rainy day woman
Saturday morning, 7 a.m., I was still in bed. My roommate, Emily, and I were discussing whether or not we really wanted to attempt running in the muddy, rocky roads surrounding our house.
My phone began vibrating again, and I reached for it with decided hatred. But, it was not my alarm. It was Jack, calling at 7 a.m. And his voice was very cheery.
“Good morning, Kristen! How are you this morning?”
He informed me that he was already downtown, and heading to visit the Riverside boys. I assured him that it “couldn’t take long” for me to reach there, and I rolled out of bed, dressed in yesterday’s clothes, and ran to the matatu stop. I got to town fairly quickly, and caught the next matatu for Riverside. As I alighted, a little less than a mile from Riverside, it began to rain. And then it began to pour.
So I ran to Riverside, without a coat, and without an umbrella. As I stepped into the street, I found myself ankle-deep in a brownish shade of water. Just then, a semi sped past, drenching me with more water. When I arrived at the usual hotel, I found no one. The waitress said, “Jack, he’s across the street, at the base by the river!” So I ran back across the river-street. I found a couple boys, but no Jack.
So I stood in the rain, shouting across the river, “JACK, YUKO WAPI?” One of the boys said, “In the hotel!” Of course.
“HAPANA!” I yelled. So one of them climbed over the bridge and held my hand as we ran-swam back across the street back to the hotel. We found three or four boys waiting for us, and they escorted us to a different hotel, about 20 meters away.
By then, we were all soaking wet, but happy. When I entered, it felt a bit like coming home. More than 30 street boys sat together in the warm tin shack, drinking chai out of plastic mugs and eating chapati and mandazi. “KRISTINE!” some of them shouted, smiling, and made way for me to sit down by the stove.
It’s a small, small thing, but these are boys that know me now. They forgive me for not showing up when I told them I would. They order chai for me, and make sure I’m not being ripped off when I pay. They are patient with my Swahili, and quick to help me stay out of trouble. They will walk with me in the streets, and hold my hand. These boys are slowly, slowly becoming my family, here.
Please, now, pray with me that things begin to come together quickly at Ridgeways. That we can begin finding a way off of the street for these boys, and that God will provide the means and the plans.