Cristina (2/7)

    “When COVID started we were all so far from home and so removed from regular news and media that we didn’t even consider that the situation might become severe. There were whispers of it starting around kenya and sometimes when Kenyans saw us foreigners on the street they’d cover their mouths and walk further away. But the day we were told we were not allowed to go to the orphanage came as a complete shock. I spent my days making lesson plans and activities thinking I’d be back in a couple of days. I never saw the kids again, and I never got to say goodbye. For 2 weeks we sat and quarantined in the house as volunteers trickled out and soon there were only 6 of us. We were told one morning that we all needed to find flights back to our respective homelands within the next 3 days because with no influx of volunteers and income they would not be able to accommodate us if we got stuck there. On my way to the airport I convinced our driver to stop at Dorcas where I planned to drop off a bag filled with supplies and lesson plans for each child in my class. I wrote them a note saying goodbye, which I still don’t know if they received. When I knocked on the gate I was met with one of the teachers who had on a face mask and rubber gloves specifically to meet me. I handed over the bag and tried to explain tearfully what should be done with it. I could hear that all the kids were in the largest classroom singing a song together. One child, Victoria, had run out to use the bathroom and caught a glimpse of me and tried to run up but she was told to go back inside. She waved at me sort of confused and turned around. My heart really broke at that moment. I cried the whole way to the airport. Now it’s been almost 3 years and it finally looks like I’ll be able to go back soon. I don’t know which of the kids will still be there or if they will even remember me but I am so excited to go back.”

    We Still
    Alive

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