Saturday, April 7, 2012

A World Away....Happy Birthday!

    Meeting Mary in Kenya just last week gave me boat loads of insight into her personality and what makes her tick. She was the most hesitant of the three girls to approach me freely and she was so much smaller that what her Compassion photo let on.

    Here she is at age seven when I first "found" her on the website. An orphan, living with her grandmother, I knew immediately that she was "mine"

    Her photo updated several months ago to a now nine year old Mary.

    Today she turned ten and she is loved so much.

     This bag of markers, pens and pencils was her favorite gift from me. She was completely fascinated and looked at each one individually. She sniffed them, felt them and even wrote on her arm with them! We had to coax her to move on and finish opening the rest of her gifts. I am not sure why these were her favorite, but maybe it has to do with the fact that she wants to be a teacher. She also loved the school books I gave her, so maybe she recognized these gifts to be important to reaching her dreams.
    I asked her if there was anything her family needed, thinking that when I returned to the States, I would send a family gift through Compassion and specify the money go towards whatever she suggested.....maybe a goat, or food, or bedding. But Mary, in her barely a whisper voice, said she would like to have a "Form Five" English textbook, a Social Studies textbook and a composition book, since these were her most difficult subjects.
    Before leaving Kenya, you know what I did. I went straight to the textbook store by taxi and bought her the books she requested as well as an encyclopedia. I left them with a Compassion staff worker and he was to deliver them to her as soon as he could. I am an educator myself and I will do everything I can to encourage her to follow her dream of being a teacher.
                           Happy Birthday, Mary Monica!!