Their mother greeted us with a big smile and opened the door to their home - a 2 room home with a small "kitchen" built onto the side of the house as a lean-to to keep smoke from the cooking fire out of the house. She offered us a seat, and was as interested to hear about us as we were about her and her family.
Her husband works as a daily laborer (seeking work on various construction crews or for factory labor as he can find work). She cares for her kids and also earns income from a variety of side jobs.
She showed us their chickens (about 6) that she feeds and protects to provide eggs for the family and to sell for income. She also showed us 2 plump, healthy looking goats (that happened to be in the kitchen). They do not belong to the family, but she raises them and allows them to graze in her yard and the owner provides a small income for her to raise the goats.
She was also pleased to show us the spices she was drying and curing, which she planned to sell for income as well. As we were leaving, Genet drank a small glass of water from the yellow jerry can sitting in the shade, and she accidently threw some of the left-over water on the drying spices as she shook out the glass. She quickly glanced at her mom (oops!) and her mom clicked her tongue at her and gave her a hard stare. We couldn't help but smile.
She stressed to us how important it is to their family for her children to be able to attend Kind Hearts CarePoint for education and meals - which has enabled her family to invest in these other small income producing jobs (chickens and spices). She expressed many times how thankful they were to their sponsor families!
7 year old Genet is sponsored by the Stokes family of Minnesota.
9 year old Debisa is sponsored by the Allred family of Alabama.
We sat together in the interior of their home, with the front door open for light and air circulation. She explained that her and her husband sleep in the small bedroom (the open door way behind her), while Genet and Debisa sleep in the main room on a small cushion in the corner.
I asked her about the curious "thing" we could see on the wall above her head and on a few other walls - a kind of thin, crusty thing that looked like it had been splatted against the wall. She giggled and explained that it is an internal fatty membrane from goats that had been slaughtered for meals. She splats the membrane against the wall to dry because their cat likes to eat the crispy treat. It was a home-made cat treat.
We visited for about a 1/2 hour and then she walked us out to the tin door at the front of their yard and hugged us goodbye as we headed back to Kind Hearts to join up with the rest of the group.