Saturday, January 29, 2011

Uganda Trip - Day 10

Thursday, Dec. 9 -

Today's notes from my girls...

So it rained last night and I have found when it rains here, bugs make a B-line to the indoors! I have to say I was a little freaked out when I woke up and saw bugs on the floor next to my front door and up the wall all along the doorway. Huge grasshoppers were in my room on the curtains, walls, everywhere! There was also another strange type of bug with long wings - some people said they were queen ants, others said they were white termites.

So, being the brave bug warrior I am - NOT! - I kept my distance and got ready in a hurry that morning. I went to breakfast and by the time I got back, the housekeeper had already swept all the bugs from my room - well, almost all the bugs. I still had about 4 huge grasshoppers so I asked the hotel attendant if she had a broom I could borrow to get the rest of the bugs out of my room. She followed me to my room and I showed her where the rest of the bugs were. She proceeded to pick up the large grasshoppers WITH HER BARE HANDS!!! My jaw dropped to the floor. I told her she was my hero.  ;-) Evidently, grasshoppers are a delicacy here. In fact, I saw several of the groundskeepers walking around picking up the grasshoppers and putting them in empty water bottles to cook them up later. They say they taste like shrimp - and no, I did not taste them to find out!

After that bit of "fun", we set out to find 2 more orphans that will be living at Calo Me Lare. We located the first one in a far away village and found out that he also had a twin sister. We didn't want to split them up so we added another orphan today!

Tony Ochen and his sister, Apio Harriet...

In fact, we added 3 new orphans today because we learned that 3 of our orphans had twin siblings. Our numbers are growing rapidly! Because of this growth, we decided we need to hire at least 2 new house mothers and we'll have to get started on building the school right away. It's exciting to see the growth and changes right before my eyes!

The next orphan we found was Tracy. Her father died in 2007 of an illness he had for a long time. Sadly, her mother just died about five months ago from HIV/AIDS. She has a sister, who is nine, but she is also sick with AIDS. Her aunt, who has no children of her own, was taking care of both girls but decided it was too much to take care of Tracy and gave her to a drunk uncle. He was abusive to her and did not look after her well. We knew she had to be removed immediately from that situation so we went to her village with the intention of taking her - and that's exactly what we did. (We did this legally, of course. The uncle signed over his rights and Tracy is now an adopted child of Calo Me Lare where she will live until she is 18 years of age.) The sad thing is that out of all the local villagers, not one questioned what we were doing or where we were taking her. I suppose they saw it as one less mouth to feed and one less child to keep up with.

When we first met Tracy, She was very reserved, scared and even cried for a while. Kelley gave her some licorice and sat next to her, trying to warm up to her.

Our Ugandan helper and interpreter, Dennis, asked everyone to move away from the area so they could bond and develop a relationship. Tracy liked the candy and even sat in Kelley's lap. Almost immediately, she cracked a little grin then fell asleep in Kelley's arms. I don't know if she was exhausted or just relieved to feel someone love on her. I think, probably for the first time ever, she finally felt safe.

After she fell into a deep sleep, Kelley carried her to our van and climbed inside. This is a video I shot as we were walking to the van. I even got to meet the "Creator of the Planet" herself.  That was an "interesting" conversation, let me tell ya ;-)

We took her back to our hotel where she continued to sleep on a blanket on the courtyard lawn. After she woke up, we fed her some chicken and french fries. She ate and drank quite a bit for a little girl! Then, Kelley gave her a bath and put some new, clean clothes on her - the very outfit she purchased at the auction we attended last Sunday! Tracy looked and acted like a totally different child. Kelley gave her an orange pop and she loved that, too!

Then we had to figure out what to do with Little Miss Tracy. We knew we couldn't take her back to her village and it wasn't in her best interest if she stayed with us "white people". So, we took her to our Ugandan friend, Tony's, family where she could stay temporarily and be cared for until Calo Me Lare was completed in February. Tony's family has lots of children, mothers and grandmothers that will love on Tracy and care for her as if she was their own.

It was bitter sweet to see Tracy go. We had developed a little relationship with her and she even smiled and laughed some while under our care. I pray for Tracy - that God would protect her and keep her from HIV/AIDS. I pray that she is taught of God's love while living at Calo Me Lare and that she comes to know and accept His love. I pray that she never goes hungry and that she has clean water to drink. I pray that she receives an excellent education and becomes a great leader in her community. I pray for good health and that she is a blessing to all those around her. I pray that she loves, fears, and serves God with all her heart, mind, and soul. This is my prayer for all the orphans at Calo Me Lare and around the world. Amen.

1 comment:

  1. ahhhh... reading your journal entries.. overwhelmed with emotion... Tracy's story is so incredible in so many ways! I love your prayer. It's amazing, the journey you had, in seeking the orphans. Thank you for sharing.