Hello everyone. My name is Katie and this is my second time visiting Uganda with The Giving Circle.
This morning we were awoken by tragic news that our driver and more importantly our friend, Yasin, and his wife had miscarried their 5 month old baby. Being in Uganda can sometimes be hard. Although the sun was shining and the birds were chirping, we were quickly reminded that we are still surrounded by poverty and death. However, this afternoon was spent laughing and playing with the villagers in Wairaka. After making some Harlem Shake and Gangnam Style videos with the children, I was sitting and my Ugandan family: my sponsor child, Joan, my parents' sponsor child and Joan's brother, Shafiq, and their sister, Priscilla. They were asking about my brother, my mom and my dad. They remembered their names from the Christmas card we sent them with our Christmas gift. We mean so much to them, almost as much as they mean to us. Being with them was just thing I needed to lift my spirits.
Also at Wairaka, the children demonstrated the reason that I have been yearning to return to Uganda all year. We gave them empty water bottles (chupas) to refill in their well. Not every child had one but once we walked down to the well, the children with water bottles took a drink, and then proceeded to refill them and give them to their siblings or friends who did not have a water bottle. Then, I watched my sponsor child Joan as one of us mzungus gave her a pack of gummies. She took the first three and distributed them to her baby cousin, Linda, her little brother, Shafiq, and one of her friends. She bit the last one in half and shared it with her sister.
I often refer to my experiences in Uganda as a roller coaster. Although in Uganda we are surrounded by struggle and it can be sad, we are also surrounded by love, happiness, and hope. These children in Wairaka are so wonderful. Such genuinely kind people deserve to have someone out there who loves them, cares about them, and is working to help them reach their full potentials. Joan wants to be a lawyer, Shafiq wants to be a teacher, and Priscilla wants to be a doctor. I hope that these amazing children can overcome the hardships they face and succeed in achieving their goals. They most certainly deserve a bright future. Thank you for reading, have a great night! -Katie