Another Umoja Story

As part of the experience of going to Umoja Children's Home as told below, I heard a remarkable story.

In the picture of all the kids, in the back, just to the right of man in the blue stripes (which is Joseph, who delivers the eggs) is a tall thin young man named Lawrence (we call him that for the sake of anonymity, and because I can't actually remember his name). He is from way north Kenya. Last year, Lawrence came to Tenwek and had heart surgery. He then returned to his home, which is a perennially dangerous and unstable place. I guess he decided he'd had enough, and he and his friend (standing right next to him) walked back to Tenwek. That's a long way. Like at least half the north-south distance of the country. They got here and eventually found a home at Umoja.

You may notice there are not many older children in the picture. This is because when they get to secondary school (high school), most places are boarding schools, and thus the teens are at many different secondary schools, and weren't there when we visited. Lawrence and his friend were, however. Why? Because they had never gone to school, and so on coming to Umoja they had to start in Standard One. That is, the first grade.

I'm not sure what all strikes me about his story. I think it's the desperation. But which requires more desperation? Walking half of Kenya to find a more livable home? Or being 15 years old, humbly sitting in a classroom full of 6-year olds, learning your ABCs?