Day 1 – 27 June 2014
Note: We arrived very late last night and when we landed in Entebbe we found out that none of our bags had arrived. There was a big problem in Heathrow Airport in the terminal we left from and most of the people on our flight did not get their bags. Thankfully we packed a change of clothes in our carry on, but until our bags arrive no comments about wearing the same outfit.
Today was our first official day back in Uganda. There is something special about coming home. There is a peace that I can’t explain, the sights and smells (even the dirty and stinky ones) remind me that I am home.
We woke up early and watched the sun come up, it was a beautiful start of the day. We had breakfast and then headed out to the Acholi Quarter. We were so excited to be able to see our breakfast feeding program in person. We arrived about an hour before the children were coming. We met with our two cooks, Aciro Agnes and Akumu Helen. We watched them prepare the porridge that the children eat. They cook it in a small mud building, in a huge pot over charcoals. It was so smokey in the small room, but the smell of the porridge smelled so good.
We went to the community building to start setting up the cups so Aciro and Akumu could fill them. Lining up 100 cups made me smile knowing that 100 children are getting a meal every school day. Our amazing cooks came in with the huge pot, its amazing how these two ladies can carry it up the hill to the center.
The kids go to school from 6:30am until 4:00pm they have a 30 minute morning break around 10:00am and then a longer lunch break in the afternoon. They come to the feeding program during their morning break. Slowly by slowly the children started coming. I love how they come in quietly, greet us all and then take their cup and sit and drink it. As soon as they are done they return their cup to be washed and head back to school. When some of the older children came they came and told me how much they love having the porridge, and now they have energy when they are in school. That made me so happy,I started this program because my kids were going to school hungry and that wasn’t right, they deserve to have a full belly so they can learn better.
After the porridge had been served, the children were back at school and all was cleaned up we sat down with Aciro Agnes and Akumu Helen to get to know them better and to hear their stories. They are amazing women, and we are blessed they are working with Project Yesu.
I got to see three of my kids today on their morning break, Gabriel is getting so tall I barely recognized him. Makmot of course didn’t say much but greeted me when he came in. Lydia is growing more beautiful everyday, and for the first time in 2 1/2 years she talked to me it was so great to hear her finally talk.
We took a walk around the Quarter, showing Callen around. It always amazes me how it keeps going and going with mud and brick homes and lean-to stores and how many people fit into a small area. What some people see as a slum area, I see as a beautiful place where the people I love and care for live.
While we were in the Quarter a couple of big storms rolled through, I think its neat that when it rains the whole Quarter went silent except for the sound of the rain, but as soon as the rain stopped you hear children playing, roosters crowing and voices of the people moving about. We had lunch at Mama Oyet’s home and met so many people in her family.
We headed back to the Red Chili to hand wash some clothes for tomorrow and have dinner. While we ate our friend Joel, the amazing artist who makes our “Be The Change” tire bracelets, came to bring us more and to visit for awhile. We also got to visit with our friend Evelyn who runs Arise Women’s Group and makes beautiful jewelry supporting single mothers and widows affected by the war in Northern Uganda.
It was a great day, seeing my kids, seeing the feeding program and visiting with friends.
I am typing this as mom is heading back to the airport to see if maybe our luggage has come in….fingers crossed.
Sula bulunge (Good night)