October 16th 2009
Growing up in Kenya, I had experienced fruit fights and water fights. Tropical fruits like mangoes, avocadoes, bananas, plums, oranges, passion fruits etc, were usually our weapons of fun. Everyone in our neighborhood grew them in plenty and so there was always an extra overripe one to throw at a friend. There were also homemade bombs for our enemies__ for neighborhood bullies especially. This is how we made them (Kindly don’t share this secret recipe). We gathered rotten eggs (sometimes we had to lift the chicken as they were sitting on them to hatch) and ashes. We put two eggs and a handful of ashes into a thin plastic bag and tied a knot to close the open end and the bomb was done. We shadowed the selected bully (I won’t mention names) then attacked from all corners with our bombs. They would explode on their faces and then we would run. The end result: an egg-ash faced smelling bully. What a joy we had!
We had Miss Megan’s birthday on Thursday and I bought a cake to share with our kids. We (the kids and I) planned to surprise her so we hid the cake in a different room and covered it well. We acted ‘normal’ when she came in, i.e. kids sang ‘happy birthday’ and gave her cards that we had made the previous day in her absence. She didn’t suspect anything. The kids did their homework and did not even whisper to each other mysteriously.
After homework time, all the kids followed me to the room to get the cake. Ms Megan was busy pinning their days’ point on to the chart so she didn’t notice we were away until we came in with the cake. She was genuinely surprised and overwhelmed. In the course of sharing the cake, Emmanuel, one of my favorites (all of them are really) ‘accidentally’ smeared Miss Megan’s face with some icing. She was at first stunned, then amused. Her response__ smearing back, brought fun-chaos (as I like to call them) and within seconds of the initial attack, all kids were ‘caking’ each other in the face. I got busy documenting such a hilarious moment; for my days at Urban Promise are made of these moments, which remind me so much of my childhood’s setting, though it is an ocean away.
Emmanuel helped clean up after there were peace talks between Ms Megan and the kids and there was cease fire; for as much as we also have fun at camp, we also teach values such as cleanliness!
By Winfred Kiunga