hopes of becoming doctors and accountants, of starting a small busines to care for their family, of farming the land their fathers and grandfathers had farmed- have all been stopped in their tracks. Unable to afford to continue with education, business being destroyed and land being taken. Existance now takes place within a small tent.
These people are forgotten, kenyan governement denies the magnitude and realiy of their existance. The world is busy with the next new crisis and they cntinue to wait. Wait on the miracle. And while theye are waiting theye are busy- they cultivate the land around them, they try to grow crops, they work the land for others getting Tsh 100 a day- enough to buy a small bag of flour. The cosest town costs tsh70 a luxury few afford. They are isolated. Waiting- hoping that a truck will drive up the rod with food.
Some of the donations that people have given have been put towards renovating an outshed to a place that yuong people can use. Some may wonder why put money in that direction when there are other needs and this is something that i have contemplated. THe donations would have been enough to feed 400 people for one day a drop in the ocean, amognst 14000. Something neds to be done i this area, but we decided it was best to get a base were we could educate, motivate ad care for the young people. Very basic- but in the hope that future volunteers can educate them even on clubbing together to rent a piece of land, on the risks of HIV/AIDS, to provide an alternative and relieve boredom, and to provide aspace were text books could be bought and help with education. Ths project started really well, with much excitment amonst the young people. However, frustration entered again when the previous owner of the land arrived and took all of the tin sheets and timber frm the previous structure claiming that it was not bought with the land. These materials were essential so the project is on hold momentarily- but a good foundation has been built.
I need to go although i could write on with many stories. Thank you for your prayers. I believe that even in the most remote and darkest places we find God and His light shines brightest.
You are al in my thoughts,