Day 393: Glucose Drink, Continued.

by claire a. williams,

Since the Tumaini come from very sad histories, Tumaini is constantly seeking to find the balance between pulling the kids out of their pasts and making them expect better of life - bathing once a day, wearing clean clothes, combing their hair - and preventing them from feeling that they can take things like beds and three square meals for granted. This interplay comes out in everything the children do here at Tumaini, and the Hope Runs Glucose Drink is no exception.

Hope Runs has negative money. The few, amazingly kind donations we have received are being funneled immediately into the partially reduced marathon fees for the kids next month at Mt. Kenya, the transport to get the two hours there, and the lodging for the night before the race due to an early start time and bad Kenyan roads.

Although we had been trying for months to get Tusk Trust, a UK Charity that runs the Mt. Kenya marathon, to waive the fees for the children, it took our upcoming article in Runner's World to get some action. The journalist contacted them, and we are grateful that fifteen of our twenty one marathoners will now be getting in for half price for Kenyans (about 23 dollars, as opposed to 46). Meanwhile, Lara and I will each be paying the whopping international entrance price of 300 dollars each.

Given such constraints, and our desire to buy t-shirts for the kids in commemoration, we do not have the money to buy anything like a Glucose Drink for kids on long run days. So, being the tightwad I am, I found some recipes online.

This is how the dreaded Glucose Drink comes about. On long run days, at the same time as the 24 tiny children crowd the little Lara and Claire kitchen popping dried maize kernels (cheaper than popcorn), they also get a massive bucket, fill it with water, and put in varied amounts of the following complex ingredients:

Tea bags
Food coloring

Lara and I swear the Glucose Drink really isn't that bad. However, the children - the same ones who have to be yelled at for picking through our trash and eating moldy bread - truly, truly hate it. In fact, they will do anything not to drink the Glucose Drink. Today, as I tried to get some of the littlest littles to down more of it hours after the run had ended and half a bucket remained, one kind 8 year old was elected spokesman to tell me, simply:

"That, that NINI*, no one likes that."

And these are the children that fight to eat strands of my blond hair, because Lara with her sick sense of humor told them mzungu hair tastes like candy.

*catch all word for "thing" - used all the time

1 comment:

Allie said...

I too always thought that blond hair tastes like candy?

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