Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - OPINION -

I AM cur­rently sit­ting on a sec­ond-floor ve­randa over­look­ing lush green hills in the dis­tance. I’m in the slums of Nakuru, Kenya. Be­low, chil­dren from the Nakuru Hope or­phan­age are push­ing tyres around, go­ing up and down a tin slide, which I'm sure is burn­ing their lit­tle legs, and skip­ping with a frayed piece of old rope. It’s th­ese small pleasures that put a smile on the chil­dren’s faces every day and the rea­sons I keep re­turn­ing to Kenya with Nakuru Hope and its founder Su­san Saleeba; five times in fact. The ex­pe­ri­ence makes me ap­pre­ci­ate the small pleasures in life. This year, I'm joined by first­timer Gill Walsh, also from Perth. Yes­ter­day she was re­duced to tears as we were hav­ing lunch at the home­s­tay af­ter be­ing in the class­rooms all morn­ing. Why? It was the holes she had no­ticed in the kids’ jumpers and rips in their shorts. Yet every sin­gle one of those kids had a smile on their face - and that was what brought Gill to tears. Th­ese chil­dren have so lit­tle but al­ways find some­thing to smile about. It's th­ese mem­o­ries that will linger for all of us when we re­turn to our busy lives where ed­u­ca­tion is a right, clean wa­ter flows freely and when our clothes rip we buy new ones. But most of all, mem­o­ries of th­ese smiles will put a smile on our faces even when our luck is down.

Denise S. Cahill Ed­i­tor

Ed­i­tor Denise S. Cahill with the chil­dren of Nakuru Hope.

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