We're in Jinja!! Our last days in Soroti were really good:
My hair is done!! Sixteen and a half hours later, I have a braided head!! Yaaaaay!!
Since we were leaving, the neighborhood kids were around a lot to hang out with us. Oh my goodness I just want to bring them home (sigh, but I won't...). One of the games they decided to play was to decorate my and Lindsey's hair with leaves and flowers. LoL!! The braids make it a lot easier to stick things in, I guess. Soooooo funny. I looked like a weird depiction of Eve (don't worry - we took pictures). David (10 years old) decided that Lindsey and I are his "mommas." So, we can't help but bring him home, right? I mean, I can't abandon my son!!
I miss those kids. The last night, they were blowing kisses to me. I taught them how to catch a kiss that's blown to you and put it on your check. But then they just started to eat the kisses. Hey that works, too. Maybe they think I'm blowing them Hersey kisses.
Right now it's dry season in Uganda. There's no fall, winter, spring, summer because there wouldn't be much difference besides rain or no rain. So they have dry season (no rain) and wet season (lots of rain!!). Apparently wet season's come a bit early because a few nights it's been POURING. And it's intense and windy and crazy. I love it. Monday night, Mike and I were sitting on the veranda right outside our building and it started to sprinkle. Trickle trickle. A little bit more... a little harder... a little windier. And bit by bit the rain attacked us. It was wonderful. We thought we were safe under that roof, but I guess you need walls, too. Ha!! It turned into a night of running around, dancing in the rain, and getting soaked. Oh, and people laughing at us from their rooms. I guess we were entertaining as we attempted to mimic Step Up 2, which we actually watched earlier that night (if you haven't seen it, stop reading this, go rent it and watch it immediately because you are seriously missing out).
Wednesday, we hopped a Teso Coach to Jinja.
It was insane getting on.
MAD RUSH of people. I thought I was going to get pancaked. But we all got on safely and sweated our way to Jinja. Hey, what's a bus ride through Uganda without the heat? : D
It was definitely hard to say goodbye to the Soroti staff. I've only known them three weeks, but they're really fun and amazing people. You just kind of attach yourself to people like that, hoping they'll always be around because they're so great. I hate those goodbyes --- "Ok goodbye. I'll see you... uhm... sometime, hopefully?" There's no guarantee any of us will see any of them again. That's hard. But I am certain that God helps us slowly move on from the people He draws us away from.
All is well.
When we arrived in Jinja, we got picked up by our host, Samuel. Ok, we ADORE him already. We even call him Sammy now (hehe). He's funny and so hospitable.
We're staying with him and his family in his new home. New home - they just moved in. It's small, but they are readjusting their lives for us. Sarah, Samuel's wife, is staying home from working at the clinic that YWAM Jinja has in order to take care of us. We as Americans think we're hospitable. I don't want to negate the fact that we open our homes to each other, but I'm seeing a whole new level of hospitality. Fully opening your life, your family, your home, your kids, your hands and labor for the comfort of another. A stranger, regardless!! That's amazing to me.
Staying in Samuel's house is definitely less... of what we're used to (you can probably tell that I'm avoiding the word "comfortable"). We girls are in the living room on mattresses under three mosquito nets. There are pit latrines (no indoor bathrooms) and an outdoor shower. At first I was like guuuuuh. But now? Man, this is so great. I love sleeping crazy close to these women that I love (we have good stories that occur in the middle of the night) and having trouble with the tiny hole that we have to pee into. It's just another opportunity to roll with the punches and get something great out of us. Sorry for the graphics, but I don't want to hold much back.
We haven't done much yet, just orientation-type things. But I'm getting really excited. Our schedule is filling up with really good things. YWAM Jinja has a medical clinic - just general things like blood testing, perscriptions, etc. They need practical work done. We'll be getting bats out of their ceiling, painting, and digging a rubbish hole. Seems mundane, but the staff expressed to us how much it would bless them. : )
We also visited Springs of Hope, a ministry of YWAM that reaches out to disabled children. There's really nothing in Uganda for them even though they're disregarded, neglected, and rejected much of the time, even by their own families. SOH does a lot of home visits, which we'll be going on, to pray and encourage them and their families. I think SOH also works with the kids to help them become able adults in society. Cool.
We're also planning to lead Sunday school and discussions at churches. The discussions would be geered at doing practical work and serving God by volunteering your time. Our afternoon would then be focused on doing work that we talked about with the congregation. So if we talked about caring for people with HIV/AIDS, we would then go out with them and look after people with HIV/AIDS.
Great stuff. Really great stuff.
Things you guys can pray for:
Samuel and his family!! Pray that they don't get burnt out taking care of us and that they are blessed by our appreciation for them, because we really are grateful for all they're doing. That we get to know them well.
All the stuff we'll be doing!! It's really exciting - just pray that we work at all of it with all our hearts. That our servant hearts don't fade, but only increase. That God continues to give us strength.
That we have time to spend with people in the community. A lot of the time, it's really easy to just randomly hang out with a bunch of kids on the side of the road somewhere. They just approach you. And even if there's a language barrier, it's so great to just soak them in. Pray that we can linger and be present in those times every once in a while.
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