15 Dec Our Homes Unite for the Holiday Season
If you’ve been following along on our journey with us, you probably remember how the Children of Hope family celebrated Christmas last year by bringing our two homes together. Our Kitalale home had traveled to Kikuyu to spend the holidays with their brothers and sisters as one big family. So naturally, we had to do the same this year as well. As a fun start to their winter break holidays, the children and staff from our Kikuyu home traveled to Kitalale to spend a whole week with them, from December 6th to the 11th.
Kikuyu Home Arrives at Kitalale
December 6th was a long-awaited day for both homes. Our Kitalale hosts took care of everything – from making sleeping arrangements and meals to organizing games and activities for the children.
As the day arrived, the Kikuyu home was greeted with traditional African songs and dances, followed by a quick prayer session. The festivities began as soon as the homes united! The children were incredibly excited to spend the evening playing some soccer and basketball, catching up with their brothers and sisters, and having a nice dinner together before heading to bed to rest up from their nine-hour journey.
Swimming, Hiking, and Exploring Parks
While the older children enjoyed exploring the different mountains and hiking trails and checking out the Kapenguria Museum, the younger children spent the day swimming together, playing fun games and activities, and exploring Lunar Park. The young ones woke up very excited for their swimming day. It was a warmer day than usual, making it the perfect weather for swimming. The children played various water games, like having a swimming competition, holding their breath underwater, doing water drills, splashing around and having fun with one another. Once the aunties and uncles helped the children dry off, they had snacks on their ride home.
The older children, as mentioned above, went for a picturesque hike to the Rift Valley area in Kapenguria. Their hearts were filled with gratitude as they marveled at God’s creation, and hiked down a beautiful waterfall. The views and sounds from the roaring river as it plunged into the valley was refreshing and memorable. Some of the children had never seen such a beautiful view on a hike before and it was so lovely to watch their faces light up.
At night, everyone huddled in to play card games, watch the world cup soccer games on TV, and bond with one another.
The children were beaming with excitement, and couldn’t wait to explore different parts of the Kitalale village. The Kitalale family was very excited to show their Kikuyu brothers and sisters around the area.
Fun Games and Activities
The fun didn’t end there! The days that followed included many games, team-building activities, scavenger hunts, hide-and-seek, and more.
The children were divided into two main teams – the eagles, and leopards. Unlike last year, the children were grouped into teams from both homes, instead of having homes compete against one another. It was delightful watching the teams strategize and come together in the spirit of the sporting games. The younger children played hide-and-seek, and both homes took part in a huge scavenger hunt around the property.
The day started with a mini-marathon which had different categories of competitors; children below the age of six were competing with each other, followed by a group of seven to 10-year-olds, teenagers, and college students. Lastly, we had staff members running the marathon as well. Points were awarded for each category. The games that followed included sports like handball, volleyball, netball, soccer, and other athletic activities.
In the evening, the children sat cozily by the fire, roasting maize and potatoes, and telling stories to one another. It was heartwarming to see all the children together, forming strong bonds and getting to know more about their brothers and sisters.
On the last night, the homes had a special feast with roasted lamb, held an award ceremony for the games, and had an evening prayer and sharing time, before saying their goodbyes to one another.
Making Memories and Saying Goodbye
After a full week of fun activities, celebrations and making memories, the Kikuyu children and staff made their way back home. Our Kitalale home was sad to see their brothers and sisters leave, but they were blessed to have this time together.
Kevin Kiplang’at, from our Kitalale home said, “This was the sweetest time of the year for me, spending time with my brothers and sisters from both homes was truly special; as I go back to school next year, memories from this will carry me through tough times.”
Grace Gathoni, from our Kikuyu home chimed in and said, “I learned so much on this trip but the biggest lesson for me was LOVE. It was written all over this trip. Every day was special, the activities were engaging and fun; no one wanted the day to end. The food was good and it was refreshing to eat something new. I will miss everything and everyone,”
Christmas is a time for being with family and friends as we celebrate the birth of Jesus. We are grateful for the opportunity to be together as one big family during this season, which was possible because of your generous support. Thank you for this opportunity from the bottom of our hearts!
Merry Christmas to you and your family!