Today was amazing. We were picked up at 9am by our friend from Watoto. We headed out to Ssuubi where one of their children’s villages is located and where they are building a new babies home. All of the toddlers and special needs children have been moved out to their new building. We got a brief tour of the Watoto village. If you are in Uganda and have a chance to tour one of their villages, do it. They are a great organization and their villages are a beautiful refuge for orphaned children. Kids are raised in a family environment. Each “family” has their own house where they live with a mom and up to eight orphaned children. The children grow up together as siblings and go to school in the village. They are cared for and educated clear through college. They are currently caring for about 2,000 children in Uganda. Simply amazing. I would love to see something like this modeled in Haiti at some point. It is a great way to not only provide for orphans but to raise up a new generation of leaders for a country – can you imagine what these 2,000 college educated people can one day do for their country? We were so impressed. The new babies home is huge and beautiful. It is still a work in progress and since they are having their grand opening on Monday everyone was franticly trying to get things finished up. While Keith helped with sanding and painting I spent some time with their precious children. I spent most of my time with the children with special needs. There are eight of them that I’m going to help them find adoptive families for. The orphanage doesn’t normally do adoptions but they are making an exception for these children. They are so sweet and unique. Each child has their challenges but I think each has great potential if they were able to be adopted and get the proper medical care and therapies. Two of them in particular really touched my heart. I would love to be able to bring them home to our family, but I don’t think it will be possible at this time. If you are interested in possibly adopting from Uganda and might be interested in a special needs child feel free to contact me. I will post a list of who the kids are soon.
After we left Watoto we headed back to the hotel where we had lunch. Keltie picked me up at 3pm to go deliver all the goodies we were able to purchase for the RUHU orphanage, the very poor orphanage we have been trying to help. We had 35 bed nets, a big bag of rice, a big bag of beans and a big jug of cooking oil. The kids were alone when we arrived. We called the director of the orphanage when we realized he wasn’t there, he was at a meeting at church but he showed up about 20 minutes later.
We spoke for a few minutes then I them we have bed nets, rice and beans for the children. We opened the back of the truck and everyone (including Patrick the director!) started SCREAMING, jumping up and down, hugging, wooping, dancing. It was such pure, genuine joy and gratefulness. Keltie and I were both in tears at their excitement. It was like Christmas morning times 10! You have never seen children so grateful, so thrilled just to get a mosquito net for the bed. We watched as children with enormous smiles on their faces were handed a net and raced to their dorm to start putting it up. We tried to help get the nets up but we weren’t very good at it (as I was told!) so we let them do that. They know how it is supposed to be done. :) Then Keltie presented the second part of the surprise. She told the director that we were going to take him to the market and buy 100,000 shillings worth of fresh fruits and vegetables for the children. He played it really cool at the market as we filled up the back of the SUV with bags of potatoes, greens, onions, peppers, carrots, cucumbers, watermelon, pineapple, passion fruits, etc. I mean FILLED the back of the SUV. It was so fun. We got back to the orphanage and as soon as Patrick got out he grandly opened the back of the SUV to present all the food to the children and everyone started screaming, jumping up and down, dancing, etc again. It was like Christmas morning again! Patrick showed his true excitement when he was with the children – he was dancing and screaming too. :) The kids helped carry all the food into the house and put it in the kitchen. They kept wanting to pose with their various fruits and vegetables. Everyone stood in the kitchen just laughing, hugging and staring at the food for a bit. It was surreal.
Moments like this make us feel so humbled. Each time I experience something like that I realize again just how spoiled I am. How spoiled we all are. How much we take for granted.
We took pictures of the children and got all of their names, ages and information. We are hoping to find sponsors for these kids. They aren’t able to go to school and they really want to. We’re still working out the details but it looks like school will cost less than $200 per child for the entire year.
As we were hugging the children goodbye I couldn’t help but get emotional. I will never forget these kids. They have touched my heart is such a special way. Thank you SO SO MUCH for all you have donated and given to help them just a little bit. This food is a short term help for them, but their joy was worth every penny we spent. If we get more money in for them we’ll continue to get things for them as long as we are here. There are SO many needs at their home.
I will post some pictures. Thank you again for your help and love towards these children. I have lots of video to share but I don’t know if I can get it uploaded here or not. If not I’ll do it as soon as we get home.
Internet acting crazy. Will try to post pictures later.