IMG_3527Waking up in the village is one of my favorite things to do…as soon as the sun comes up you hear the village come to life. The roosters crow, the pigeons scatter around the roof, you hear the women sweeping the compound and the sounds of the village come to life.

I was sitting outside watching the women get ready for the day…washing clothes, cleaning dishes, starting to prepare breakfast and it just made me smile. There were 3 little girls running around and playing…not with toys but with plastic soda bottles that were left from the night before. Banging them together, making music…wearing the labels on their heads for headbands…tossing them up in the air and running to catch them. Three little plastic soda bottles entertained them for hours. I just sat there and soaked it in, the simplicity of life in the village, the joy in the smallest things, the community and how everyone looks after each other..these are some of the many reasons I love being in the village.

IMG_3557I was also watching my brother Pande, I am so proud of the man he is. He is hard working, loving and caring. He can’t sit still for more than 5 minutes, he is always up doing something…helping the women, playing or loving on one of the kids, doing some work with the men…whatever is needed he is there. I love seeing how he has risen to be such a strong leader in the community. His dreams are to become a doctor, and we are working hard to try to get him in University now to make his dreams come true.

IMG_3565We worked around the village a bit, taking updated photos of some of our kids who are still waiting for a sponsor. And doing the home visit for Mama Justine, Patrick’s wife…together they are raising 27 children…11 biological and the remaining are children who needed a home and a family. Mama Justine is one of the strongest women I know, she works hard to care for her family and always has a smile on her face, her joy is endless.

We played game after game of UNO…which is our favorite past time if you haven’t noticed. The kids love it…and love learning how to play…and competition is cut throat to become king or queen of UNO. Pande and I are a pretty good team, and we dominated over Kilya and Kamyia today.

IMG_3537Kamyia is loving getting to know her sponsor daughter Kelementina…or Tina as we call her. When Mama Joan brought Tina to the center the first day she was fearing Kamyia and wouldn’t go near her but slowly by slowly she has been warming up to her…and this morning she sat with Kamyia for hours playing with her. I love seeing the bond between sponsors and their kids and also their families, its so cool to see. I wish all of our kids sponsors would make the trip to come and meet them.

IMG_3574In between UNO games I walked outside and heard a familiar “MALI” and i turned around and one of my sweet friends Joseph came running to me. Joseph is one of the first kids we had in our program, he is so sweet and special to me. I have watched him grow from a boy who would always find random animals and bring them to me..from baby goats to owls…or dress in women’s gomesis and dance around…to a wonderful man. But Joseph has come home from school because he is sick and needed some medical care. He had been on “drip” (IV)  and was not improving so they sent him home for treatment. But he wasn’t too sick for a couple of hands of UNO before he finally fell asleep next to me.

IMG_9587After lunch it was time to head into town, we were going to Jinja market to do some shopping for some of the families in our program. The sponsors of about 16 of our children sent money with us to purchase things that the families needed…so off to the market we went with Pande and Margret, our program coordinator. Shopping in the market is fun, and going with Margret makes it even better because she just zips in and out of shop after shop, negotiating and making sure we get the best prices on everything. We bought backpacks for some of our older kids, to carry with them to school. Cases for some of our littles so they can store their belongings, blankets and dresses and 50kg of posho and sugar to divide out to the families. All in all a successful shopping day…after we loaded up the bodies with our haul we treated ourselves and met our friend Ester at the Keep for some milkshakes.IMG_9588

The team comes tomorrow night…I am excited for them to get here!

So now off to bed…Sula bulungi everyone! (Sleep well!)

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