Thirteen dolls were gifted to the Mater Hospital in Nairbi, Kenya. I left several dolls in the playroom to be shared among the children. I also left a basket of dolls with Winnie Njenga. She is a lovely woman who is, with the help of CAHRE, AIM for Africa, and The Shands Arts in Medicine program, is starting the first Arts in Medicine program in East Africa. I was very lucky to be a part of the launching of this wonderful new exciting program. She will give the dolls out according to need, although we may not see the child receiving the doll, we can know in our hearts the wonder of the gift.
The second part of my journey was to Tanzania, a country just south of Kenya. I held three doll classes in the library in the village of Imbassini. They were a fine success. We all had great fun.
I gifted 42 dolls to The Good Hope Orphanage. This was an experience beyond words. The children were so happy and excited, I have never experienced such joy. I thought my eardrums would surely burst from the sheer volume of the shrieks and laughter of the children. It was wonderful!!!
We had so many dolls that I was then able to find a second orphanage housing 13 children. Most of the children were in school. I left 13 dolls with the director and the children who were there. They were equally thrilled.
I had only seven dolls left after that gifting so on the way back to the village where I was staying I stopped at a small hospital. There were no children there that day, but the nurses assured me they would give the dollies to children as they were moved to do so.
All in all this has been a huge success. I am glad to be home in Gainesville. I look forward to more doll workshops popping up all over the country and of course in my home. It will probably be next year before I return again to Africa to again gift dollies. For now I send each of you much love and gratitude for sharing in this dream.
Wishing you all a warm and peace filled winter solstice.
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