Today I was thrown into my first day by working with the babies right after my tour of the Bulrushes, the baby home I'll be working at. They are SO CUTE. Today I was with the little ones, 3-6 months, and I got more baby food and spit up (among other things) than I would ever like to again. But I know tomorrow will probably be the same haha. But the babies are so sweet and I love just getting to sit around and "give them cuddles". While the babies nap we clean and do other kinds of work after we eat lunch that they prepare for us. There are 56 babies at the Bulrushes, from 0-12 months, and while I don't know all their names yet, and can't really tell them apart, I am already falling in love with these little ones :]
If this first day is anything like the next two months, I'll be completely exhausted, but having so much fun with the babies and hanging out with the other volunteers, who are all so great. Tomorrow I have orientation, and after work some of the girls and I are driving two hours to take pictures on the equator! Can't wait. All glory to Him,
Wow so much has happened in a week! Fun stuff that's been going on:
The Equator- the actual thing is quite boring, you just take a picture and you're done, but Sarah, Karin, Ali and I came across a school a little ways behind the shops at the equator, and decided to use our driver, Eddy, as our translator and see if we could go say hello to the kids. What a cool experience! These kids were so happy to see us, they sang us a song about the president and showed us their class room and absolutely loved our cameras. It was precious. I love living here rather than being a tourist because we get to see the real heart of Africa. There are so many bare feet walking on dirt roads, it breaks your heart.
Emin Pasha- a really really nice hotel and restaurant that has live music on Friday nights. A group of about seven of us girls walked there after shift and just got to hang out and eat some good food and listen to Ugandans play jazzed up American music.
Watoto Church- awesome. It reminds me a lot of Celebration back home.
What made is so cool was that I finally saw how Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever, even across the globe. God's presence was so sweet and it was just awesome to see all the Ugandans worshipping. God doesn't change no matter where you are! I've always known this but it was so much more real on Sunday. What God's been showing me: you have to humble yourself and give with an open heart, and when you do, you'll be sowing generously, which means you'll also reap generously. And that's a promise, which makes serving even more exciting.
On a less serious note- Africa knows how to do pizza. Which I didn't expect for some reason... All glory to Him,
Yesterday we went to the slums.
Helen and I visited another NGO called Hands for Hope that assesses families in the slums and decides who is most vulnerable, then provides resources for the mothers and school for the kids by getting the child sponsored. It's a really cool idea about keeping the children with their families and in the same environment, but empowering the supporting families to try and get them out of the cycle of poverty. So we spent the whole day there just hanging out with the older kids in the after school program, where we got to see them teach the kids traditional African dances. I also got to talk to the social worker, who was really cool, and see how things are run.
Then we went into the slums and talked to actual families that are a part of Hands. It was so humbling. Who do I think I am, having clean water and a bathroom, but still feeling like I don't have enough?
These families' fit six people in a house no bigger than a closet, a house that reeks of urine and floods when it rains and is infested with mice. Even then, the people are so nice and have hope for going on. The whole experience was eye opening. I'm pretty sure nothing I ever experience at home will even compare to what those people have to go through every day.