No Justice for Baby Ryan Yet: Part 3: Suspect spotted building her house as Baby Ryan stays in Orphanage
Read Part One and Two of this Story on the Home Page and on My Blog Go Women Go. “Who did this to Baby Ryan” and “Who Will Save Baby Ryan”?
Yesterday, we paid a visit to the Saidia Orphanage in Gilgil to follow up on Baby Ryan’s story. We had agreed to leave at 6 am so we could meet the Children’s office before he left for a Wedding Ceremony. But Dorine and her stepsister Teresa showed up at Kencom Stage at 8 am. Dorine, Baby Ryan teenage mother and Teresa could not raise the Sh40 (half a dollar) from Kaloleni Estate to town. I had agreed to take care of the Day’s travel expenses and do a little shopping for Baby Ryan. Well, a neighbour finally lent them Sh40 and Dorine, Teresa, I and Transworld Journalist Mary Mwendwa took a Matatu at Nyama Kima and set off for Gilgil. Mary Mwendwa is a young Professional Media Woman under mentorship at the Media Liaison and Advocacy Centre Consultants’ Programme. We arrived at the Home at 10.45 am.
From Right: Baby Ryan, Trans World Journalist Mary Mwendwa, Dorine Odipo and her Stepsister Teresa Odipo at the Saidia Orphanage.
The handlers at the Saidia Orphanage were friendly and welcomed us warmly. We had lunch and tea and met hundreds of abandoned, neglected, sick and needy children. Baby Ryan ran and danced towards us when he saw his mother Dorine and so did the other children.
The woman who allegedly abused Baby Ryan, Evalyn Achieng’ Ouma, is at her husband’s Boniface Odipo’s home in Kajimbo Village, Nyakach. Evalyn surfaced there last week. She had gone underground after an irate mob tried to lynch her, frog-matched her to the Gilgil Police Station and handed her over to the Police. Evalyn who has been spotted at Kajimbo turned up with a lot of building materials and is doing final touches to her permanent house. Relatives suspect her husband may be around or may have sent her money for their family project.
Despite a call to a police officer in Gilgil and to the Gilgil Volunteer Children’s Officer Mr Henry Wamae, no action has been taken. Evalyn is free and on the loose as the traumatised Baby Ryan finds temporary shelter at Saidia Children’s Home.
Mr Henry Wamae, Volunteer Children’s Officer at Gilgil Children’s Department and Jane Kinuthia, Co-Founder Saidia Orphanage during the visit.
“I called my mother the moment a neighbour alerted me that my sister-in-law Evalyn was at our home. But my mother (read stepmother), said Evalyn was a new bride in her home and she could not chase her away. I called the police officer, Ms Nafula who is handling the case. I called the children’s officer Mr Henry Wamae. But nothing has happened,” says a teary Dorine Odipo.
Dorine Odipo’s story is heart-rending. It is the story of a teenage mother who had a baby at 15 while in Form Three. The family took her back to School at Tieng’re Secondary School Boarding in Kisumu County. Dorine claims she was sent home from School because she failed to clear an outstanding balance of Sh27, 000. She missed the Kenya National Examination (KNEC) Registration as a Form Four candidate. Not one to lose hope on her education, Dorine registered as a Private Candidate at the nearby District Commissioner’s Office in her Village.
Lunch hour: Dorine cries as she feeds Baby Ryan at Saidia Orphanage.
While still chasing her School fess issues at home, she got a call from Gilgil Police Station asking her to go and identify her son Baby Ryan who was a victim of child abuse. Baby Ryan had allegedly been bitten, scratched, knifed and burnt with hot oil and matchsticks and starved by Dorine’s sister-in-law Evalyn Achieng’ Ouma. The suspect had bitten Baby Ryan’s private parts and he was oozing pus and blood upon admission at Gilgil District Hospital. The P3 Form signed by a Dr Sang, Medical Officer of Health indicated the details.
Dorine comes from a large polygamous home, next to Kodingo Police Camp in Kusa, Nyakach County. Dorine’s late father had two wives. Dorine has only one brother from her mother’s house. This brother, Boniface Odipo, a KDF soldier in Somalia is Evalyn (the suspect)’s husband). The other house has 12 children. Dorine’s parents both died leaving Dorine to be raised by her stepmother. It is the same stepmother who has been taking care of Baby Ryan.
Asked why the culprit has not been apprehended, Saidia co-founder Jane Kinuthia says Evalyn needs counselling and not police arrest. “There must be something in her past that may have triggered her action, “says Kinuthia. She however admits that it is sad and unfortunate that Evalyn is at home with Dorine’s stepmother.
