A Final Party

12 07 2012


On Monday afternoon Mama na Dada threw a party and I can confidently say they know how to do it well! We were celebrating several things: our time here and saying goodbye, the harvest, the approaching end of the term, and the opening of Mama na Dada’s new dining hall. The guardians began arriving around 2 even though we were told it wouldn’t be until 3 or 4. African time doesn’t apply to parties I guess. The kids enjoyed soda and biscuits to hold them over since lunch was going to be very late. A group of the guardians were making chapattis in the back room of the new kitchen. Elizabeth wanted us to try one since she had one of ours the day before. I have to say, even after making chapatti every Sunday afternoon, hers still blow ours out of the water (although, I must say ours have gotten significantly better and are good).

While waiting for the food to be ready and for the party to officially start, we played with the kids for an hour or so. It was a lot of fun to just enjoy their presence without a care in the world. I also finally got some pictures with them. It was awesome seeing almost all of our friends from Kunya gathered in one place! It really made me realize how much I have come to love all of the people here.

Around 3 or 3:30, Joyce officially started the party by welcoming everyone. We ate at the beginning since it was starting to get late. The kids all ate first, officially opening the new kitchen! Having the serving surface with a sink right next to the counter is a huge upgrade from using the table in the classroom to serve and a bucket outside to wash hands. Since the party was to thank us, we ate next. The food was absolutely incredible! We had beef, chapatti, rice, lentils, and sukumawiki. It was a feast! I joined Susan and all of the other women helping her cook and serve for the day who were dancing while finishing eating and starting to dishes. They had brought out speakers, so everyone was enjoying the music.

After everyone had eaten, the harvest was celebrated. Each guardian brought something from their gardens as a thanksgiving offering. Eggs, lentils, mangos, and maize were all common offerings. We were given bags of lentil and groundnuts as gifts of thanks which was very unexpected but nice. While Joyce was collecting all of the items, the women were all singing and dancing led by our dear friend Cinderella. They were all so spirited! It was awesome seeing how everyone present could come together for the songs!

Then, we were given the chance to thank the guardians, kids, and Mama na Dada staff for making our time here so incredible. We each said something small, but I don’t think words adequately embodied our gratitude. One of the mothers, one of the health workers, two of the kids, and Tina all thanked us and we were each given a little book of cards the kids had made for us. They are all so cute!

With the official program over, people slowly wandered out after a little dancing. I had so much fun dancing with the kids and it was the perfect end to a great party! I was so grateful to have been given the chance to say goodbye to everyone (even though we weren’t leaving for two more days) and spent one last memorable afternoon together.  Mama na Dada sent us out with a bang!





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