Thursday, April 29, 2010

We love Sylvia!

We can’t say much more than this: we love Sylvia.

Sylvia is another girl that we’re sponsoring. But Sylvia’s case is a bit different than Merones’, as Sylvia doesn’t go to Kibaale School. She’s a part of a very small sponsorship program called “Communities of Hope” with 8 families. Christine, our social worker, expanded the community services programs to include caring for specific families who were having a really rough time with life. Most of the families in this program are child-led families, meaning that there are no parents and the eldest child, sometimes as young as 13, is caring for the entire group of kids at home. Sylvia has both a mom and dad, but that doesn’t mean that her situation at home is easy. Her mother abandoned the family due to abuse from the father, and the father continues to be a huge jerk, not providing food for his own kids and spending most of his days drinking.

Sylvia is a fantastic kid. She’s in P1 right now and eight years old, and just a shining star.

Proud parents that we pretend to be – she ranked second out of 87 students in her class :) She wants to be first next term. Sweet.

Pictured – her at home with her father, brother and sister.

Oh yeah, and Katonda means God. Saw it etched into the walls of her mud house, and thought it was cool.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Today I had lots of little visitors in the office drawing pictures for their sponsors and then I took off to visit a couple of the nursery students at their homes. One mother was so excited that her son got a sponsor that she let out a cry for joy, couldn't stop smiling and gave her son the biggest hug ever. It was so precious to see. She just loves her kid so much. Even though you may see all smiling faces here, I did happen to make 2 or 3 kids cry because of my freakishly white skin. It can be pretty scary.

Friday, April 16, 2010

The Beautiful Family

So Jamie’s parents have just picked up a sponsored child. It’s awesome when people we know want to sponsor the kids here – Jamie gets to go out and speak with the kids and help whoever is wanting to sponsor to pick a child, maybe by asking questions or just by hanging out and sending a quick report back on who is available. We also get to visit the home and bring greetings or gifts to the family on behalf of the sponsor.

Kato was an easy pick given how polite he is and how good a little guy he is. Most every day he will head up to the office, walk in and slowly  move from desk to desk saying ‘Good Morning Uncle’ or ‘Good Morning Auntie’ in his best English. He’s a pretty bright kid actually… nine years old and speaking great English.

Kato’s mom works hard to ensure all the kids are educated and housed and clothed. His father worked hard to save money and build themselves a nice home, but then fell sick. Some of the house is still unfinished, and there are no doors or windows anywhere, but overall the property is pretty impressive. This is thanks to the hard work of the family as well as a previous sponsor who had to drop out of sponsorship.

Jamie and I were grinning like fools when we arrived. Kato’s mom is pure energy and kindness and you can tell right away that this family is happy. Not to mention beautiful… each kid has a smile that can melt you. We tried to capture that. Enjoy the pictures.


Tuesday, April 13, 2010


Jamie and I were sitting on three inches of near-useless couch cushioning the other evening chatting about the usual kind of stuff, like what the newest bug was on the wall, or names for our fighting geckos, or something equally inane. I started to complain about how sore my butt was, and how I hated our furniture. “I hate our furniture,” I said, “and my butt is sore.”

This was a typical night in Kibaale. Conversation would eventually drift onto the topic of food, but let’s just focus on my complaints of having a sore butt. Then let’s look at the photos below of our little sponsored girl, Sanyu Meroni.

Meroni, or “Merones” as we refer to her in our own house (with some extra bass and maybe a chest thump) is in nursery class here at Kibaale Community Primary School. We have been wanting to sponsor a child for a long time, and when given the opportunity to choose one for sponsorship the choice was pretty hard. Thankfully, Merones made it simple over the past few weeks by popping into Jamie’s office to steal a hug, flashing a huge toothless grin whenever she saw us, or streaking across the field and catching air with her big ears before bashing into Jamie’s legs.

Today we had the chance to visit her in her home. We stopped into town, bought a 25kilo sack of maize flour, and headed to her house. When we arrived, we discovered that Merones is one of the few kids who doesn’t really have a "house" house… she’s currently living in a grass hut with her seven brothers and sisters, and parents. We dropped the sack of flour near the house and were invited in, and as I tried to scramble inside, looking like some massive albino ogre trying to get a snack, I couldn’t help but remember how just a couple days ago I had been whining about the lack of cushioning on my couch. What an ass.

Here’s some pics from our trip.