The Children’s Officer handling Baby Ryan’s case is said to be on leave for the last one month and will return to work on May 9th, next month. A Volunteer Children’s Officer, Mr Henry Wamae told the writer that we have to wait for the Children’s Officer to return to work. “We cannot release Ryan Brownstead from the home as he is still healing. Both mother and child are vulnerable and have no proper place to go to. But we will release Baby Ryan to his mother as soon as she is settled and can support the child.”
Although Media Liaison and Advocacy Consultants had offered Dorine a job, Wamae says this is not enough. “We must follow protocol and ensure Baby Ryan is stable. The interest of the child comes before the interest of the mother or the relatives,” a firm Wamae says.
Baby Ryan (Front Row in Navy Blue Sweater) and Mum Dorine pose for a group photo with some of his Saidia Family.
Meanwhile, Dorine has been allowed to visit her baby as often as she wants, despite the fact that she cannot raise money to travel to Gilgil.
Who will save Baby Ryan? Who will take Dorine back to School? When will justice be done so Baby Ryan’s abuser it prosecuted? Why did the police release her when she was already in their custody?
Baby Ryan in his new warm Jacket and Baby cap, poses with Saidia Manager Teresa Wahito in the Dormitory.
It was a tearful departure for both mother and child yesterday, with Dorine crying outside the gate and Baby Ryan crying inside the home. So I gave Baby Ryan a sweet as his house mother Risper carried him away. I gave Dorine a sweet too, to distract her from the sad scene. The rains pounded heavily on us as we left Gilgil and jumped into a speeding Nissan Matatu, back to Nairobi.
Margaret Jane was feeling very lonely. She wanted to die rather than live in this cruel, heartless, unlucky world. Both her female and male friends had rejected her. Every man she had dated had abandoned her. It was true she had gone overboard. Once she had dated a man for one week, she would ask them to marry her. Her married friends were cold to her since she had asked their husbands to marry her as a second or third wife . Men gossiped as much as women and word had gone round. She had become the laughing stock of Nairobi City, with men teasing each other with the words, “will you marry me?” and laughing loudly wherever she passed. They kept telling her they would get back to her after the proposal. But she never heard from them again. Most of their phones were either switched off or diverted to a woman, laughing cheekily at the other end. Friends and family no longer invited her for functions. Her visits to Pastor Ogjibani prayers at Nyayo Stadium had not yielded any fruits. She was frustrated to a point of no return. What did a man want?
What did they want her to do? She wished they could fit into her shoes to know how she felt. At 50, an MBA degree holder and a financial analyst with a leading bank in the country, she had reached the peak of her career. Yet her posh huge home in Gigiri, her Imprezza, her DSTv and every luxurious item in her home had not filled the yearning in her heart. To have a man to love and to hold. She had met Dan Mara, a young pilot with an international airline while attending a world conferences in the Netherlands. He had shown an interest in her, raising her hopes for a big wedding. The relationship had gone well that week and he had promised to buy her an aeroplane. Dan Mara had promised to come to Kenya in one month. They would take the new found relationship to the next level.
She looked at her four German Shepherd dogs and six Persian cats playing lovingly around her. She had bought them rather expensively and their meals cost her upto Kshs150,000 a month. But this was nothing compared to the Kshs 1.5 million she earned every month.
Initially she had loved her pets and talked to them daily, took them for a walk and ensured they visited the Veterinary Clinic next to the UN offices regularly. But none of her boyfriends had loved her pets and one had complained that she loved one of her cat Doughnut more than she loved him. Doughnut seemed jealous of her boyfriends and would sit on her laps, everytime she had a male guest. Margaret Jane walked around her huge quiet house, desolate. She went into her shoe room and stared at her 200 pairs of shoes. She often went to the shoe room and tried one pair of shoe after the other. It excited her. But today not even trying her new pair of high heels she had bought in the Netherlands brought her any joy. Netherlands had sad memories. She had lost her chance to get a husband at the Schippol Airport. Dan Mara had seen her off to the Departures Lounge and kissed her goodbye, promising to be with her in Kenya after a month. But after the kiss, she raised her voice at Dan Mara and asked him, “will you marry me?” “What?” Dan Mara had stopped dead in his track, surprised at this sudden proposal. “We have only known each other for a week. It would be inappropriate at this point.” Margaret Jane knew she was behaving badly, but something seemed to drive her on. She insisted, her voice getting louder. “Haven’t you heard of love at first sight?” She taunted him. “Why do you need time? Marry me now. Marry me!” Her desperate high pitched voice seemed to attract other passengers who milled around. He had suddenly turned and walked away, never turning back.
