I was blessed to be a part of the trip to Kenya that went in March of 2012. This trip was my third trip to Kenya. Every time I have gone, we get to do medical clinics at the Kieni Refugee Camp. After being there even once, you build relationships with the people that are so dear to you. Three visits to the camp make life- long friendships. When I went to Kenya for the first time in 2009 with my family, we all fell I love with a little girl named Wachiku. Wachiku was quiet, not really sure how to act around white people. We would try to get her to say hi or what her name was or one of our names but she wouldn’t, she would just stand there and stare at us. We left her that year, not knowing anything about her but that she was precious.
I had the privilege of returning to Kenya the following year with my dad and my older brother in 2010. When we went back to the refugee camp, we got to see a lot of the same people that we had already seen the year before. One of the people that I saw was Wachiku. She was actually the first person I saw when I got off of the bus. I went right to her and I shook her hand and said, “Do you remember me.” She replied with a huge smile and said “Friend!” I was so happy; I couldn’t believe that she would remember me. The last time she saw me was a year a before and only for a couple days. Since that moment, she didn’t leave my side the whole time we were at the camp. She would talk to me all the time; however it was in Swahili so I had absolutely no clue, what in the world she was saying. I asked one of the Pastors what her name was and that is when he told me it was Wachiku. Ever since then I have always felt a strong connection with that little girl. I was very sad to leave her in 2010 because we had become good friends and she was very special to me.
I was overjoyed to join the mission team again in spring 2012 and go back to the place where I left my heart but also to see the people that I had grown to love and miss dearly. While on the bus to the Kieni Camp, I was very excited but almost sad because in my mind I was thinking the people won’t remember me. When we pulled up to the camp, my heart sunk as I looked around and saw all the kids standing there waiting, but I didn’t see Wachiku. I got off the bus happy to see all the little kids and adults I did remember. Then I looked up to see Wachiku sprinting out of the forest, up the hill and straight into my arms. She remembered me!! This was also the first time I had seen her truly happy and full of joy. She would sit with me, loved being tickled and kept holding my hand. She would sing with me and when I would ask her questions, she would answer them, in English!! It was great. She actually said my name, multiple times and she would laugh and laugh. She is so adorable. I will remember Wachiku all my life and the great times we had together. I thank God for her!