Let’s see, what’s happened since I last posted?
I can’t remember what day it was, but I went to visit my sponsored child through Plan, Filisita, and her family in Luwero, which is about an hour north of Kampala. Her family was very excited to meet a Mzungu, and her father was very well-spoken in English, so I had a great time. I was also humbled to receive their gifts of a pineapple, a pumpkin and some beans that I shared with the other volunteers, as well as a mat and a broom. Plan seems to have done a lot for the community and even built 3 schools within a short distance of each other.
I also went to visit Uganda Child Care in Masaka (2 hours east) over the weekend. It’s a charity run by a Danish couple who sold everything they had and moved to Uganda. They’ve started a Children’s Village for orphaned children, a farm to serve as a teaching aid to locals, and also run a child sponsorship program through which I have two kids, Lawrence and Emirini. I met Lawrence the first day, and he was extremely intelligent and already in secondary (high) school even though he’s 12. His was my favorite visit by far. We took him out to lunch, which was only his 2nd trip to a restaraunt ever. Then we went to his house and met his Aunt. His Aunt is actually middle class by Ugandan standards, but in meeting her natural children and her adopted it’s obvious that her adopted children aren’t taken care of nearly as well, which has led to Lawrence needing sponsorship. She has apparently sent Lawrence’s sister away to be a house girl, which is basically a slave, and while we were there she asked if I would pay to send Lawrence to boarding school, presumably so she could be rid of him as well. Sad. As I was there for the weekend, we invited Lawrence to come along on Sunday as well (for when I met Emirini) and he jumped at the chance. During that trip we asked him if he wanted to go to boarding school and he started to cry and said no. He said he wanted to stay at home, but just hated having to walk 5 miles to school, because when he finally got home late at night his Aunt made him go fetch water 2 miles away in the dark, and he was always scared. I asked his Social Worker how I could help, and at her suggestion I was able to buy him a bicycle. I also gave him the no-batteries-needed flashlight my mom had given me so he didn’t have to be scared of the dark.
That day we visited Emirini, who lives with her family in a mud and thatch house in the middle of nowhere (we literally had to drive through a swamp to get there, much to Lawrence’s enjoyment) As her family of 8 is obviously very poor, the poorest of any of my kids, we brought them a food parcel with rice and beans and other staples. While there we also went to an African church service, which is much louder and more boistrous than the services I’m used to. 🙂
Monday I went to visit Deus, who is a 3 year old boy that I sponsor through CCF. He’s adorable and VERY talkative, although only in Luganda, so I couldn’t understand a word… but I nodded along a lot! His father is on the CCF community council that helps run the local project, so he had a lot of insight. They were very kind and welcoming, as have been all the families.
Yesterday and today I resumed tutoring kids who couldn’t afford school, focusing on Ronald, who I’ve decided to sponsor so that he can go to school next term. I was able to teach him to do addition today, and he went from only being able to add single digits to being able to add numbers of all lengths and quantities. He also began learning to spell basic English words, and all around is making a lot of progress for such a short time.
This afternoon we made the long trek back to Kampala, from where I am now writing. Tomorrow is my last day with ACF, and then Friday I begin my short “safari” to Murchison Falls, so I may not be able to post again for some time… not that I’ve been posting so often anyway; oh well.
Anyway, hope everyone is fine back home!