First, I want to apologize to all the people I have not yet emailed back. I have loved all the emails I have gotten recently but have failed miserably in responding in a timely manner. I’d like to say it was because I was just so busy saving orphans, but really it’s more likely I’m lazy and sometimes a little overwhelmed with communication. And I’m 8000 miles away, so I know you won’t get too upset if you don’t get a response immediately. I will get back to you! I promise.
Now that that’s off my chest. I got an email the other day that asked what a typical day was like here. And honestly, I asked myself that same question. There haven’t been many “typical days” since I’ve been here. But I’ve done and seen a lot, and I’ll tell you about the things I do most often. I really just realized when I got that email (that I haven’t responded to, sorry Mrs. Tina!) that I haven’t really talked about day to day life here. So here it is:
I’m a project kind of girl. I like to have a task and see it through to completion. So I’ve gotten a lot of projects that the ROS need done but don’t really have time to do. I’m learning to see Jesus in the small things through these projects. I’ve put all of the books in the library in a spreadsheet so home office can have a record of the books we have. I just finished counting and doing inventory on the widow’s program merchandise to be sent to the Rafiki Exchange and have made up packets of medicine for the children and staff that take medicine daily up through January. Now I’m working on getting a set of new books ready to be put in the library with library cards and “Property of Rafiki School” written on every one. There’s also been other little tasks like putting the kids artwork around the dining hall and running to the photocopier with Cecilia.
I think sometimes Carolyn or Cecilia have me do things more because they know I’ll enjoy it than there actually being a huge need. But I’m very thankful for those jobs. One of those things that I’ve done is going to doctor’s appointments for Lillian and other kids with Carolyn. I guess the ten years I dreamt of all things doctor has stuck with me a little bit. Although I no longer desire to be the one operating (well, most days anyway), it’s fascinating to see hospitals and doctor’s offices in a different country. Some offices we go to are much like what we’d see in the states, although a little more primitive. But the hospital I’ve been to (there are many in our area) was possibly the most unnerving yet intriguing thing I’ve seen in my time here. I’ve also spent a lot of time with Carolyn and Cecilia and Patti going into Kampala for different things for the children and the school. Yesterday, Carolyn and I drove to two different government offices to drop off paperwork that has to be done to keep each child at Rafiki.
For two weeks, I taught/helped to teach Kindergarten. To some, this probably seems like a super easy no brainer job. It’s not. If nothing else, I have gained a tremendous amount of respect for teachers and will send daily goodie bags filled with fun to the teachers of my one day children. Because they deserve it. Teaching is tough. Classroom management is tougher. These Rafiki kids are extremely well behaved. Even the day students. But I must say that was the hardest job I’ve ever had. Only two days of the two weeks was I the only teacher for this group of children, and both days I came home at noon (because the 5’s only go from 7:45 to 12) and took a nap. I was exhausted and my body actually physically hurt. Needless to say, teaching isn’t for me, and I soo appreciate the ones who God has called to it. But I’m also thankful it was just two weeks that they needed me!
I tutor two P6 (sixth grade) boys in math every afternoon. They challenge me to work on my patience without even knowing it, but their desire to learn, the progress they have made, and the fun we have (even in learning) are all huge rewards.
GAMES was a week where the kids had different activities each day while on break from school. (Kids in Uganda [and most of Africa] go to school year round with two or three week breaks every three months and a longer break for Christmas.) They colored the Uganda flag, drew pictures of what Uganda meant to each of the children, had a slip and slide/water day , watched movies, did craft projects, sang and danced, and much more.
I’ve been here almost two months, and it feels like so much longer but not that long at the same time. I love this place, this country, these people. This isn’t a complete description of everything I’ve done and I’ll write more as I think of more! I’ve been fortunate to be able to see and do a lot of different things in my time here, and there’s still more to be done.
Minor prayer request: I feel silly even writing this, but oh well. In a few weekends (November 18-20), the women ROS and I are going to Jinja and Iganga for the weekend. We’re going to see two different organizations that were started by girls just about my age, Amazima and Musana Children’s Home. The girls from Musana are friends of one of the ROS and came to see Rafiki about a month ago, and now we’re going to see what they do. I’m going to write a post about them when we get back. Their story is incredible. Amazima is the organization that Katie Davis started after moving here 4 years ago. (Links to more info on her are under Change the World on my blog header.) We are going to a feeding program that they do for children in a town outside of Jinja. Here is the prayer part: I really want to meet Katie. and the people from Amazima that I’ve talked to say she’s usually there. But would you pray that she would be there? Her blog had a big impact on my life last semester and is one of the ways God used to get me here. I feel so silly asking for that, but it would be really neat to be able to meet her. (Also, if you haven’t gotten her book Kisses From Katie, buy it and read it. I haven’t found it here yet, but my mom is sending me a copy. I’ve heard it’s incredible.)
**Also, I am playing with the format of the blog. If you want to leave a comment, it’s up at the top of the post under the date. I’m not sure if I’ll stick with this format, but it’s fun to play!
**Another thing: Aren’t these boys on the header sooo cute? My cottage 12 boys. Benon, Jerome, Simon, and Isaac. Can I fit them in my suitcase and bring them home, Dad?