Today, we visited 5 schools in and around the village where our children live. As the vans pulled up with all of us in it, we were greeted by all the children running at the vans. When we got out of the vans, the children just swarm you and hug you. We brought them many, many school supplies (things like pencils, pens, erasers, chalk, paper, solar calculators, rulers, pencil sharpeners and more). These are very hard to come by in the schools. We gave each school a first aid kit, in all cases, it was the first first aid kit they had! In addition to the school supplies, we brought a huge duffel bag FULL of jump ropes, kick balls, soccer balls, footballs and baseballs & bats! The kids went WILD for these, literally!
All of this sounds wonderful to you reading it, but I have to tell you that being there, seeing the poverty and the suffering caused me to be greatly overcome with emotion. I had to go to to the head masters office at one point to cry because the children at this particular school were singing for us. One song they sang had to do with their past and all the suffering their families and especially, the children, went through. These children sang with such emotion, acting out the song just as it did happen, that I just couldn't get through it.
The one thing that we saw over and over again was that even though these children have absolutely nothing, they were SO full of love and had huge smiles on their faces all the time. One very small gesture gives them such hope and the feeling of being loved.
I have never been hugged so much for so long in my entire life. I can see why people love Uganda and the people here. No matter how bad it is, they are grateful and so happy to have us here.
At one school, we took pictures of 2 children that need a place in our new orphanage (who will need sponsors once we set that program up). This made these children so happy to think that they will have a place to live very soon.
This is truly a life changing trip, like all of what we do, but in a much larger way.