The looping whine of mosquitoes is enough to keep me awake when I need my sleep. I imagine all the malaria parasite they carry to kill the innocent here in Uganda. And I consider the small fortune I spent on malarone to protect us fragile Americans from infection. I consider the numerous trips the children in our home have to make to the doctor to be treated for malaria and the suffering they must endure for us to know malaria has struck. And I wonder how I can thank God for making the mosquito. I haven’t become a saint quite like that.
I can thank God for another delightful day in our children’s home. I admit as I planned for this trip I was concerned it would be a great chore to be “boss lady” here and “mama Tonya” as well as plain old mama to Jack and Kira. Well this has so far been joyful and fun. It’s a wonderful surprise.
Jack is the best gift I’ve ever given the children here. He loves to teach them games and play hard with them. He loves to walk to the supermarket and fetch water. While the children had their tutoring with Auntie Kiah Jack worked on his journal about his trip. He reads my blog and thinks he can out do me. I hope he can.
Kira has decided by now that she would like to be in charge around here. She tells the children to sit and stay to color with her. She says, “come on let’s go” and she leads whoever she can catch to a new activity. Auntie Julie gave her the first experience with sugar cane. It is delicious if you can get past the spitting out the dry roughage left behind the slurping of the sweet juice. I was afraid she would swallow the hard straw. But she was great about slurping and spitting. I should have figured since she makes such a show of burping and farting.
While she slept in one of the girl’s beds for naptime I went off with Robert to the craft market to purchase goods for sale. I left Jack behind teaching the children how to play twister. Of course they giggled and squealed as they got their limbs caught up and twisted. My intentions are to bring home six suitcases full of crafts I can sell to help raise funds for our family here in Uganda.
At night during devotions we sat out on the lawn in chairs. Phiona began with songs of praise and worship in Lugandan. Kira danced and clapped along. I know there was nine months of lugandan in her brain somewhere and I wonder if she’s finding it. The first question for devotion was, “what have you done with all your might?” And the children answered with fasting, prayer, football, singing and reading. Jack answered he continued to bake bread all year with all his might. Phiona explained he sponsors many children here in Uganda to go to school. Our kids couldn’t believe it. Later at the end of the bible lesson about the talents that were distributed the question was, “what will you do in the future with all your might?” Almost all of the boys decided they want to be able to sponsor a child in school. Some said to sponsor children off the street. A couple of the girls said they want to be like me. It was sweet. Later the children talked a lot about what Jack does and they were so inspired.
When I talk to Jack he is inspired by them because they are so happy with so little. He wishes he had so many friends to play with every day. He likes the ways chores are all performed together. I think by the end of our adventure the learning the children will do from one another will be the best education they could get.
That evening on the way home Jack asked if he could teach the children how to bake the pumpkin bread he makes. He said, then they could sell it too and become sponsors! I said we could use the pumpkin growing in the garden, but I’m not sure we will find the right spices. We’ll see.
Spending time at the home with the team and the children feels like a party to us, but it is regular life for them. When I am in America I am so eager to keep my schedule and be productive that I only socialize while working at the barn. But here it is social time from morning til night and I have to say there’s something delightfully good for the soul in sharing life together like they do in Uganda.
It makes me sad to see America cloister itself more and more with technology. I suppose I can be more intentional about joining community at home, but it will never be as it is here. The community here is what I consider as the real treasure of this continent.