The kids at the orphanage have been learning how to make paper bead necklaces so on the final Sunday before Donny, Whitney and Andres left Uganda they visited the kids in the afternoon and were given a lesson on how to make beads. The paper is bought already cut in long dagger shaped strips. It is rolled from the fat end to the tip and glued down. Then three layers of lacquer is applied and dried before stringing them up onto a necklace. One of the women who sell at the railway market has been teaching the children how to make jewelry from their beads. They had quite a nice pile of beads created in a few short months of using their free time on the craft.
I heard a rumor that the children want to take a field trip to the zoo. I think this is a good idea and as we discussed it at the breakfast table one day trying to see what we could do to fundraise for an event like that I had an idea. They can learn that they can participate in making it happen by selling their beads and I’ll be their customer.
So, on my last day I stood in front of them and asked them if it were true that they wanted to make a trip to the zoo. They cheered! I said, “Do you think you could pay for it yourselves somehow?” They frowned and said, “no.” I asked them if they were sure, and then reminded them they have been making beads. I offered to buy all of their beads for a hundred dollars and Elitia would keep it in a savings so they can go to the zoo. I instructed them to get really busy and I’ll buy the next bunch when they are ready!
I could see the idea sink in as they looked at one another and nodded. It hadn’t occurred to them that they could work towards making a dream come true. I hope they are motivated to use their free time and make beads all the while hoping to turn that time and effort into an opportunity to go to the zoo.
It would be so fantastic is we could just take them to safari since they live in a place where these wild animals roam. Their zoo might have exotics like raccoons! Isn’t that funny? It gives a certain perspective because we chase those masked demons out of our trash. We have learned from Herb Cook that most Ugandans have never seen their own wildlife in their country because it is too expensive. He plans to start a safari guide business to help Ugandans be able to see their heritage, and I think that’s a great idea. He’s the BEST guide ever because he grew up hunting wild game, and he has stories to delight everyone. My boys are still talking about the shenanigans he got away with as a boy growing up in Africa, and they are drooling with envy over the adventures they missed growing up in suburbs of America. I hope someday I’ll be able to take each of the children with us on Safari. Maybe a graduation gift? We’ll have to see. Meanwhile, they dream of the zoo, and their own little hands can make it come true. These are the sorts of lessons I teach my own children, so it seems right that they learn it young as well.
With the beads I bought I am planning to make a wall quilt of African fabric scraps and in the center arrange the beads in such a way that they form : Kirabo Seeds. It will be so special for me to have it made from beads the kids formed with their own hands. It’s strange being home and not able to go see them. I was in the book store yesterday and I naturally loaded my arms with good books I want to give the children, information they would love to learn about, and then it occurred to me, it will be so long before I see them. When I shop with my own kids, they are on my mind too, and I shop for them and keep a stash in a box. As this year I did a big drive for vitamins, next year it will be books. I hope to start a library shelf for them to be able to learn as much as they can fit into their minds. It will take a miracle though to transport all that weight, but somehow we got a thousand bottles of vitamins, we’ll be able to get a thousand books there too. I believe it.