Again I woke up to the sounds of the village waking up…its one of my favorite things. Everyone was hustling around getting ready for the big day…today we celebrate the playground opening!! Important people had been invited, local leaders, and other dignitaries were all coming to celebrate with us.
The women were busy preparing food, the kids were busy cleaning and wiping down the playground. I have been sick, and have been trying to push through, its getting to me today, but fever or not I’m not letting it stop me from celebrating! My dream has come true…we have a playground in the village!
I walked down to the playground and everyone was busy…the men were building the retaining wall, some of the kids were helping by bringing bricks. Others were cleaning the playground equipment or picking up the area. And some were secretly testing the equipment out!
Around Noon the guests started coming, and the community started to gather. The kids came and danced, Patrick spoke as well as the other leaders and dignitaries. Ugandans love formality, and this was a big reason to celebrate. Then it was time to open the playground, I got to lead everyone as we walked to the site hand in hand with my two boys Elvis and Kalvin.
The kids and the community lined the playground, excited for their chance to play. One of the dignitaries, the LC3, who is a local politician and I walked to the center for the playground to cut the “ribbon” opening it officially. The group of us walked around the playground, took some photos and then it was time….the kids could finally play on their playground!!
I had to go lay down for a little while, my fever had gotten worse, so I went back to rest. But I wasn’t going to let it stop me, after about 40 minutes the medicine started working and I came back out to deliver the presents the sponsors had sent their children. The kids were so excited to get a special gift, there were lots of smiles and tears of joy!!
But then it was time for the “see you laters” there is nothing worse then the last day in the village…we never say goodbye because we will be back, but “see you laters” are just as hard. The tears started when my boys Elvis and Kalvin looked at me and said “I love you mama” and then I looked to see my friend Joseph sobbing not wanting us to leave. He had been at school for exams so he didn’t get to spend much time with us this trip. It was a long teary ride back to Jinja…the only good thing is that David and Pande came back to the guesthouse with us to stay the night and spend tomorrow with us.
As we drove away from the village, the countdown in my head started….11 months until I will be back!