Friday, July 2, 2010

Baby Watoto, Uganda - Michelle's Journey

Good Day.  There are many vulnerable babies in Uganda who are abandoned or orphaned due to poverty & HIV/AIDS.  Many of them do not make it to their 5th birthday.  Michelle, drops college intern, heard the call to this ministry and drops decided that we needed to know more.  Michelle is a UT student who has given her summer to help, learn, and play with babies at this amazing center that is rescuing, restoring to health, and rebuilding many children's lives - giving them hope for a bright and healthy future. 

These precious beings come to the Watoto center through many different avenues...some not so inspiring - found in pit latrines, garbage dumps, under trees, buckets of water and on doorsteps.  It is common for them to be premature, abused, and with serious medical conditions. 

Below is another entry from Michelle's Journey.  I hope you are enjoying her stories.  We at drops are so proud of her and all that she is doing and looking forward to the possibility of future partnerships.

Peace, diane

Michelle at Baby Watoto, Uganda

I am now at Suubi!

Suubi is another Watoto village. It's about an hour and a half from Kampala, kind of in the middle of nowhere. On Thursday evening I received a text saying I needed to pack my bags because tomorrow I and three other volunteers from the Bulrushes would move. It was sort of a shock. I figured I?d be in Kampala at least a little longer, but this is Africa, you have to go with the flow.

So here I am with six other girls (plus Trent in his own apartment - lucky) living in a concrete flat in the Suubi babies home, directly above crying toddlers. Although friday night I fell asleep to what sounded like tribal noises outside my window. Drums banging, hollering and shouting; it lasted a few hours, but was quite interesting.

Sleeping past eight in the morning is practically impossible, and we're no longer in a city so there's not much to do when you aren't working - except watch movies and whole seasons of tv shows. I've currently finished season one of Grey's Anatomy, and have started The Big Bang Theory and Flash Forward. Also, Julie, one of the girls here that I share a room with, asked me if I knew I talked in my sleep. I probably should have given them a heads up haha.

Church today was cool, we got to pick a baby and take them with us which was actually kind of stressful, but fun. I took a little girl named Ella (I'll try to get pictures soon but my camera is acting up).
Worship was in Luganda, I think, and so joyful. I love seeing other cultures worship. It's just the coolest thing ever. I've discovered, or maybe I already knew, that my verse for this trip is 2 Corinthians 5:18-20. We are ambassadors to Christ. I've only been to two church services so far, but each one has talked on this verse that Kara prayed over me before I even knew I was coming to Uganda. I think it's God's reminder that He really is in all of this and that I'm here for a reason.


So there are some basic things I realize I haven't really discussed:

My schedule: If you work mornings the shift is from 7am to 3:30pm, afternoons are 11am to 7pm. The nice thing is there's no night shift in Suubi. They feed you lunch and dinner here, which are the same meal, but breakfast is on your own, whatever you bought at the store to eat. I usually have cereal or toast... but you probably don't care about that. (insert smile) The meals here usually consist of watermelon, pineapple, rice, beans, or potatoes. On Fridays we have Rolex, and Mondays are I think fried chicken. We basically eat lots of carbs all the time.

The nannies: All really nice. They like to talk to each other in Luganda and sometimes they laugh at you, but they're all sweet and love the kids. We've picked up on the songs they sing to them like "martin is the best baby I've ever seen" and stuff like that. It's cute. They are very good about making the kids eat their food; they're a lot more forceful than I was in the beginning. But I basically have the hang of things now.

The babies- The basic schedule for the babies is wake up, bottle, play, food, play, bottle, nap, and repeat throughout the day. At night before bed and in the morning they get baths, which is hectic. But I discovered I love dressing the kids, it's so fun to make them all cute :]

The facility- Suubi is a big concrete building with two stories. The bottom is for the babies and the top is for us volunteers and the office. The view is beautiful because it overlooks hills and country, but the building itself needs furnishing... its grey and empty mostly. We?re hoping to get a couch soon... and maybe a dresser or something so we won?t have to live out of suitcases anymore.

The Bulrushes is much more colorful with lots of windows and shade to play outside. It feels a little friendlier I guess you would say.

Living in Kampala is just so different because it's a city with bustle and people everywhere all the time and fun places to eat and shop. Out at Suubi things are a lot more relaxed.

We had a birthday party for one of our girls, Lela, today and got to eat cookies and have a juice box. It?s a big deal. But we sang and had balloons and a sash for her which was cute. She is so blessed to even be having a birthday; she was premature and came from the hospital and is now a healthy two year old. So many kids are blessed to be here alive? it?s just cool to think of what a huge plan God has for their lives that they would be here now.

All glory to Him,  Michelle

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