Two months had passed since her trip from the Netherlands and not a word from Dan Mara. It was as if he had changed his telephone lines. She had made several inquiries through various agents at the KLM and Kenya Airways offices but no one seemed to have even heard the name. Dan Mara, she had loved him very much, even if she had known him for only one week. Why had he refused to marry her? When Doughnut walked into the room and rubbed herself against her feet, Margaret Jane kicked her so hard that she mewed loudly in a terrified, surprised voice and ran out. After a few minutes, her cat donut was back in the room. She looked at Dan Mara sadly then rubbed her feet against her mistress. Feeling guilty and unfair to the cat, Margaret Jane picked the cat, stroked it lovingly and told Doughnut,” marry me, pussy cat. Humans don’t love me. Marry me!” “Meow.” Doughnut replied, snugging closer to her new ‘husband’ Margaret Jane.
Sarah had always had thin legs but she had never thought her man would dump her for her legs. She was aware that her legs were very thin but she loved them and had never equated them with a mosquito. So it came as a shock to her that Freddie, her love did not love her legs at all. They had dated for the last six months and he had never mentioned her beloved legs at all. How could a man claim to love you and hate some parts of your body? She was slim and tall and had a small frame when she met him, yet that had not stopped her from loving him. Now she was expecting his baby. What was she going to do? Deep down in her heart, she knew he still loved her. Where had this ill wind come from and carried Freddie’s love for her in a totally different direction? Whirlwinds came fast and furious and carried everything along its path, left a wave of destruction behind. How come no one had ever told her that love was a whirlwind?
Sarah could not remember exactly when Freddie started hating her legs. But she did recall it had all started with the visit home to his parents in Saola Village up the mountains. Sarah was already 33 and still in search of a husband when she met Freddie, 47, a Banker at her friend Jerusa’s Birthday Party in Eastleigh Section Three. Freddie looked into her eyes during dinner and shouted in front of everybody, “I don’t know you much Lady Sarah, but I am going to marry you!” Everyone at the party had been embarassed for a minute. Then everyone burst out laughing. Sarah, a Secretary with a Law Firm was amused too and took it as a joke, bust she soon realised he was serious. He wanted her to meet his mother.
“I know mum. She loves weddings. She has been nagging me to marry, so she will be quite excited to meet you,” Freddie had said, his dark eyes shining in joy. No one had proposed to Sarah all her life and she decided to grasp this opportunity for a husband with both arms. Men had come and gone in her past but none had even joked about wanting to marry her.
The visit home had been pathetic. Freddie’s mother and her four huge, tall, plump sisters had burst out laughing, the moment she arrived. It was not the usual laughter, it was evil and taunting…laughter that did not come from the heart. “Is this the woman you want to marry?” Freddie’s mother had asked him sadly, contemptuously. “Yes, this is Sarah, a beautiful lady with a wonderful heart,” Freddie said happily.
Then Freddie’s aunt Rita had summed it all up. “No, no, no. What joke is this, Fred? This girl cannot fit into this home. Look at her mosquito legs. Her legs do not deserve to walk in this important home. You cannot marry her. You will have sickly children with very thin legs and you do know that our family is endowed with nice, plump, healthy bodies.” Sarah looked between Freddie’s aunts and his mother and back to Freddie. Freddie looked down, never saying a word as the aunts taunted her.
They had left immediately without even taking lunch. The six-hour journey back to the city was quiet with no one saying anything or eating any food along the way. Usually, they would have gone to his place. He dropped her at her house in Buru Buru Phase Four as he headed to his house in Fedha Estate. “I will call you!” Was all he said.
Three months later and he had not called. He did not pick her calls either. His friends had gone out of circulation. But she still hoped. That one day he would show up at her door, with the beautiful flowers he used to bring her. She knew he would show up with her favourite red wine. Love did not just disappear into the blues, without a reason. Surely, her mosquito legs could not kill the love between her and Freddie. She still loved him. She knew he loved her too…despite her small legs.
We have at one time or the other been patients. Close family members, friends, relatives, colleagues and those dear to our hearts have been hospitalised too. When a patient is in hospital and especially when one’s condition is not stable, relatives and family tend to be overcome by anxiety, tension and stress.
Patients dearly cherish hospital visits which give them an opportunity for encouragement, moral and physical support. Unfortunately, not everyone always has goodwill towards the patients or their families. Some hospital visits are abusive and depressing rather than exhilarating. Some visitors even silently or verbally wish for patients to die.
