Friday, September 19, 2008

Ranch, Rats and AIC

This week started off with a spend-the-night at the Mengo girls home. This home is very dear to us for so many reason--the girls are sweet, the mentors are dedicated and though some don't speak good English, they are accepting of us. Their garden is fabulous (little rows of maybe 2 inch tall greens...carrots, tomoatoes, colard greens, etc.) It is fun to see them taking so much ownership in this initiative. We decided to accept their invitation to spend the night earlier this week. We danced the night away, or at least tried. Leah and I looked like something to the effect of jittery legs moving like a grasshopper to a completely different beat than our upper body. At least we gave the girls a good laugh. Florence, a beautiful mentor, inside and out, allowed us to share her bed while she slept on a mat on the floor. Despite a rat under our bed keeping us up all night (like inches from our head) we had a great time with the girls.

We have spent much of the week receiving applications and scheduling interviews for the nursing position Monday and Tuesday of this coming week. In conjunction with the 2 staff members helping us with the interviews, we have created a structure to the process as well as a grading formula to score them fairly. This has been a great learning experience and we are so excited to see how the interviews turn out. Please continue praying for God's guidance in this process.

Leah and I also got to go up to the Cornerstone Ranch, Ekitangalla, to see all that is being done up there. It was a great getaway from the crowded, polluted city of Kampala. We were able to go with 2 of our new friends, Kristen Vogal and her friend Liz as well as Eric Kreutter. We were able to see their cow cattle (large milking ranch), fish farms, primary, secondary and Leadership Academy plus much more. It was a blast and a whirlwind of a very quick 1 night trip.

Tonight we are preparing for our big day tomorrow. We have invited the "AIDS Information Center" to conduct a training day for all the mentors. They will talk about transmission of AIDS, facts, and STIs. Most importantly, they will be talking about what it is like to live in homes with some positive and some negative kids. This is laying the groundwork for being able to test the kids in the future. Circumstances are tough with group living and the high possibility of stigma that could ensue once the testing is done. We are trying to go about this the best way, as we believe not testing someone is more harmful, but we recognize the sensitivity. We are providing tea and then lunch for all the mentors, notebooks and pens. Thanks to all your continued support. We look forward to sharing tomorrows outcome with you.

Also, side note--we went to Kibuli boys home tonight to teach a little health class on clean water and germs. We brought them their kettle (thank you) that will actually make it feasible to boil water to make it clean. Sweet Saddam (Kibuli is in a primarily muslim community) is a follower of Jesus who is also a muslim. He decided to pray for the kettle in the middle of the room. It was awesome!

1 comment:

Aunt Faye and Uncle Don said...

Our dear Leah...first of all, we are SO SORRY to have missed your birthday. I had it posted right here on my desk and the days blew by. We have a big reason, but it is no excuse...the counseling has been pretty busy, and then we have had guests from N.J. and since my mind "wanders", I missed the day! What a great joy it must have been for you to go to the Falls. We have been there and they are beautiful. What great beauty God created for us to enjoy. We praise the Lord for all you are doing to help these boys and girls with the planting and growing of good veggies...and the clean water is SO necessary. What an experience you are having. We have been in Kampala, of course, but years ago. I suppose it has really grown, so it is good to get out to the countryside. We are happy that your birthday was fun and pray that this year will be a precious year of growth in the Lord and service for Him. Jer. 29:11. You are in our prayers, regularly. Because Africa has a special place in our hearts, it is a special joy to pray...and of course, you are the special key! Lots of love with hugs, and take good care of you! Aunt Faye and Uncle Don