Today I went to the soccer field to say “Ko Pango” (how are you) to the boys. The vast field was occupied by one hundred children playing their hearts out. When they saw me coming, many of them stopped their game and ran over towards me. Some wanted to feel the Mzungu’s (white person’s) hairy arms, others stared with their mouths open, and yet others wanted me to join their game.
As I walked through their “barracks”, I was taken aback at the lack of adults present. Even though there were easily 100 children in sight, I could only find 4 adults tending to other activities. Many children are orphaned by AIDS, some children have 20 brothers and sisters, and many parents have died of disease or war.
When we first came, Holly invited the boys to come into our yard to play football (soccer). They searched the entire neighborhood looking for a football, to no avail. It didn’t cross our minds that they didn’t have or couldn’t find a football to play with. A few days later we bought them one and instantly became their heroes. From that point forward our gate bell rings constantly. Within minutes of letting the first few boys in, many others stream in to join the game. We have developed relationships with a few of the boys. They bring us mangos and help water the plants to show their appreciation.