I went. And, you know, I thought I would set foot on Ugandan soil and start pouring with emotion. But I didn't. I walked out the doors of the plane, set my eyes on Lake Victoria, the ENTEBBE sign made of concrete on the hillside, threatening clouds, sunshine, and a smile crept across my face and in my soul.
Home. I felt like I was home.
That was unexpected.
And good ol' Africa hit. (And it wasn't so bad, maybe a little annoying, but in a good way.)
My room at Arise was given away, even though I had checked in early that day. My first night was spent on the couch of a missionary family whom Jeff and I had met 4 years ago. I had a lovely cold shower, & a mosquito net tunnel over me on my cushy couch with the pillow and blankie I brought from home because I'm weird like that.
A call was made the next morning to Ebenezer, and my dear Prossy made up a room that had just become available in the wink of an eye.
My days were filled to the brim at Welcome Home with the children, Teacher Christine and her classes, mending clothes, taking things into town to be fixed by Esther, baking cakes for a party, organizing clothes with Mama Rose, and going on 'tours' with the children in the van by age group.
>>Ohgoodnessme was that lovely and crazy fun ride filled with children singing at the top of their lungs.<<
"I am H A P P Y! I am H A P P Y! I KNOW I AM! I AM SURE I AM! I am H A P P Y!"
Eating at The Source--Muhammed is still there taking orders. Trying out The Keep--good food! Leoz, Two Friends, Flavours, and Sundays at Ling-ling.
A trip to the village surrounded by acres and acres of sugar cane and filled with smiling faces, tentative faces, sickly faces, and all beautiful. Heart exploding. Heart crushing.
Welcome Home is not just an orphanage. There are other ministries under their umbrella--village ministries, pastor's training, medical help, emergency food for Mom's who are not producing milk, micro loans for personal business, helping street boys...they serve Jinja and the surrounding area in many ways. Pretty amazing.
It was surreal and normal all rolled into one.
Masese--If you've read Kisses from Katie, this is the area she speaks about. It's quite close to Jinja, which is the second largest city in Uganda after Kampala, the capital.
Oh these children carrying their siblings all over the village--sweetness.