It's 4:45 am and I just woke up.
Not long after, the chorus of morning birdsongs gets going. My name is Valentine and I am living at the Neema residential home for third-year students now. I’m going to walk you through my day. For the next hour, I have time to myself, set aside for personal devotions and prayer. After this, I quickly get dressed and clean my room. It’s also my day to help prepare breakfast so at 6:00 once my room is ready, I duck out to do my part so it’s prepared for all the third-year girls to eat by 6:15. They line up for breakfast which consists of uji, a warm porridge and the ultimate comfort food!
At 6:50, I walk with my Neema sisters to the Neema school where we arrive by 7:15. We brush our shoes, spruce up, and prepare for the day. At 7:50, Morning Glory begins. This is our daily devotional time led by the staff and all of us students, filled with singing, prayer, teaching, and discussion. I always take notes and pray together with my friends as we all learn more and more about the story of Jesus.
The first session of classes begin.
At 9:00, when I hear the first bell ring, I head to my Singer machine, sit down, and get to work. I’ll be in class until 10:30 with either Madam Joyce or Madam Eunice as my instructor.
I then have a break with all the other girls to step away, play games, and get some exercise and fresh air before returning to class. Today I play soccer with some of the other girls, but I also see a group playing netball and volleyball, and one or two other girls going for a short jog. At 11:15 we return to class for Session 2 until lunch break at 1:00.
We then get time to eat and be with our children until the bell rings for the afternoon session of classes to begin again at 2:00. It's Wednesday which means that instead of returning to the classroom, I go to group counseling where I’ll be learning anything from stress management to addictions, priorities, sexual purity, and many other interesting topics! When classes finish up, we all clean and organize the classrooms for a half-hour until 4:00.
Walking back home after a long day.
With all the other Residental A girls, I now walk back to our home. We have an hour for resting, laundry, doing hair, and any other odds and ends that we want to catch up before starting dinner. Now that we’ve learned to cook in catering class, we can prepare and clean up after one another. By 7:00, we all get an hour to hang out, watch TV, and just relax, before evening Bible study. I’m in bed by 9:00 and having just finished prayers and turning lights off, another day at Neema has come and gone.