Saturday, April 17
In the morning we visited a local school where some of the former street boys are now studying. One boy, for example, is 14 but is in a class with 11-year-olds. He feels foolish, but he isn't. He is a good lad on the road to full rehabilitation from the street.
After the school it is time to find myself a bike. After 3 hours of fun and games I purchase my bicycle for the trip. He is called Mr. Mombasa. He cost 5500 Kenyan Schillings (about 45 pounds). He was made in China and needs to last me to South Africa.
Later some of the Dutch girls working in Mombasa took us to the Dickson Children's orphanage where they work. It was supposed to be Maartje's last day in Kenya but a certain volcano in Iceland meant that she couldn't get home.
We met around half a dozen young Dutch girls who are volunteering in Mombasa. Their lives are not easy. They are doing a lot of good and I would call them angels.
The 60,000 orphans aged 0-18 in the city of Mombasa need their help and ours.
Friday, April 16
We got up at 5am and watched a couple of the young lads prepare tea for all the boys in the home. After a breakfast of tea and bread we left Shamak and the other lads to meet the guys who are still living and sleeping on the street.
We arrived at an otherwise deserted field to find 25 boys stood around a temporary fire burning tyres and flip flops to get high. At least half were sniffing glue, dogs snarling and fighting all around them. Glue is the cheapest thing to get high on and, like any addiction, screws up the boys' lives.
We came to meet the boys and play football with them. A couple of them were edgy and slightly confrontational with us, but the vast majority welcomed us in. Two Norwegians (both ex-professionals) and one Englishman joined 20 or so street boys in torrential rain on a pitch that consisted of sand, huge puddles and rock. It resembled pictures of the terrain in the trenches of World War I
I have played in thousands of football matches in my life but this was perhaps my favourite. The boys, despite their problems, showed discipline, team spirit, a desire to win and played fairly.
The right winger on my side could dribble and cross the ball like a pro. How good would he be if he could get off the street?
My side lost the game 6-4. I scored two, including the goal of the game - a spectacular volley :) I also provided the biggest laugh of the day when I slipped in an almighty puddle, flew up in the air and landed horizontally in the water. Even the most drugged up of the boys laughed aloud.
I will always remember my time with the glue boys of Mombasa. I hope they make it off the street.
Thursday, April 15
Woke up in the early morning light on the Nairobi-Mombasa overnight train to the inspiring sight of Mount Kilimanjaro looming up into the sky from an almost perfectly flat plain; its mountain top covered in cloud.
In Mombasa we were met by Geir, a very nice Norwegian man who is working with street kids in the city. He kindly put us up for the night at the Onesimus Centre.
The centre takes kids of the street and gives them a second chance in life. The lads there are all school age and quickly bonded with Bjorn and me after our arrival. It was good of them to accept us into their trust so quickly.