Greetings friends and family! I am sure that you have been missing me because I have been missing you! It's hard to find time to get to the internet cafe these days. Mostly cause when I am seriously bored that means the power is out which also means no internet. Anyways, life here is fantastic. Time is going soo fast. I can hardly believe that I've been here for 4 months. I have become really good at enjoying my alone time. I feel that is using the times to help me grow. I know that by being forced to travel teh city alone, eating alone, and being home alone has made me become more independent. I am really enjoying the new me.
On Saturday mornings I have been volunteering with friends of mine and their NGO Youth with a Vision (Sound like something you've heard before?!) They reach out to the street children in the slums and have recently been asked to work with the community children as well. It excites me to see their project grow. Saturdays they share the word and a meal with the boys and then they all play football. They have a new clubhouse where they are able to teach the kids craft and where they house a few boys. These boys can bring the biggest smile to my face.
This particular week the ice cream man was around and a few of the children got some ice cream. One kids fell right off his cone and he through the cone down too and jumped up and down and yelled -If only I understood Luganda- but he was MAD! Another kid came by and picked up the cone and scooped up the ice cream not physically touching the ground an enjoyed. Another boy came along bent down on all fours and licked the ice cream off of the ground turned and saw me and wiped his mouth have with his shirt and quickly got up and came over to give me the biggest hug. As he did, he whispered in my ear, "It's been so long since I have tasted ice cream." He had the biggest grin on his face!!
THis past week I was taken to the part of the slums where these street children stay. My friends escorted me after lunch. I was speechless and quite frankly uncomfortable. The boys were all sniffing as I was informed that they would be. They each have a ball of paper or a piece of a plastic bag with a smell similar to petrol. The smell itself was overwhelming, let alone the sight of 50-60 street kids high. To be honest I was ready to leave at first sight. The pain that I was feeling was so much. Everyone was running towards me "MZUNGU!!" giving me hugs, informing me that they are hungry, need a roof over their head, and wanted an education more than anything. One boy-about 10 years old- clearly hungry, came to me and offered me half of his samosa and insisted that I eat it. It didnt matter how many times I said no...I was going to have to eat it! A girl about 14 years old wanted me to take her young baby and raise it. It's not the first time that I have been asked to do this, but every time it is still just as shocking.
Did I mention that it was pouring all afternoon and I was freezing cold being in my friends room.?! The children were starting fires to keep warm as they wore rags and many of them did not have a pair of shoes to put on their feet.
God has called me to love these children. I know that they are a big part of why I am here. Please pray that I learn how I can best help these kids. If you are interested in helping in any way let me know.