09 July 2013
Today we headed into town for lunch and wifi, then headed back out to Ekisa for the afternoon. As I was sitting in the yard, alternating kids on my lap, first Isaac, then Joshie then Deborah I couldn’t help but sit back and smile as I watched them all playing. There is something incredible that happens when you spend time with the sweet kids of Ekisa. You may start off by feeling like “wow these kids really need my help” there are about 22 children of varying ages and abilities, and although they are labeled “special needs” we think they are just “special” because each one of them has their own unique gift that they truly bless you with, and unless you take the time to get to know them, spend time with them, then you will miss it and truly miss out on how amazingly special they really are.
I watched Mali sitting across the yard face to face with Zaka in deep “conversation” and although she can’t understand him, and he can’t really communicate with her all of a sudden he reached over and kissed her on the nose and she just smiled so big.
My heart soared as I heard the sweet laugh that could only belong to James, the day before he sat cuddled in my lap, running a fever and not being himself. His laugh is honestly music to my ears, its the most contagious laugh and you can’t help but laugh when he does, but man how you miss it when he’s feeling too sick to laugh.
Then I looked down at the beautiful face of Deborah as she sat on my lap. And although her disability has taken away her control of her body and keeps her from being able to “speak” there is no doubt that she can communicate. She is by far the sassiest and smartest girls I have ever met. Her smile can light up the world, and there is no doubt when she is “annoyed” by someone around her as she rolls her eyes in true Deborah style.
As I am playing with Joshie on the mat, I noticed that Arafat is sitting in his wheelchair mimicking me. Each time I stand Joshie up and say “whoooooooaaa” Arafat repeats back “whoooooaaaaa” and the minute I realize he’s doing it, and look over at him and call his name, he absolutely cracks up knowing he’s been busted.
Then there is Nom, sweet Mama Nom who is a young mother of 2 sweet babies, and despite her own disability has a smile and a joy that is unbelievable. There is nothing like a Nom hug, she just squeezes you in a big bear hug and holds you so tight. Well today she decided to get into a tickle fight with me, both of us laughing until our sides hurt. Nom’s love is unconditional, she is sweet, stubborn and one of the most generous people I know. No matter how little she has, she will always share with whoever is around.
These are only some of the special gifts that the children of Ekisa bring. Yes we leave tired, dirty, and sometimes we have “susu” (pee) on us…but our hearts are always full, blessed beyond belief by knowing these sweet angles, for loving them and for being so lucky to be loved by them.
After Ekisa we headed off to have dinner with our friend Brad, treasuring time with a friend and being thankful for all of the blessings that comes with being “home” in Uganda.