By Amy Paulson (Reposted from The Gracias Foundation, now called Global Gratitude Alliance)
Arriving at Maisha Children’s Home is always a fun adventure. Sheets of rain poured down over Ruai, so by the time I arrived kids, dogs, cats, and aunties were scattered everywhere, trying to avoid getting wet while getting yelled at to take their muddy shoes off before entering the house. (Tomorrow morning will be spent mopping the mud-tracked floors).
After hugs and high fives from all the kids and staff, I got straight to unpacking and distributing all the donations for the kids (generously provided by super ambassador, Giulio, the Lego Foundation, and a handful of other Gracias activists):
• Kids’ magazines
• And, of course, the famous Legos – about 5 XXL vacuum packed bags, along with containers to store them in.
The kids went straight for the books, unsure of what to do with the Legos.
A little later, after a quick and tasty meal of rice and potatoes, one of the kids finally looked at the airplane Lego parts and asked me if I knew how to build one. “Uh yeah, sure”; when I was a kid there weren't any fancy airplane kits, just the standard red and yellow bricks. I got started and was soon scratching my head trying to figure out how to build a cockpit, so I had to get the kids to take over! Within seconds, all the kids were fully engaged, digging through the pieces, building bridges, putting little plastic hair on little plastic heads, and ironically, putting together Harry Potter Lego sets while watching the Harry Potter DVD. Even the littlest one was so proud of himself for building a tower – calling my name after adding each brick so I could see how great his building skills were.
One of the kids – a 14 year old who wants to be an engineer and who fixes all the electronics when they are broken – starting looking at all the little pieces, the non-brick parts which join things together or act as steering wheels, flag poles and handlebars.
“I’m going to build a helicopter,” he said. “I am an engineer. I can build anything…”
He started putting a few pieces together and soon had something that resembled a satellite. Then, turning around, he saw that the other 2 oldest teenage boys (16 and 17 years old) were retiring to their sleeping “shed” to hang out.
“… but not today, tomorrow” he decided, and followed suit.
I can’t wait to see tomorrow’s creation.