Second full day…

Oh wow.  Wow. Wow. Wow.
Should I say it again?
WOW.
What an amazing trip this has been so far!
I’m going to back up a little bit – I’ll write about Friday since that is where I’ve left off and it is too much to do multiple days in one post.
On Friday morning I woke up ridiculously early.  3am.  Couldn’t go back to sleep.  I knew that the alarm was going to go off at 4:30 and just couldn’t make myself sleep.  About 4:30 I finally got Danielle up and we got ready to go.  The plan was to leave the house by 5am so we could be at the bus park at 545am to catch the 6am bus to Fort Portal.  That was our plan.  It obviously wasn’t God’s plan.  :)
The trip we were told would take 45 minutes only took about 15.  So we got to the bus park super early.  It was dark and there were a lot of men standing around.  It didn’t seem like the best idea for us to get out and start standing around there in the dark so I asked our driver to stay with us until Linda arrived.  For a fee of course.  He did and we sat there for about 45 minutes while men tried to get us to get out of the car and into their buses.  It is a bit competitive – they all wanted our business.  We were firm and stayed put in the car, but it was a tense 45 minutes.
Linda got there about 6am and the sun was just starting to come up.  We paid our driver and Linda found out the 6am bus to Fort Portal was leaving at 7am.  So we sat and waiting in the bus.  It didn’t end up leaving until 830am.  Ugh.  So there was 2.5 hours on the bus just sitting there.  We finally got going, stopped for gas and then headed West towards Fort Portal.  The road was quite rough for the first part of the ride.  They are doing road construction and the busses aren’t in the best shape in the first place so it was pretty crazy.  We were told the trip would take 4 hours but it took six.  So by time we got there we been on that bus for 8.5 hours.  Not my idea of fun.
The route to Fort Portal is lovely though.  The countryside is beautiful.  Once you start getting close to FP you can see the mountains come into view.  The Mountains of the Moon.  GORGEOUS.  Just absolutely beautiful.
We got to the taxi park in FP, got a couple of bodas and went to the hotel we planned to stay at.  This hotel looked gorgeous on the internet.  Absolutely lovely.  We got there.  Seemed OK from the outside.  We requested our rooms and paid.  Mistake.  Should have looked at the rooms first.  Oh my…they were so bad.  Sooo dirty, missing door handles and locks, holes in the bathroom walls, no screens, mosquito nets with holes, D. and I’s room was right next to a building in progress where anyone could walk right up to our door with no security…just not what we were lead to expect from the internet.  We went back downstairs and Linda tried negotiating for a refund of our money.  I tried to explain false advertising but they didn’t seem to get it.  You know what worked, I threatened to tell everyone on the internet how bad it was.  They chased after us and refunded our money.  Close call…
We checked out some other places but couldn’t find anything open that would work for us so we ended up at a the resort in the area.  Mountains of the Moon hotel.  It was beautiful. Unfortunately we weren’t there long enough to really enjoy it but it was pretty great from what we saw.
After we got checked into the hotel we got to work visiting the orphanages we came to meet.  One home in particular we were just so impressed by and I plan to write much more about them soon.  It is a home for HIV+ orphans.  The children just really touch your heart and they are doing such a good job.
The stories of these children are heartbreaking – some just really stand out.  Like the little girl whose mother died in front of her.  Or the children who have lost both their mother and father to AIDS in the same month.  Or the young  boy who contemplates suicide because he is so mistreated by others in his community due to the fact that he is HIV.  Sometimes the issues we hear about make me feel so overwhelmed.  There are so many needs.  So many children.  So many orphans.
It is impossible for me to help them all.  How do we choose which to help and which we say no to?  What do I do about 17 year old HIV+ orphaned boys who are only in the 2nd grade and who have no family?  Or the precious little ones that are thrown out by their families but can’t be adopted?  Or the hundreds school age orphans who I know will probably not find adoptive families though a family is the one thing they want most in the world?  Their faces keep scrolling through my head.  It is impossible for me to look at these kids and not think of my own son.  How that could have so easily been him.
It is all so fresh and so many thoughts are running through my head.  I’m praying for direction and clarity as we make important decisions and help as many as we can.
More later…
(took me forever to upload two pictures…more will have to wait until I get home!)

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