Touched, By an Angel

Down a dirt road, around the mango trees, hidden from tourists and most outsiders there is a little village of Matate, Uganda. This village has two small ‘dukas’ (shops) that sell the basic necessities for life. Population is probably around 50. My supervisor and I have been doing some outreaches to this incredible little town and yesterday we helped put on a day of music dance and drama to encourage people to get tested for HIV/AIDS. The day was rather long and as we moved into our 3rd hour of drama, yes 3rd hour, I was fading fast. Of course there is no power in Matate so microphones were out of the question. What I could hear, I only understood about half, it was all in Luganda. Out of nowhere a little baby of about 2 crawled up into my lap. This surprised me as most small children are too afraid of “muzungus” to come close enough to touch.

For the next two hours she sat with me and we clapped, played and danced together. From asking the people sitting around me, I found out that her name is Angel and she had recently been abandoned by her parents. Dropped off at this village without so much as a shirt on her back. I was completely blown away, how could anyone dump this little bundle of joy on the side of the road? She was the most friendly, happy baby I have ever met, and I instantly fell in love with her. When the event was over, we of course had to leave. My heart sank knowing that I would have to leave Angel as much as I wanted to take her with, our orphanage only accepts children who are 4 or above. I had to shut the door of our vehicle on her and through the window, I could hear her screaming and crying. I had to bite my lip to keep from weeping. As we drove off, I saw two older women go to comfort the baby and I was once again filled with hope. I realized that I should not feel so bad for this little Angel, for she would be taken care off. The village would raise her as their own. They would provide love and food for her. Even though they have very little food or clothing themselves, I knew they would share what they had with her. So instead of driving away depressed, I was happy but also questioning many things. It makes me think, would the same happen in America where we have so much to give? Hmmm……


giving in

3 posts in 2 days, kind of crazy, huh? I'm in Kampala this weekend to do research among other things and taking some time to hang out with fellow PCVs and indulge myself in some quality internet time. I have been pressured from many people, who shall remain nameless, to rejoin the facebook craze. After resisiting very hard, for a very long time I have decided to give in and become a member. If you are part of the book of faces, log on and ad me as your friend! (if you want anyways) :-) Also, there are some new pictures under the photo album "sabina home!"

Things are going really well right now. The children are all back from their holidays and school finally resumed which means that I get to start teaching. So far, its really been a blast. I can't wait to get to know all of these children. My first goal is to learn all of their names. We will see how that goes! Last week I was also able to sit down with my counterpart and supervisor to make a detailed work plan which looks something like this:

Monday: Field work with Grace (my supervisor). We will be doing home visits, workshops, community outreach centered on positive living, community wellbeing and community development.
Tuesday: Teaching health/life skills, PE, music and some English at Sabina school (the school which is connected with my orphanage)
Wednesday: Teaching health/life skills, PE, music and some English
Thursday: More community outreach with Grace
Friday: Visiting local schools to do health/HIV/AIDS/life skills education
Saturday: Girls empowerment club. I am starting a club in my town for 5th and 6th grade girls to have a safe place to come hang out, play sports and talk about life. Also, my Saturdays will be spent with my new friend from town who is going to help me learn more Luganda.
Sunday: Going to church, washing clothes, washing my house. Yes, washing your clothes does take all day!

Time is flying by, so I must go. I pray that you are all well, know that I miss you all like CRAZY!

Ps. Don’t forget to add me as your friend on facebook!


2 months at sight tally

Number of:

Piles of cow droppings stepped in: 6 (the cows roam around everywhere here, they haven’t quite caught on to the idea of fences or animal pens here).

Snakes found in my bathing area: 1 Needless to say, said snake has been removed from bathing area.

Spiders killed from in house: 20 – yesterday I even squashed one with six legs, bizarre!

Marriage proposals: At least 40. You think this would be flattering, but it is actually just sad.

Times I have had to sing the Bugandan National Anthem: 20. Somehow I have become famous around the area as the ‘muzungu’ who knows how to sing the anthem, in Luganda.

Percentage of accuracy in aiming into the pit latrine: 96.8%

Months left until I COS (close of service): 22

Days till I come home for the wedding: 125

Times when I have wanted to come home: About 100

Times when I was glad I was in Uganda: About 1,000


What did you do today? What decisions did you make? Did you decide whether or not you would wear a purple or pink shirt? Perhaps you made the decision of if you wanted swiss or cheddar cheese on your sandwich. Or maybe, today, you made a life changing decision; where you would go to college, what job you would take, where you would move too. I sat down to play cards with some of the kids here, and like always, we played “amatatu,” the only card game they know. Even though they have played it thousands of times, they still love it. We had just filled our stomachs with posho and beans for the 100th meal in a row, but none of the children complain. They eat posho and beans, every day, for every meal. They wear the same clothes, a navy blue uniform. They wake up at the same time everyday, go to school and come home to the orphanage and do chores, eat more posho and beans and then go to bed. They do this all with a smile on their face. No complaining about the uniformity of the everyday. It has made me realize just how blessed I am to have been given so many options in life. Most of these children will never have the opportunity to decide if they like strawberry or grape jelly. They won’t be able to decide where they will go to college. They won’t ever be asked what they want to be when they grow up. They won’t even get to decide if they want to buy a green or blue pinstriped shirt. So, why am I telling you this? Not to make you feel sorry for the children here, but maybe as just a little reminder of just how lucky we are. So tomorrow, when you are torn between wearing your new tennis shoes or your sandals, pray to God and thank Him for giving you the opportunity to have these decisions in your life.