Uganda Here We Come
We leave with a team of nine for Uganda in just over 2 weeks and I wanted to remind everyone of a few remaining needs we have. But first off, a little about this trip:
We will be leaving August 18th for Uganda and arrive in Entebbe on the 19th before traveling through Kampala and up the treacherous roads to Bukedea. Read more about the team traveling with us in August
Bukedea is a small rural town that serves as a cattle trading point for local villages in eastern Uganda. The CarePoint there serves well over 250 kids. We will spend 4 days at the Bukedea CarePoint with our primary aim being documentation of the 80-something kids that still need sponsors. We hope to bring back some really good video and stories of the kids to help make things real for the current sponsors and also to help find new ones for the kids that are waiting.
When you spend any amount of time with these kids, getting to know their backgrounds, visiting their homes etc, you realize the dire reality of their circumstances. We have been exposed to a lot of “reality” in the last few years, but we are always reminded of just how much these kids need our support when we learn more about their lives.
Our 4 days in Bukedea will also allow us plenty of time to get out into the local villages (where the kids live) and visit their homes. Most live with some distant relative or a grandmother. The kids who do still have living parents mostly have one, and an alarming number of those are HIV+. Bukedea was a large military camp during the war with the LRA (Lords Resistance Army) and the Ugandan soldiers would rape the local woman or exchange food for sex during the war, leaving unusually high levels of HIV – even for this area. Also, many of the fathers from that area were killed in the war. Bukedea was a hard hit community.
|Levi & his Grandmother who labors for around $1.50 a week|
Our “home visits” are always moving, and it is a great honor for the kids to have us visit their humble homes. It’s sad to even say it, but our visits ensure that the kids are treated better by their caretakers because they see that the child is cared for by Mzungus (white men) and therefore worth their care – what little they can afford the kids. Its quite sad to see how some of the orphaned kids are treated by the family members who take them in, but it is also quite a joy to visit their homes and see the pride on their faces as they announce that we wanted to come to their home. Its a great honor, and quite frankly one of the most humbling experiences of my life.
A few other items on the Bukedea Agenda
- Celebrate the newly dug well on the CarePoint (thanks to your generous donations for our Noel NoWell campaign last winter).
- Hopefully we can bring back a lot of great stories, photos and videos of your sponsored kiddos.
- Obviously lots of fun and games with the kids
- Jess, our nurse team mate will hopefully be able to administer some basic care to kids who have need – this being her second trip to the CarePoints and getting more familiar with the type of care issues they face
- And we are eager to catch up on Alex who has been in and out of hospital for his bladder issue as well as some of the other folks we were able to help, like Levi’s grandmother who we were able to provide a brand new home (for around $150). Check out the Blog – Smelly, Rejected and Ashamed to learn more about Alex and Levi’s grandmother.
Our goodbyes are always difficult, but we will be excited to move on to Ogoloi after 4 days in Bukedea.
|The small huts that are scattered around the village|
The small village of Ogoloi is literally in the middle of nowhere. The 45 minute van drive along bumpy dirt roads (bumpy even for Uganda) and then another 10 minutes of driving through the bush leads us each day into a tiny world all of its own. Ogoloi is nothing more than several dozen groupings of mud huts spread over a few square miles and a mud walled-straw roofed church building that serves as our CarePoint for around 130 kids.
Ogoloi is my home away from home, and having spent the most time there I am absolutely thrilled to get back and see the kids. Especially my 4 boys – Paul, Nathan, Geoffrey and Paul who led me on so many wild excursions and adventures on our last trip in December 2011. Check out the video of the boys leading me into the wilderness here
|Paul, Nathan, Geoffrey and Paul – My Boys|
Our time in Ogoloi will be similar to our time in Bukedea.
- Lots of play with the kids.
- No doubt an all day African style church celebration service (which I will fight furiously not to preach at, but ultimately will have to succumb to – these guys are unrelenting)
- Lots of documentation of the more than 120 sponsored kids so that we can bring you back stories of your children, their health and progress along with video and pics.
- Home visits to spend time in the community and getting to know the care givers for the orphans – can’t overstate the impact that these visits have on the caregivers perspective on the kids.