When Uncle Billy phoned to say he was on his way home with a new little girl, only the under fives were at home.
All the older children had gone to cheer on their brothers and sisters at an inter school football match in the village.
But Mama soon assembled all the little ones on the step to welcome Manuela to our family – singing “Welcome, welcome” at the topof their voices as the car pulled up.
Manuela,ten, smiled with delight and went straight to greet Mama and then every uncle and auntie with a smile and a handshake – seeming instantly comfortable with her new surroundings.
She has lived with a lone parent and is with us, for now, because of a crisis in her family situation. Her future is yet to be determined. Mama is happy offer shelter in a storm in circumstances like these and long term home if it proves necessary.
Within minutes of Manuela arriving, we were all still on the steps, the vehicles bringing our kids back from football arrived.
They piled out jumping up and down and singing “We are the champions”, “Happy House Power, Super Power!” leaving no one in any doubt who had won the matches!
Both our teams had triumphed and they celebrated noisily, while a bemused Manuela looked on at her new family.
As the kids went up to school to change, Manuela was taken by Mercy to see her bed in the room she now shares with other girls.
By the following morning, she was completely settled and ready in a nice new stripey dress for our outing to Mtwapa.
When the aerobics team got up to do their display, we were surprised to see her there – right in step in the front row.
She’d joined in the rehearsals, learnt the routine, and was strutting her stuff with the best of them.
Her smiles said it all … our Happy House had already woven its magic,