The halfway point has come and gone. The other day in bed, I had that moment of complete clarity that this is the experience of a lifetime and I am so grateful I have the opportunity to do it.
The feelings I have about this entire experience are really mixed. I can’t wait to return stateside. I feel like this past year has been a lot of searching for absolutely nothing. And I’m looking forward to feeling settled somewhere for a bit. However, I don’t want to leave here. I don’t want to live here all the time, and may God bless those that are able to do this as a lifestyle. Keeping order among 30 children with no real time off, dang. But, I repeat, I don’t want to leave here. More accurately, I don’t want to leave the kids. I want to tutor them. I want them to teach me to weave and dance. I want to know that someone is telling them they are loved.
A lot has happened since the last post. We have a lot of volunteers, I’ve stopped counting. Three of them have decided to stay at the Hotel Ivory. We had a bit of a miscommunication/misunderstanding/questioning of the financial accountability of the orphanage. We all addressed the situation with Ruth. Everything is in good standing, it was a strange moment…but I think all the volunteers just wanted some clarification and more transparency. It’s over. It’s done. Ruth and the orphanage handle the money very carefully and rightfully.
Kyran has left to return to Australia. We had his going away party. Lots of dancings, singing and performaning. I’ll be sure to videotape mine. It’s quite a ceremony of sorts.
The PC started working (kind of) again so I created and printed off worksheets for this entire week after a week and a half of none. I’m excited. WIth all these people and the one program I was routinely doing with the children knocked out because of computer issues, I was feeling really lost and useless. I also bought bread and peanut butter and jelly. PRAISE THE LORD. Hellen told me today I was getting “bigger.” So that will be the first and the last time I buy peanut butter and jelly. Kidding, though I do need to curb my appetite. Too much chocolate, too much chapate, too much junk. More fruit, more water.
Last night, we rented a special taxi and took all the volunteers and some of the children to see the dance troupe at the Grand Imperial Hotel. It was a fun, fun night and I’m happy some of the children got to participate in the fun. We were a big group and stood out so towards the end of the dances, they called all of us up front and we danced in front of the audience. The kids loved it, the volunteers loved it. It was a riot. My favorite part…taking Mercy to the toilet. She’s four and had never seen such a facility. Her face at the sight of the toilet bowl was a mix of confusion and excitement.
Tomorrow, Zena, Jenny and I are going to take a day trip towards the Masaka area. My dad got me this really great East Africa travel book and I’d hate to not put it towards good use. We’re going to head to the equator, turn around head back towards Kampala but not before going to the Mpanga Forest Reserve to see a lot of butterflies, birds and, hopefully, some red-tailed monkeys. It will a nice day escape. And afterwards, I’ll be able to say I stood in both the northern and southern hemispheres at once…no big deal.
I think that about sums everything up. I’m sorry my entries are getting fewer and further between. I’ll try to do better. Tomorrow, expect a full report on the day trip.
These are the purses/necklaces the kids make. Matovu taught me how to weave together the palm leaves to make the rope from which the purses are sewn. He said once I get three chest lengths he’ll sew me a purse. And by purse he means coin purse. It takes a lot more to make the full-size bags.
Before we left to go to the Grand Imperial Hotel. That’s the nicest I’ve looked in a long while. I even wore my sassy silver ballet flats.
I love you and I miss you, but it’s back to tutoring time.