Extracts from a volunteer`s diary – Part 2

The bitter truth


Sometime I think Obrien does not really know what he is talking about. But today when he came up in front of the class , he seemed passionate about wanting to be a pilot. “So I can drive an aeroplane” , with that he concluded the assignment on ` On what I want to be when I grow up and why`.

I choked back a tear. You see I do not want to be a pessimist but I know Obrien may never realise his dream. He is mentally challenged.I feel ashamed for  sealing his fate even before he has graduated the sixth grade.

All the same I applauded his efforts with a Nzuri Sana while at the same time wishing that there was a genius out there who would do some medical miracle and find a way to reverse the effects of disabilities ; someone out there who would help the Obrien`s of this world fly airplanes.

Mwana Hamisa:

” But teacher what can I become”, she asks.

I look at her dull eyes and tell her that she can become anything she wanted to be. She does not seem convinced.

I stay a while at her desk wanting to help her with her assignment , in my own selfish way. But I sense she is uncomfortable with my presence. So I quietly move away.

She is the last person to walk up to the front of the class. She looked blankly at the class and said ” I want to be a pilot, teacher, doctor and nurse”.

I ask her why. She repeats ” I want to be a pilot, teacher, doctor and nurse”.

Does she really want to be any of these or did she write these because others in her class did?

Muhammed butts in” teacher she is a special student.”

As if that is reason enough!

With that she shyly walks away from the front and goes back to her place right at the back of the class. She seemed happy once she had sat down  at her place, far from her classmates, alone in her world.

I stood watching her thinking ” this is a cruel world”.


” I want to be President  because then I can have lots of money”.

Diana is physically disabled. Did she have to spend lots of time growing up in and out of hospitals? Did financial troubles worsen  her disability? Whatever be the reason behind your dream, I wish you luck Diana.

May you go on to fulfill your dream and may you show the world that disability is not inability and may you do Kenya proud.


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