May 20, 2007 at 6:39 pm (Miriam, Trip 2007)

My experience at Nyumbani Orphanage today felt surreal, although clearly it was real. Here I was on the porch outside with Beth, one of the students on the trip, and four teenagers, Grace, Laura, Madeline and Molly. This was probably the closest encounter I have had with music therapy while in Kenya. Beth and I wrote a song with these young women called “Mother Nature”. It took us but about 30 minutes. The girls are so talented. I don’t even know how to tell you the emotions that flowed through as their faces lit up each time we completed a performance for their friends. I wanted to cry tears of joy because these girls have experienced so much pain but the fact that they still feel happiness is so unbelievable. I never thought that such connections could even be made earlier in the day. Here I was, my short little self going up to four very tall girls, and quite intimidating they were! They sort of whispered at each other when I came to greet them, and they laughed, and one of them even told me that her name was something else at first. It was just, ahhh…to see the transformation we went through, how songwriting brought the girls closer to Beth and me. By the time we had to say goodbye, it was very hard. I only wish we would visit this orphanage more, but we are only here for one more week. Thank you to everyone who has allowed me to be able to experience these few hours at Nyumbani today. I can’t even imagine having missed out on this trip. When I return, I am worried that it will be difficult to keep these moments real…that this reality which seems surreal, will fade into something that never ever seemed like reality and that was always surreal.


  1. Jeanne Hardy said,

    Your beautiful description moved me to tears. I’m so thankful that all of you persevered to make this trip. What experiences & memories for a lifetime.

  2. Meg O'Brien said,

    I am so proud of you. I can’t wait to hear all about your trip when you get back! Enjoy it, take everything in!
    p.s. hugs to everyone else from me!

  3. Pamela said,

    Miriam, How incredible–experiences that you can charish, that will broaden you. To realize that we are all one of this world. If we can remember one thing, I believe it’s to focus on our communalities and respect our differences and learn from them. Namaste, Pamela

  4. Pamela said,

    Miriam~ P.S. Self-transformation implies self-transcendence. Therefore, inner transformation is a spiritual affair of cosmic significance, including all, animate and inanimate, everywhere. Authentic self-transformation is definitely not for oneself alone. It is for all beings—for aren’t we all inseparably interconnected. Whatever befalls us befalls one and all; harm a single strand of the web of life, and the entire web is harmed. In Africa, the Xhosa tribe has a saying which is worth remembering: “I am because we are.”

    Awakening The Buddha Within, By Lama Surya Das

  5. Mom said,

    Hi Miriam,

    What a fabulous time you’re having! I’m so proud that you had the courage of your convictions which propelled you to travel to Africa and help others who are so desperately needy. I located this website when looking up all of the places on your itinerary. Wow! Can’t wait to see your pictures.

    Love you,

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