Thursday, October 27, 2011

The Homestead of Misfit Boys

Like I mentioned in an earlier blog post, there are many OVCs around my homestead.  OVC stands for Orphan and Vulnerable Children.  This can mean that they are orphan by one or both parents, living in extreme poverty, and vulnerable to the harsh side of life.  Some are living with 10 of their siblings and cousins and being raised just by their elderly grandparent because its all they have left. 

My family has created sort of a refuge for some of these boys.  They come to eat and some sleep on the homestead on weekends and school breaks.  Behind every door I find beds and I am beginning to realize just how many of them are living here on and off.  I am starting to recognize them but I am still working on names.  They play soccer outside my hut and we are still kind of shy with each other but through simple greetings we are getting better acquainted. 

My favorite boy is named Wiseman, literally that is his name.  He is about 13 and everyone fondly calls him Bebeba (baybaya).  Whenever they yell for him is sounds like “hey Bebe” and I am reminded of that song that was uber popular about 4 years ago that goes “Hey Babe, hey Babe.”  I sing it to him whenever I see him now.  He has seen me struggle to haul my 25 liter barrels of water across the homestead and decided that he wants to help me because he can tell it’s hard for me.  Haha it is hard for me and I appreciate his help a lot.

Last night there was a soccer game on TV, Pirates vs. Sundowns.  Like eight boys show up in the doorway wanting to come in and watch.  Make (host mom) was adamant that they must bathe first after having played soccer all day in bare feet.  She had to tell them to bathe like 3 times before they went off.  As they left she shakes her head and says, “African children always dirty.  They hate to bathe, its like they are scared of the water.”  I must be an African child.  I hate bucket bathing too.

Wiseman is in the middle

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