“The HEART staff”
I feel bad that I didn’t write down more about the wonderful staff who work at the HEART compound. I will tell you at least about the ones I remember.
There were several men who kept up the grounds, one who did most of the cooking, at least three different drivers and at least two women. One of the women, Joyce, made the most wonderful desserts. Her cream puffs were absolutely to die for. None of our team can forget her.
One of the drivers, William, lived in the slums with his wife and children. Since both he and his wife had jobs, they could have afforded to live outside of the slums, in a nice neighborhood, with reliable electricity and running water. Instead, he and his wife had decided it was more important to send their kids to college. So they did whatever they needed to to save money, since taking out student loans is almost unheard of in Kenya. Talking to him made me feel pretty guilty that I always figured my kids would end up paying for their own college educations.
Another one of the drivers, Willie, totally fit in as part of the team, playing with the orphans or loading the bus or hauling water when we were in the middle of nowhere. We could count on him to help out with anything. He also drove our bus into some of the most unimaginable places.
Charles, another one of the drivers, had a beautiful wife, Jane, who was a school teacher. It wasn’t until almost the end of our trip that we heard their story, so guess what? You will have to wait until then to hear more about them.
One thing was common to all of the staff, though. They were always happy and smiling and more than willing to do anything they could to help us out. In addition to all of the rest of the wonderful work which HEART was doing throughout Kenya, giving jobs to the hardworking staff at the home base was an added perk.
Another lesson in Swahili: "Jambo" is a general greeting, like hello.