Today was day 3 in the Acholi Quarter at our feeding program. Today our social worker Eunice, from our other program traveled from Jinja to see our feeding program and spend the day with us.
When we arrived the community children had already been fed, and one of our cooks was home with her daughter who was sick, so I jumped in to help Agnes get things set up and the porridge ready for the school children. I don’t work as fast as she does…which I think she gets frustrated about, but she just smiles and lets me help. We had more kids than normal today, which meant the porridge ran out quickly and some of the kids had to go back to school without it. That broke my heart, I didn’t like to see that.
When I was sitting outside the PHH building playing with some of the kids I looked up and noticed a boy carrying one of the Christmas cards I send each year. I called him over and asked to see it, it was a card from 2014 and he said he carries it all the time because it makes him happy. If you don’t know each year we send over 600 Christmas cards over to the children in both our sponsorship and feeding programs, it is something I have done since I started PY. Some people think it’s silly, but seeing this boy today cherishing his card makes it all worth it.
Once we got everything cleaned up from the feeding program we headed out to visit one of my girls Gloria, who is at a boarding school. I always look forward to seeing her at school, I started sponsoring Gloria 6 years ago, and we have a pretty special friendship. I was even more excited this year because now that she is in secondary school she is in a new school.
When arrived the headmaster greeted us, and called Gloria in and her smile as soon as she walked through the door melted my heart. She just sat down next to me and we hugged and hugged. The headmaster found us an office we could use to spend some time together.
Last year when I left her I asked her what she wanted me to bring her this year, so when I saw her I asked if she remembered what she had asked for…of course she did, she asked for a Bible and a puzzle. She was so excited to see that I remembered and that now she had a bible of her own and a 500 piece puzzle to work on. Mom and I took turns marking one of our favorite scriptures and leaving a note for Gloria next to those so when she reads those verses she can remember that we are always thinking about her and praying for her.
We got to spend some time alone, and she shared some of her struggles and what she is going through. Gloria doesn’t come from a good home, and her mother struggles to provide for her. We talked together, and cried and I prayed a lot for her in that moment. She is incredibly strong and so smart, I made her a promise that I will never give up on her if she never gives up on school and getting an education.
The visit always ends too quickly, and “see you later” hugs are tight and tears fall. But she knows I’ll be back, I will always come back for her.
We decided since we were already out and head out of town we would do something “touristy” something I don’t do very often when I am here. We headed out Masaka Road and went to the marker where the equator passes through Uganda! Not going to lie, it was pretty cool to be standing in both the northern and southern hemisphere, I mean how many people can say they did that?
Then we headed to some shops to buy some new cups and a bucket for the feeding program. I know Agnes will be happy in the morning when I bring those.
Now I am back at the hostel, my stomach is rumbling..its dinner time!
So for now…Mweraba!
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