Today as we pulled out of the compound and headed to the village, and I couldn’t help but count the “lasts”. The last time we’d go around the round-about, last time we’d drive through Bugembe, last time down the hill into the village…all the “lasts” for this trip. I just keep telling myself…”11 months, I’ll be back in 11 months.

I wish my eyes could capture all I see so I could share it with people because my words and photos don’t due justice to the amazing beauty of this country and these people. Every where I look I see the beauty that captured my heart 5 years ago when I first stepped foot in this country.

We got to the village and it was quiet…too quiet it was like even the village was feeling sad. I went to check on one of my boys who had come back from school because he was sick. I wanted to make sure he had been resting.

I found one of my older girls Teddy, she is one of our first group of graduates for vocational training. She was busy working on sewing shirts. I just watched her, it was really cool to see her working and doing what she learned, I just smiled watching her.

Then it was time to head out to finish our home visits, we still had about 9 visits to finish. One of our first stops was one of our original families, I love visiting them because both the mom and dad are super hard working and try to give their children the best life they can have. When I was walking to their house I found one of my favorite fathers, Paul, I love Paul because he always has a smile on his face, I also love him because of the way he loves his family and how hard he works to provide for them. He proudly told me he was going to try to take a loan out so he could buy the house that they were living in, there was such pride in his eyes and it just made me happy.

During one of our home visits, a group of children were walking by on their way home from school. Patrick called to them and they came over to greet us. I watched as he talked with each child, how he looked them in the eye and spoke to them, the gentle way he held their hands. Patrick is an incredible man, and I call him a father to all because there is never a time he is not surrounded by children. He is raising 25 children, and only 7 of them are his biologically. I am blessed to have this man in my life, as my friend and as my partner in the village to make a difference in these children’s lives. Patrick is the head of St. Emmanuel Community Development Initiative, our partner in the village.

After we finished home visits we headed back to Patrick’s home for some lunch, but first I walked down to our resource center one more time. The painting was all finished now, and the signage had been finished too. I just stood there and looked at it, my dreams come true, right there in front of me. I walked into our PY office, I looked around and dreamed of all we will accomplish there.

We walked back up to the house and sat down for lunch. We were all quiet, there was just a heaviness in the air, the words were coming and none of us were ready to hear them. We never say good bye when we leave because it is never good bye, its just see you later because we will be back, we will always come back.

We left the village after lots of hugs, and lots of tears. On our way out one of our friends NBS called u because he had been working all day, he had not had a chance to say see you later. For NBS it is so hard to see us go, I think he is the only one who hurts as bad as I do when we go. Usually, he avoids me on our last day, so I was super happy to be able to hug his neck one more time.

There was only one solution for a heavy heart…a milkshake at the Keep. So Mom, Eunice (our social worker) and I headed to town to have one! It was Eunice’s first milkshake…and she was hooked.

All too quickly the milkshakes were done and it was time to head home. We were having dinner with some friends on Lake Victoria. I am thankful to friends who love on me during the hard days, I appreciate them more than they know.

Tomorrow we head to the airport and start the long journey back to the States, the only thing I am looking forward to is that my brothers, David and Pande, are coming with us. And our driver, and treasured friend, Job goes out of his way to make sure I enjoy my last few hours here.

Off to bed now….sula bulungi!

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