We hosted another weekly movie night last night, which I think was definitely the most successful so far. Not only did we have just one technical glitch (as opposed to several the past two weeks), but by the end of the movie, the kids were on their feet cheering, clapping, and yelling for the heroes.
It's difficult to pick a movie that suits kids ages 5-20, and we learned that last week when we watched "The Princess and the Frog." While this is one of my absolute favorite movies, the secondary kids are "too cool" for cartoons, so they didn't really like it. The little ones loved it, but with this week's movie, we had a success.
One of the older boys told us that he had an African movie we could watch- it was a Nigerian film that he promised was fine for all ages. When we asked him what it was about, we got a vague answer: "Um, it's about the power of God or something." Oh, okay...
So we came prepared with backup, because this movie situation sounded a little sketchy to us. Luckily we mentioned the Nigerian film to the Friars before we left, and Fr. Kevin told us that there was a small DVD library in his office that we were welcome to look through, and thankfully we took him up on that offer. We picked out two movies: "Rudy," about the Notre Dame football team, and "The Chronicles of Narnia." We showed the movies to the older kids when we got to school, and the boys picked out Narnia- we told them it had action in it, which was what made it so appealing I think. The lion on the cover also probably had something to do with it.
The kids absolutely LOVED Narnia. They were cracking up at the smallest things like the talking animals and physical comedy, and when something popped out from behind a curtain or wall, the entire room jumped backwards and screamed. When one of the characters insulted one that they loved or did something they didn't like, they all yelled "hey!" right at the screen, and when Aslan defeated the White Witch in the end they were on their feet clapping and cheering- Sister Mary said that she could hear them all the way in the convent, and she couldn't wait to watch the movie to see what it was all about.
It's so cool that the dining hall/chapel/classroom transforms into a movie theatre every Saturday night. We hang a white bedsheet across some reed mats, pull the benches and chairs up to the front, and voila, you have a movie theatre (without the sticky floors or stale popcorn). The kids have gotten into a routine now- when they see us they ask what they'll be watching on Saturday, and they love their new tradition. It's a great community builder for them too, and we're lucky to be included in that. Last night, two of the older boys who live over on the Dominican compound waited for us to finish packing up so that they could walk us back. It was good to talk to them and get to know them a little better, and it was so kind of them to wait for us (so we didn't need to ask the eskaris from the school to walk us back like we usually do)!
As I write this, I'm faced with the fact that this time next week, I'll be sitting in the Kisumu airport waiting for my plane to Nairobi. While I miss my family (and American food!) a lot, and I'm SO excited to be in Nairobi and go on safari, it will be so hard to leave here. I feel like I just got really comfortable and into a routine, and the relationships that I have built have just become really strong. A lot of the kids thought we were going to be here for a whole year- and while I can see how much good it would be possible to do by staying a year, we have to explain that we need to go back to school too! I will absolutely be leaving a piece of my heart here, and I know that physically leaving Kisumu does not sever all ties at all. Absence makes the heart grow fonder, right?