Monday, July 25, 2011

and the journey continues

Life here has been pretty exciting. There have been some intense times at the home that are very aggrevating...Did I mention VERY!?! But otherwise things are good. I am really enjoying my days at the school. The children are such a joy and what an honor to have the class stand everytime I walk in and say"good morning teacher Jolene." I love when they come up and tell me about their weekends and ask for my help with their work. The other day Julia and I were walking by the school and some of my students who are boarding kids were out in the field and they yelled "Hi Teacher". We went in for a visit. Dang! Those kids are creative. With their bodies intertwined with one another they were making planes, bikes, and so much more. I was impressed!! Well I dont have much time as the children at home should be returning and I shall be going to meet them. I just wanted to update all of you out there of what has been going on here. The internet at the home is currently not working, so my internet times are scarce.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

For those of you asking for specific prayer requests...

I often ask myself why things can not just be easier all the time. Then I am reminded that life for these children that I am to be loving was never easy. Last week at school a P7 boy came into my class to ask for help with his revisions on a religion exam that he took. We got into a good conversation about the exam and had the Bible open as several members of my class gathered around to listen. He heard that I was staying at Bula Children's Home and shared with me that he stays in another local children's home. Prior to coming to that home he spent 2-3 years as a street child in the slums of Kisenyi. Kisenyi is the slums where many of my friends come from as it is where the street youth that I worked with for 3 months came from. He shared about his life on the streets and how he ended up there. Then he shared how these men from this organization found him and promised him that one thing that he wanted: Education. He began school 3 years ago in P2 and is now in the top quarter of his P7 class. Stories like this make my heart smile. He invited me to come visit his home sometime and I look forward to that day. I know there is hope for these children and it's the little things that may make the difference. I just need prayer to be reminded of these things. To not get frustrated and upset. To not get discouraged. To remember that they are children.
*Prayer for my health and safety. I have been struggling with this annoying cough since I had that cold a month ago. Then on Thursday morning I was very ill with stomach cramps.
*Prayer for each child here at the home: Kenneth, Aaron, Bob, Vincent, Apizu, Arnold, Douglas, Harriet, Juliet, Sharon, Sarah, Brenda, and Lillian. (And also the secondary students away at boarding school)
*We still struggle daily with this whole children majorly disrespecting us thing.
*Prayer for the relationship between the volunteers and the uncles and matron. That we can learn to all work together in order to have the greatest impact.
Thanks to all of you who continue to pray for the work being done here in Uganda. Together we can make a difference in the lives of these children.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Sooo...What's new and exciting here in Uganda? I don't really know what to write about. I have gotten into a routine and this is now my life.The children continue to bang on our door early in the morning for vitamins and toothpaste. They are off to school by 7:30 these days. Lately we've been only having electricity for a few hours per day. Which means early to bed!!!
In an earlier blog I wrote about a boy named Douglas. He had become violent and rude to us volunteers through the weeks (along with many other children). On monday after school he told me that he was hungry. I asked him what for. Chips (french fries) and chicken of course!! I made him a deal (being the good parent that I am) if he could respect me, and I never have to yell at him for the next 2 weeks, I would buy him chips and chicken. I didn't think he would make it through the night. Well he did and he is still going strong! Last night during dinner I even asked him to fill my water and he did it with a smile. I'll keep you updated if I get a date with Douglas. I sure hope so!
This past Tuesday we traveled to the equator. It was a fun morning.We were adventurous and took public transportation hoping that we would be dropped off at the right spot. Well we the middle of nowhere!! There was literally a strip of craft shops, the photo spot, and 2 cafes with mzungus everywhere. We grabbed lunch, a veggie wrap (guac. and carrots in a chapati). Upon leaving the cafe it became evident that all other mzungus had disappeared. We finished taking pictures and then prayed that a taxi would drive by that was going to Kampala with 4 seats. We hailed a taxi driving by and the first one tried to rip us off by charging us 10,000ugx. We got them down to 8,000 which I think is still getting ripped off.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

A weekend away

Happy 4th of July!! This holiday weekend I got to spend with some extra special people in my life. It was such a blessing to be able to hang out with my friends at FDLM. FDLM is the children's home that I have visited the past 2 years. Paddy, one of the beneficiaries who is attending Uni in Kampala escorted us home. I was the lucky one to get the back seat with the tire under my feet for the 2 hour journey. Luckily when I exited the matatu I was able to feel my legs enough to walk to the home because as Paddy said, "we are going to use our Foot-subishi." It was a longer walk then I remembered, but maybe just because I was so excited. There was lots of time to talk to everyone and catch up with everyone. It was a blessing to be able to chat with Pastor David who always has some great advice and says what I need to hear. It's also great to joke around with him. And by the way David if you are reading this, last year Kelly and I had itchy thumbs at FDLM and this year I have the same thing again. I think it's you!! haha!
Otherwise I am starting to feel better. Just a scratchy throat with an annoying cough. I don't think the dust helps. And yesterday on our way home from Jinja we took a shortcut through Egypt. I really dont think there was any way that we were still in Uganda. There was lots of traffic going into Kampala so our taxi driver took us off the paved road through forests that I dont think Uganda even knows that they existed. I could not feel my butt, but I knew that I had to pee. Not a good combination. But as Paddy reminded us, "This is Uganda!" haha!! I love it!!!