It’s been a somewhat hectic few days as I’m still finding my routine and figuring out this place.
Sunday was incredible. I went to church with Ruth, her brother and some of the children. It took us nearly an hour to get there because the traffic here is indescribable. There really is very little regulation and the roads are disasterous. Anyways, the pastor called Kyran (the Aussie here) and I up to the front to introduce us? It was a bit weird, but I saw another muzungu sitting in the front row. I figured she was from Germany or the Netherlands, but was excited nonetheless. She was introduced next, and she was from California! Another American!!! After church ended (the service was nice, but I much prefer going with the children), I went and introduced myself to Rachel. We were fast friends. She’s staying with the pastor and helping at the orphanage/school he founded. We all went to lunch and I got a hamburger at this place in Kampala. It was good, but expensive compared to where I normally eat around the Nansana area. Rachel came back to the orphanage with Ruth and I for most of the day. It was such a huge blessing to meet her, and I feel like she and I would be friends even if this wasn’t the circumstance we met in.
As for yesterday…I woke up and ate peanut butter in my bed before entering the craziness that is the orphanage in the AM (all day really). I made worksheets for the school children and colored with the little ones. As the older children started to arrive home, I tried to do the worksheets as a huge group, then as single classes, and finally settled on one-on-one study time with each kid. It’s, obviously, the most time consuming. But it’s the most effective and the kids like to have someone focusing on just them.
Today, I woke up really early and Natasha and I went to the HIV clinic for her monthly checkup. And it was some public/Muslim holiday as all the Muslims stopped fasting today because they saw the moon? I don’t know. Ruth tried explaining it, but the broken English and my just not knowing much about Muslims made for a lot of head nods, but little true understanding. Today is also the 2 year anniversary of the death of Kyran’s son, Ben. Ben is the reason Kyran is involved with anything of the sort. He’s become Doctor Papi since he’s been here and really a great asset to the orphanage. We held a small memorial service for his son this evening.
I’ve started regularily monitoring teeth brushing after dinner. I’ll yell “Sana Manu!” and all the children grab their toothbrushes and meet me out back. Last night, I started to investigate their teeth and the quality of the brushing…but really, it’s just my way to sneak a kiss on the forehead in before bed. Affection here is so much different. Nobody hugs or kisses the children. They aren’t cold with them, I just don’t think it’s a typical way in the Ugandan culture. So I try to get in all the hugs and kisses I can.
I miss home. A lot. But already the thought of leaving Bernah, Halima, Helen, Gift, Sandra, Mercy, Enock, Anisha, Frida, Matovu, Peter, Natasha, Bob, Ronald, Alice, Rebecca, Allen (boy), Allen (girl), Ruthie, Jacky, Lilian, James, Paul, Moses, Teddy, Kato, and Faith makes me so sad. I love them. All of them. Does anyone know how I can hire a private jet for cheap to bring them all back to the States?
I was honestly trying to take this picture to make Anisha smile, all the kids like looking at their own pictures…even Anisha and Frida. I feel kind of bad exploiting her crying on this blog, but she’s so dang cute and the picture really captures the emotion. Sweet, sad girl.
Dobritch, I got the comment. I took a picture of my room and where I shower, I’ll post them soon. I forgot to put them on the computer when I uploaded the other pictures and am too lazy to do it now.
I love you and I miss you, but I’m really exhausted and off to bed.