I made it through a night full of interrupted sleep, and took my shower in very brown water. As I got ready for the day, a children's song kept running through my brain:
"Oh be thankful for the good things that you've got.
The good things that you've got
Are for many just a dream.
So be thankful for the good things that you've got."
After breakfast, we climbed in a bajaj to head to Foten Children's Center. When we arrived, we discovered that our job of turning the home into a full-care center for orphaned and displaced children was going to be much bigger than we had originally planned. The home was an empty shell of a building with large open walls and windows, and although it had great potential, it was nowhere near ready to receive children. But in Africa, you learn to roll with whatever comes your way and adjust accordingly. So Kiersten set plans in motion to accomplish our goal by purchasing supplies and hiring local laborers to partition the space into 3 bedrooms...one for boys, one for girls, and one for infants. She had masonry plans drafted for filling in some of the gaping walls, worked on plans for building a bathroom for the children, and hired a metal worker to construct windows.
The men purchased some paint, so Kerri and I unpacked our painting supplies and got to work putting a green color on the bare cement walls. It immediately brightened up the place, and soon, several people from the village showed up and volunteered their services. They were all amazed with our paint rollers, and each wanted to take a turn using them. We got the first coat finished quickly!
Some village boys came to watch, so I showed them pictures of my boys and their birth family as well. They knew exactly who they were, and even though they understood no English, I wondered if I wasn't looking at some of Jalen and Jordan's old friends. I gave them each a piece of gum, and they were thrilled.
Other village children showed up, curious what the white people were up to. Some ventured close, while others ran away squealing when we looked at them. We went back to the Baro hotel for lunch, and then continued painting at Foten for the rest of the afternoon.
Gambella is full of very tall people. Oto, the man in the orange shirt below, told me that he is short, and the boy on the right wearing the "BOY" hat is just "medium-tall." Ok, then......I guess I would consider 6 ft. 7 in. to be just plain tall. There are lots of 7 ft. men roaming the streets, though...
I let it run for 15 minutes or so, and the coffee color slowly dissipated to a light brown. I showered in the frigid water, but didn't feel any more clean afterward. I journaled, read my book, and went to bed.