Saturday, 1 September 2012

Time Flies When You Don't Hold It Tight With Both Hands

This is the first August in four years that I haven't been in Kenya. It leaves some empty space in my heart and this tugging ache of guilt in my gut. 

"But it is August, why do you not come Kenya?"

How can someone explain to a child that him being in School is the reason I cannot be with him? Dossi's fees have run me into the ground this year. Whilst moving him to boarding school was a necessity, the excitement and joy on both our parts shaded the real responsibility I was now carrying. 

£1200 may not seem a lot of money over a year, especially when it is covering everything a child could possibly need. But with the expenses post-uni life bring and the lack of work in this economic climate, the bills add up. At 22 I never thought I would be picking between a child staying in school, and me buying food. 

So June passed, July ran away with itself and soon August had crept upon me and I was waiting with baited breath knowing Dossi would be calling with his school list.  Never had I fully understood the weight on a Parents shoulders to give a child everything they desire- but to not be able to give the basics? I felt like a complete failure. I was not with him and I do not have the funds for him, everyday the guilt grew but I had no idea how to amount the £300 I needed. 

I am not a wholly religious person. I believe in a bigger presence and I talk to God, however I do not attend Church regularly and, I admit, I question faith at times. And then a few weeks ago something, I can call no less than a miracle, landed in my Inbox. A man I had met on my first trip in Kenya- almost five years ago now, a man I have had no current contact with- had somehow come across my ramblings and wanted to help. "£300 to keep him in school? Where can I send the money." His words were surreal and I sat mesmerized wondering what I had done to deserve this. 

" I remember how much you cared about those kids in Kenya, and some of the tough conditions on the streets...I'm happy to help, if it means helping this kid stay on a good path."

It may seem strange to say I do not realize the enormity of this work, but to me it is my purpose. So to have someone, who only saw me at the beginning of my journey, see the enormity of the problem and grace me and my work with such faith was incredibly humbling. Not to mention helped stoke the fire I have within me to continue and evolve it.

So this Month has been emotionally very tiring, I have not coped so well with the physical distance between me and Dossi, it is the longest we have ever been apart. It is easy to push to the back of your mind, till friends return and send photos. How did this little boy- who sobbed in my car on his first day of school- turn into the young man I see in this image? How can I be missing this? I just have to remind myself- proven only more to me by the huge generosity I have seen this month- that his education and life must come first. He has only one chance at that, but me and him? We have a lifetime to make memories.

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