Do your hospital visits make the patient better or worse? When you visit a patient, it is important to carry your hospital manners along with you. Commenting within the patient’s hearing that he or she has only 24 hours to live and will not make it, can be distressing to the patient. This is purely bad manners. Careless, reckless and insensitive talk must be discouraged by all means.
Patients tend to feel that relatives and friends owe them a visit. Do not promise a patient a visit unless you are sure to come because patients tend to hold grudges when you do not turn up. They are already vulnerable and may feel rejected , abandoned or even deserted. This may result in self-pity.
‘Get Well’ card
One should not celebrate over a patient’s illness or hospitalisation. Avoid malicious and negative remarks around the hospital as these thoughtless comments may worsen the patient’s condition when they get to hear of them. Telling a patient they look as thin as a rake and then bursting into tears is not in the patient’s best interest. Telling them off over their illness is extremely unkind. If you have no words of encouragement for the patience then silence may be very good for you. Better still would be a ‘Get Well’ card.
Some visitors carry other medicine to the patient and convince them to take them thus interfering with the patient’s regimen. Giving the patient charms or any other medicine can cause serious repercussions as the patient is already on prescribed medicine.
Visiting during meals, not because you want to assist feed the patient but to take advantage of the patient’s poor appetite is bad manners indeed. Gobbling up fruits from the patient’s fruit basket and drinking all the juice as if they will never recover is poor manners.
A genuine smile
Give the patient a genuine smile. There is no point going to visit a patient you do not like and then laughing very loudly during the visit, especially when you know the patience has extreme headaches. Body language experts can easily identify wrong body language. A lopsided smile may in fact mean you disapprove of the patient’s condition. Others take great lengths to investigate the patient’s personal life. They move around the hospital making friends with nurses and patients’ relatives to get background for gossip.
Please give the patient and his or her family personal space. Use wisdom to discern whether your visit may not be suitable for the patient. Kindly avoid distressing the patient with unusually long prayers or trying to push the patient to accept the Lord as their personal saviour when all they need to do is to sleep. Along with your manners, you could carry with you fresh flowers, an assortment of fruits, bottled water and of course a great and genuine smile. One can carry a range of toiletry like toothbrush, toothpaste, face towels, a comb, bathroom slippers and a change of underclothes.
Do not carry alcohol, cigarettes, charms or any other form of drugs to your patient, They will cause more damage than you could ever conceive. Happy visit!
It is a Sunday morning and rather than sleep in and have a lazy restful day, WordPress.com deadlines are keeping me on my toes.
It all started when I got a message in my inbox saying someone had thought my post was awesome. Highly impressed by this I started clicking the ‘follow’ and ‘like’ buttons, not realising what a loadful I was piling in my mail.
Now I am late with reading all the blogs in my mail. There are posts that I have not opened since last week, there are comments to be moderated. There are some breathe-taking pictures that I had promised myself to go through again when I got time and I want to watch my favourite Soap Opera on TV. I have to check my stat mail urgently to see how many viewers have visited my blog. Of course this is the part I love the most!’Now where do I start? The Freshly Pressed posts look inviting. Do I read all of them or just click “like” on each one so that fellow bloggers think I did read their post. Oh I feel so guilty. I am overwhelmed I must confess. There are all my blogger friends with all these brilliant posts, how can I not read an interesting headline from with findinggravity who blogs on Ten Things I Learned From My Father. I am about to skip some mail but curiosity gets the better of me and soon I am reading Snotting black’s This One For All Bloggers Out There.
Then Blogger Maryanne Pale stops me dead on my tracks with My First Guest Blogger Brian Misinale, her cousin who does a rather moving piece, My Heart and Soul. I sympathise with the twins who had cancer and the fact that one of them passed away. Misinale’s new family, he has twins too, brings a smile to both my face and my heart. There’s the Blurred Line and Guitarmonk, Creative Splurges and Photobotos. Defining my dash with Boldness shares how you can face head on whatever stands in your way and In My Opinion reveals her childhood and how mothers’ comments can really bring one down. Then I meet know the sphere with zero? raising pertinent issues on how some people use arguments while taking absolutist positions and Grumpy comments with People Person. Then monicahm‘s wonderful photos of an African sunset makes me nostalgic. It is a beautiful and positive image of Africa away from the wars and starving children. It is already lunchtime so I take a break and quickly serve myself bits of chicken, ugali (maize flour gruel) and cabbage and back to work.
