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Thursday, June 17, 2010

Settling in Soroti

Yoga! Hi everyone! April 17, 2009

I didn’t realize that so much time has flown by since I last wrote to you. I have been in Soroti, Uganda for just over a month now and I can finally call this place home. My table and chairs arrived yesturday and internet has found it’s way into my home. Praise God!!

I am back to tutoring MK’s and I am completely peaceful about it. I work with Lydia four mornings a week, on her grade one studies, and occasionally her three year old sister Grace joins for music, science, art, etc. It is a great privilege to serve my long-term team-mates in this way.

Occasionally I walk over to an orphanage called Amecet and hold very sick babies. This tiny children have either been abandoned because they have HIV/AIDS or they are actual orphans and no one in their village wants to take care of them. It is a sad place to be because the babies are so sick and there are not enough staff to look after them. Three or four babies share a crib at a time and they don’t get the love and attention they need and deserve, so I go there whenever I can.

On Tuesday I had the joy of going on a road trip with FIDA. They are a Finnish Development Agency and I went with them to deliver goats to three villages. Each of these places has a CAAF program (Children Affected by Armed Forces) and FIDA works with these children, to counsel them and mentor them as they seek to become a part of their communities again after being in the Lord’s Resistance Army. My role was to bring a speech to each community and to take pictures because my agency, International Teams, found a sponsor in the US who wanted to give goats to each of these kids as a source of income. Of course, the donation wasn’t big enough for every child to receive a goat, so the female goats are put into a revolving scheme. The first village received 7 goats for 67 children. As soon as the goats have a baby, they are given to the next child / teen on the list. Hopefully in 3 years time, every one will have a goat. The second village had more of the teens present as we came to deliver the goats. The local community chairperson had gotten permission for these teens to skip school and they sat in a group, waiting for us to arrive. As I looked at the guys I saw a lot of fear and anger in their faces. These guys need love and guidance for sure.

I struggled with the trip that day…. It was incredible fun to travel on bumpy roads, or even dirt paths and to find these small villages in the Ugandan country side. I loved seeing small villages that look like country and western towns with simple porches and square signs. And I had fun singing Celine Dion songs while the rain poured down on the vehicle and made traveling even more slow and adventurous. But what I didn’t like was coming in to a community for only 20 minutes and feeling like a politician. Four chairs were put out for me and my party. We made quick speeches, handed out the goats and left. It took 8 hours to visit three villages. I wished that I could have stayed longer in the villages… to meet the children and really get to know them.

Easter was great over here. I helped local children catch Flying White Ants in the dark and then ate them for dinner the next day. I have spotted a monitor lizard becoming more and more courageous in my yard. I shared Easter dinner with my team-mates, as well as some Chinese and Indian friends that we have met in Soroti. I hosted a Saturday night dinner party for a bunch of great neighbours and friends. Church was okay… it was pouring rain on a tin roof, so it was very hard to sing and hear (or even stay dry because the roof had many holes in it.)

Hopefully I will tell you more stories a little more frequently… or I hope that a lot of you are checking out my blog. It tells the fun, every day stories. Please feel free to comment whenever, that way I know people are reading it.

Settling in Soroti,
Karen Lubbers

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