The Baby Shower That Altered the Course of My Life

How often do you see someone appear on a bicycle and dismiss them? As a cyclist who identifies as a commuter, the bicycle keeps bringing joy, humor and surprises that defines my work with male teens and their families. A few days ago, I helped organize the baby shower that altered the course of my life.

Flashback to our second annual Half Way Cycle from Nairobi to Migori Town in 2019

I met a wonderful lady at the end of April. You can read her story on this link.

During our initial conversation over the phone, she mentioned that she needed clothes and stuff for her baby. That immediately got me thinking about organizing a surprise baby shower for her. After making this decision, I shared the idea with Cynthia, my wife.

“Why not?” she asked. “Go ahead and count on me to offer my full support,” she added.

I went online and called John Wollwerth on Facebook Messenger. Because it was such a wild idea, I decided to move with speed before I chickened out. I checked the calendar and settled on May 10, not knowing that the day fell on Mother’s Day.

A few days later, I jumped on my bicycle and cycle to Gichagi at the foot of Ngong Hills. On my way to visit Salome and her cousin, I stopped at the Sweetworld Supermarket to buy diapers. As I looked for the right size of diapers, I asked a lady – Nduku – to help.

“I’m look for someone I can buy things for,” I said. “All this person has to do is budget with 1,000 shillings!”

“Why are you not looking for two people?” she asked. 

“Because I only have enough for one more person,” I replied.

“What if that person is me?” she asked. “Will you still help?”

 

 

The Baby Shower That Altered the Course of My Life

5 minutes later, I paid for what I had bought, took my bicycle and cycled to Gichagi. Because it had rained a few minutes before my arrival, the step road was slippery. I got off my bicycle and began pushing it. By the time I met Salome and her cousin, my shoes were caked in mud while the wheels of my bike were finding it had to move.

I could tell that Salome’s cousin was very skeptical  especially after I arrived with a back pack that contained 2 litres of cooking oil, tissue paper and diapers for her baby boy. I whipped out my notebook and pen and begun scribbling a list of they needed for one week.

I reassured that Salome that God was going to provide the things she needed for her baby and promised to provide transport when her time to deliver was due. Even as I was promising this I didn’t know where I was going to get fuel. But one thing I knew for sure. I wasn’t going to use my bicycle to transport her from Gichagi to Kiambu Hospital!

I spent the following days attending to the needs of of the rest of our Care Package beneficiaries. One morning, I was on my way to the bank when I found myself dilly dallying aimlessly. It was only much later that I discovered why this was.

Deciding to Give Salome the Best Help

When I eventually arrived at the bank, I received a call from Salome and left the bank in a hurry. She was bleeding and needed to be taken to see a doctor. Having cycled from Faulu Bank, Ngong Road to home like a maniac, I arrived home sweating buckets.

As I changed from cycling gear to driving clothes, I asked Cynthia to start the car for me and told her where I was headed. Since we didn’t manage to find the right help, we came to our house where our search for the right help continued.

The next day, a friend of ours helped us to find the right help. As we spoke with the doctor, I subconsciously made up my mind to treat her like she was one of my best friends. Though this affected the finances we had raised online, I was glad that we were able to get her the best help available.

The tests showed that she was fine and so was the baby.

The Baby Shower That Altered the Course of My Life

James Ouma

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