I watch ooamerica: ooa’s cute video on taxis and I absolutely enjoy the ride and the dance. I check the mail and the list is still rather long. I have about 50 posts on unedited politics. When I subscribed to unedited politics, little did I know that I would be reading President Kennedy’s Speeches on Religion. Rick Santorum Speech at Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri, Gringich, Romney and Obama and all other famous American persons.
My eyes are tired and soon I am fast asleep with so much knowledge in my head and lots of company. I may not be able to read all of them today. But now I fully understand if there are no comments on my post. I have truly come to appreciate when someone takes their time and reads through my blog. Anyway, the WordPress.com to do items have to be done no matter how late inthe night. A Blogger’s got to do what a Blogger’s got to do.
Some people are good at singing, some people are good at shouting. Some people are good at laughing, others are good at crying. Some people are good at dancing, others are good at walking. Some people are good at speaking and others at maintaining silence. Some people are good at exaggerating while others are good at ignoring. Some people are good at pretending while others are good at helping. Some people are rather good at building while others are so good at destroying. Some are gifted in cooking and others in counting. Some people are so good at loving while others have an equal measure of hating. Whatever the case, you must be good at something or nothing. So whatever you are good at, do it and do it well because nobody will do it for you. If you are good at something then just do the something you are good at and if you are good at nothing then just do the nothing. it is all yours anyway…the doing, I mean! If you are so good at sleeping then sleep. If you are good at laughing, just laugh. You can laugh because life is fun or still laugh at other people’s tragedy because that is what you are good at, that is what makes you happy. The laughter is yours so do it! It is your gift, the gift of what you are good at. If you are good at roaming, then roam. If you are talented in night-running by all means run, run in the night with the hippos after all it is your legs that will be running, those gifted legs of yours. You can run North, South, East, West wherever your gifted legs will take you. Just run. If you are such a gifted thief that you can lift a kilo of sugar from the Supermarket and hide it between your legs, then steal! Have lots of sugar with your tea. Enjoy! I mean why should anyone stop you, after all it is your mouth that will be drinking the tea. If you are good at being cold and unfriendly to people around you, go right ahead and enjoy it. If your talent is defamation and talking ill of all and sundry, go ahead and perfect the art. It is your talent and there is no reason to regret. Talent is hard to come by so do not waste this thing you are so good at. Whatever the case, don’t just sit there, although we had agreed that you can do nothing since nothing is what you are best at. Whatever the case, Just do it!
I have discovered what makes me sick. It is not the normal sickness am talking about. It is not the sickness that hospital doctors diagnose. It is the sickness of being sick when things go wrong, when life turns upside down and your brain scatters in all directions.
When I have no money, I start feeling sick. It starts with a headache and then a stomach ache but strange enough I never feel the pain in these parts of my body but right inside my heart. I cannot describe the feeling but it is a bad feeling and I know it as a kind of sickness that does not need a visit to the doctor.
When I get home and find Kenya Power have disconnected my lights I feel so so sick. Even though the red flicking light and the minimum minutes had already read zero before I left for home, it still does not fail to make me sick. Just the fact that I am in total darkness and the smell of spoilt milk and sausages brings a dull pain in my heart and that is when sick happens.
I do get sick when the salary delays and the teller at the Bank has a sly smile on his face. With the bills unpaid and my plans upset, I do feel weak and wobbly on my knees, weakly sick.
When the Boss fires me without a notice or any remunerations and the landlord is about to throw me out of the house and I lose my appetite even though I have no food to eat, friends that is when I get truly sick. When I attend a job interview and get a letter of regret or sometimes no letter at all and no regrets, I often feel sad and dejected and I do feel sick and tired. Just sick and tired just waiting and hoping for that letter or that phone call that never comes.
Sometimes it is the iron box that has blown up when I am preparing for a date or an important meeting. Or I burn my dress minutes before that special occasion. Or I misplace the key to my main door and miss the staff bus and a staff retreat and I have to create stories on why I missed the bus…I get very sick my friends.
When I fail to attend a friend’s wedding or funeral and they cannot understand why and they hold grudges against me for years, while some delete me from their friendship list, I may pretend that I do not care but deep inside I feel sick. Oh how I feel lousy and disappointed when my relationship ends and suddenly I realise that love can come to an end. When I lose my close family and friends to death and I remain so lonely and so sick.
This sickness of mine comes when someone I lean on turns their back on me and walk away without stopping to look back, especially when I need them, especially when I am down. Oh, I feel so sickly sick!
To be sick because of life’s burdens is not a easy thing my friends, but sometimes it happens and you may just find yourself sick without trying. Yet all will finally come to a happy end when all is well. It shall be well, my friends. It shall be well.