Day 466: Emma Jesus

by claire a. williams

Before Paul and Stephanie returned to the USA last week after a year in
Kenya, we discussed the fact that we all needed to go through a particular
brand of detox in which we stopped staring when we saw white people. Since I
still have ten days to go in Kenya, though, I can still be shocked and
comment incessantly on it when whities appear.

Today, in another "if you're white-d your invited" (another vestige of the
Paul and Stephanie era) tea time, we met a whole slew of white people who
came to visit Tumaini. They were from a church in Laguna Beach, and I saw at
least one pair of designer shoes. It felt very un-Tumaini.

At church, they made a big deal about the white people, as they always do if
white people materialize. They added up the offering the white people gave
and compared it to the Tumaini offering (shockingly 20 white people gave
more than our dear urphins) and then talked a lot about "communication
barriers" in Kenya, and how somehow this led to Tumaini to believe the white
people were coming on the 8th of August, and not the 5th. I believe this
meant Tumaini forgot to check their email.

After church, and after the white tea, the white people then did a very nice
thing. And something far better than I've seen other white people do when
they come through here. They brought bears.

Apparently the children in their church in Laguna Beach spent a week making
felt bear dolls for the primary kids here - some 100 of them in total. The
thought was nice, the dolls were cute, and the slightly poorly sewn (Laguna
Beach children were making them after all, and Laguna Beach isn't known for
its child labor) nature of them was the cutest.

When they passed them out, the kids loved them. Mary Gaptooth was the first
in line, and although she looked mildly confused for about a minute when the
green felt thing was plopped into her arms, her face soon lit up with her
trademark dentally problematic smile.

This afternoon, Mary has been keeping me company as I do work in the
computer room (she has been busy picking up small scraps of litter, reading
a Runner's World magazine, and playing with her new doll). After much
thought, she says, she decided to name her doll after one of our fine white
volunteers who is departing tomorrow: Emma. But the doll is not only named
after Emma though, as Mary also wanted to pay tribute to our dear lord and
savior in naming her only doll.

The doll's full name, people, is Emma Jesus.
Sent using the Microsoft Entourage 2004 for Mac Test Drive.


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Rae! said...

WEll sounds like you had a interesting day.

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