Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Jinja (part 1)

So, here I am in Jinja. I arrived late Monday afternoon and have been surrounded by children ever since. So far I have been spending my days reading stories, letting children pull at and brush and braid and put flowers in my hair and seeing how many kids I can fit on or around my lap at one time. What a difference from my time in Kampala! Holly’s place (i.e. Our Own Home) is great and I am absolutely loving every minute of my time there. She has just over forty kids between the ages of 1 and 15 and each and every one of them is so precious. Unfortunately, I haven’t taken any pictures yet (sorry!) so you’re just going to have to take my word for it. The kids are separated into two homes just down the street from each other, one for the boys and one for the girls and babies. So far I have spent most of my time at the girls’ home and have managed to learn all their names so now I’m working on the boys…

Yesterday I went to visit Amani Baby Cottage, the babies’ home I volunteered at for three months the last time I was here. Most of the kids from back then are gone now but I went with two purposes in mind… 1) to visit the few staff members that I was especially close with and 2) to see my Matty. Mama Lucy is the Ugandan woman I worked alongside of for the entire three months I was at Amani and I just adored her. We have had the opportunity to exchange letters a few times in the last 2.5 years but it was great to actually be able to see her again. Equally good yet also very hard was seeing Mama Katherine. For those of you who have been following my blog since the beginning, Mama Katherine is Jonathan’s mom (if you have no idea what I’m talking about please click here). Even just walking through the gates at Amani brought back all of those emotions I felt when I first heard about what had happened to Jonathan and seeing Mama Katherine brought it all to the surface. Just seeing each other brought us both to tears and we spent several moments just hugging and crying together. I should have been visiting him on this trip, marvelling at how much he had grown, rejoicing at how happy he was in his new family. Instead, there I stood, doing my best to comfort his grieving mother. I cannot even begin to imagine what she is going through…

The day was not all sad though, there was Matty…

Approximately two and a half years ago someone placed this tiny baby in my arms and it was love at first sight. They told me he was under my care and that I should give him a name and so I chose a name that I felt best described what he was, Matthew – “Gift from God”. I remember that first day, holding that three day old baby I had just named, wondering how I would ever leave him behind. I have wondered about and prayed for him often ever since and yesterday I got to see him again. He obviously had no idea who I was but was happy to receive some extra attention and so I happily spent the afternoon pushing him on the swing, holding him, playing with him, reading to him, etc.

Is he not the most handsome little guy???

Matty & I - June, 2007     .........................     Matty & I - Yesterday

Anyway, that’s all the news I have for now but I will try to post one more time before I leave on Sunday. Thank you for your continued prayers.

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