One of Them

It’s a funny thing, moving to a new place and figuring out where you fit in.


I’ve been here for almost two weeks and already things feel different..things are starting to feel normal. My room at the orphanage is feeling like it’s really mine; with every night that passes I wake up feeling more and more at home. Feeling more comfortable falling asleep at night. Well, except falling asleep at the orphanage means falling asleep to the sound of both crickets and monkeys outside my window. Ha, never would I have thought that monkeys would become a new normal for me.

(This photo is totally unrelated but I like it and like these girls very very much)

In the past two weeks I have taken one, yes one, warm shower. There is no such thing as a hot shower at the orphanage but I am learning to appreciated even the lukewarm/slightly cold showers.


Lets just talk about water for a second. It’s something I have taken for granted for well, all of my life. Something I didn’t really think I would have to worry about. Well, water comes and goes on a regular basis over here. The water runs out on a nightly basis but usually returns by morning. Last week we went three days without running water. That also means I went three days without a real shower. It also means I was about one day away from losing my mind. I don’t know if I would call myself high maintenance (maybe I should though?) but showering is definitely a necessity for me..especially living with the red dirt of Kenya that somehow seems to cover every surface of your body within minutes of walking outside. I do love the red dirt, I just don’t love crawling into bed with it still on me.

It’s a dog eat dog world when the water returns; every man for himself.

The other day when the water returned and Uncle Gilbert made the announcement, it was literally a race to get to your shower first. Being a faster runner than the girls didn’t help me much considering I had two locks to unlock to get into my room. I have never undressed and showered so quickly in my life. It may have been the coldest shower I have ever taken but it was also one of the best. Never in my life have I been so beyond overjoyed to take a shower. (Showering is always such a not only takes a lifetime to wash my hair but it takes a lifetime to then brush it and then do something with it. Oh long hair in Kenya, you are far too much work. But we can save that for another conversation for another day.)


That race to the shower is one of those moments I will never forget. It was the moment that I realized I am one of them. I am no longer just a guest who comes and goes. I am no longer just Kiki who likes to visit. I’m Kiki who lives with them. Kiki who, just like them, fights for the water.


Mmm, I am one of them.

I live here.

I have a place.

I have a purpose.







I loved reading this!! You are doing wonderful things and will always cherish this time when you were one of them!! Thanks for sharing.

I loved reading this Kiara! …and I love you too. your spirit, your selflessness, all of you!! XOXO Give Michelle a hug for me! She will have a package coming very soon!


Sounds like a ceremonial hair cut may be the final cross-over for ya. 🙂


I just started following your blog – please keep writing, I love hearing your stories about the girls and your adventures!

Your stories really puts things in perspective for me, all of a sudden my 1st world problems seem truly unimportant, thank you for that!

Keep up the great work!


Great post!!!!


Yes, Kiara, many of us have taken for granted many things in our lives, water probably being one at the top of the list. I’m glad that the water came back after 3 days!!! Thinking of you.

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