My lasting memory of our 15 days in the Good Life orphanage will most definitely be the welcome we received on arrival. It was so special. We were greeted at the gate by what appeared to be all 60 children with their Mamas & Aunties. Everyone was dressed beautifully, singing and dancing and throwing flower petals in our path. The rhythm and beat of the music was enchanting. Every one of us was encouraged to join in the dancing and singing. It was one song after another. The heat was unbelievable; 36-38 degrees! I kept thinking these children are going to collapse in the heat. They didn’t even work up a sweat. I can’t say the same about myself though. My face so red it could have powered a lighthouse! Thank you everyone for such a great memory.

GLO Welcome

On this very same day Fionnaulaugh who was at The GLO for 3.5 years was leaving as she had been adopted by a lady from an area about an hour away. This was the second child to leave the orphanage through adoption and whilst it was a very sad time for all involved it was wonderful to witness the send-off little Fionnaulaugh received. As everyone lined up from her home to the awaiting car, she was carried, bounced stretched through the line of people. Each person young, old, visitors and friends were all given the opportunity to give her their blessing and say their good byes. This is Kenyans’ traditional way and young Fionnaulaugh took it in her stride. There were tears shed of sadness but also tears of joy knowing that she was being given the opportunity of being brought up in a loving home with a mother she could call her own. Fionnaulaugh’s new mum seemed so happy to have a child and thanked and blessed everyone. She has promised to return with her on the 17th March when the opening of the new school takes place. Please God she will continue to receive as must kindness in her new home and will remember the Good Life Orphanage as the place where she first experienced love.

Pat passes Fionnghuala along

Volunteers Tower

We then were shown around the orphanage, the attached primary school the “tower” which was to be our home throughout our stay and finally David who manages the Farm showed us the wonderful 1.5 acres “Shamba” which is the Kswahili word for farm. At the moment they have a small house for 100 laying hens but David & Mercy presented us with a business plan showing how much more profit the “shamba” would make if they extended the existing Layers House and bought another 300 hens. It was then decided by the volunteers that arrived from Co.Tyrone including myself that this was a very good proposition and the money we raised by various events throughout Northern Ireland would be used for this. Any surplus eggs will be sold to the local villagers at a reduced rate and the increased profits will be used to help with the day to day running of the GLO which at the moment is costing approximately about £3,500 per month.

Pat overseeing new house

On Monday morning Pat ,Marie’s husband who is on his 3rd visit and is an experienced builder, lined out the area and over the next 2 days the foundations were dug out by men with shovels and a smile and before long the laying of the foundations began. Not a machine insight! It was great seeing how the money was being put to such practical use.