Wednesday, July 12, 2017

July 12th

So we are off to Kampala in the pouring rain. Hannah is staying behind (not sure what she will do if the rain doesn't stop... maybe rest). She literally painted yesterday for about 8 hours and once she sat down she realized just how tired she was. Kyemba, Denis and I are off to the US Embassy to see about Kyemba's visa and then are going to enroll Denis in University. He has done all the leg work so it appears he really wants to further his education. He wants to be a social worker and good social workers are desperately needed in this country.

We sprang Alisat from the hospital last night with some serious concerns. Her roommates in the ward have actually expressed their frustration at the lack of care by the mother. I'm seriously afraid that once back in the village her mother will not invest in her and she will get sick again. This is the part of the system that really hurts my heart and why I believe Musana is so well run. Medical care can't be provided on a one time only basis. There needs to be follow up both with the patient and the parent. I know in my heart I have done what I could but it just doesn't seem enough. And that is so sad! Yesterday at the feeding program children's vitamins were being distributed to everyone who passed through. They were even being given to very young children with no adult present; and I mean children as young as 3. They were explained to take one a day but does a three year old understand that especially when the vitamins look just like candy??? There was one very sick (very malnourished) baby and even though the mother AND grandmother said it was Ok to take him to the hospital we did not because the father (who was not there) did not give his permission. Later I learned that because no permission was granted if the baby passed away we would be held liable! It is hard for me to see especially in light of how well taken care of and loved my own two grandchildren are.

This has been a very difficult trip for me because my eyes have been opened in ways I never anticipated. The culture has been established here for centuries that the white man is rich and expected to give, give, give. I think we have done a reasonably good job with this but I do see that better boundaries need to be set. I love to give but I want to give to people and things that are going to thrive. Not just a handout! And I want to know that people are happy to see me as a person and not as a wallet. This is where Musana excels. It is relational always!

Between the trucks on the road and the bathroom stops for the boys we are not moving very quickly. Slow and steady is the motto for the day. The traffic makes Highway 281 looks like a race track. Between cars, big trucks, motorcycles, bicycles and people walking the streets are packed. No one stops at cross streets they just merge into traffic. You had always be prepared to slam on your breaks. Needless to say, the biggest car always wins! Although Kyemba gives them a run for their money!

Well the Embassy was a bust. We made it through security and to the main window but no further. I wasn't surprised but I was disappointed for Kyemba. He really is a good man.

So we continued in to Kyambogo University to enroll Denis. Again we made it through security, although no one even blinked an eye as we passed through. We made it to the main window and actually walked down the hall to admissions where we were not greeted favorably. The admission list will NOT be out until Friday she said and turned away to talk on her phone. But you all know me! I can be a little persistent when need be so I continued to ask questions. Jack, she estimated the cost of schooling to be about 1,500,000 shillings per semester not including boarding. There is no boarding on campus so he will have to find a place to stay. So all in all except for the conversation between the three of us today was totally non-productive. When we go to the airport on MondayKyemba will bring Denis back to the school to figure it all out. Meanwhile I can update Pastor Andrew so he can take charge when I leave.

Tomorrow I am planning on going to Pastor Andrews in the morning to finish up some discussions and then we are going to
visit the women in the prison. I just heard from Edward and we are going to do a follow up with the two little kids that were dropped in the prison last week. I am so glad I can see them and where they are before I go.

So everything in Uganda is a surprise. On the way back Kyemba stopped on the side of the road. I had no idea why!! And then he pointed out a camel walking up the street. So in natural Uganda form we  each got on and took it for a spin along the main highway. I'm sure that was a sight for sore eyes. The Mzungu on camel. Only in Uganda. What a treat!! Hannah is going to be sorry she missed the adventure but she will get to experience Trivia tonight at Sol! I can't wait to see what masterpiece she has created today!!!

We stopped at the Source for lunch (no food since last night is not good for the soul) and ran into Peter and Kenneth Isabyre. Both were very nice and friendly however Sandy Merrick was with them and she was not quite so welcoming. She made it perfectly clear that I was not welcome at the children's house!! I find it so incredibly sad that they aren't really concerned about the kids welfare but I feel I can now close the door on that ministry. I am so thankful for the kids we have moved and the love and support they are receiving! Thanks to those of you who are making this happen!! By the way, there is one more child, Augustine Lemukol, who is wanting to enter Senior 1. We have talked to Andrew about letting him join their program (he was a child at Phil's) but are looking for a sponsor. The cost is $50 a month, although the first payment could be a little higher as they will need to purchase him a uniform and bedding. If you are interested, or know someone who might be, please let me know. He has pursued me for a year in interest to continue his education so I know he is serious. I would sponsor him but Steve and I already sponsor three others.

Hello (Hannah here)
I am tagging along on Sue's blog. She always has much more varied days than me so I graciously let her blog most nights ;) Today I... drumroll please... PAINTED!!! I know it doesn't sound very exciting but I am having a lovely time painting and chatting with Musana's staff as they come up to watch me work. I asked God at the beginning of the week to give me the strength and creativity to complete 3 more murals- as of today I have completed 10! It has been so rewarding to see the campus slowly come to life with murals as the week has progressed. I know God has really blessed me this week with an extra portion of strength and creativity.

Finally, tonight I ordered the whole fish at Sol View tonight-head and all! It was delicious :) I also really enjoyed hanging out with Dezi (Andrea and Haril's daughter) this morning while I waited for the rain to stop. We listened to music and danced and ate goldfish. It was a great day at Musana.

That's all for me tonight!

Signing out - Hannah

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