I feel like we’ve been here so much longer than we actually have. Not because I’m sick of Uganda already, but because it’s so easy to adjust to life here. It’s very simple. We wake up early, eat breakfast (Thursday’s pancake day!), walk 15 minutes to the orphanage, wash dishes and laundry, play with kids and coax the babies to sleep, go home for lunch, then return in the afternoon until 4:30.
This week we also added volleyball to the routine. It starts around 5 pm African time, so like 5:45 American time. We’re pretty terrible compared to the locals but with 3 mixed teams it usually turns out pretty fair. We play on a flattened patch of grass near the primary school with a pumped up ball and regulation (I guess) size court. I don’t really know much about volleyball but I think we play by pretty much the same rules as you normally do. Except a lot of the locals will use their heads or feet to get the ball over. It’s semi-competitive but super fun because the rallies can last a pretty long time.
On Tuesday we got to see a special performance at Dorcus Vocational School. Most of the workers there are girls ages 16-18. They performed a few songs with traditional dances and 3 plays based on Bible stories. It was a great showcase and I felt like it really helped build the girls’ self-confidence.
The next day, we stopped by their craft shop for souvenirs. I felt a little conflicted shopping because we learned that their income is almost solely dependent on foreigners like us who work with BHTF and have the money to buy touristy things. A few engineers in our group also attempted to fix the sewing machines at Dorcas since only 3/20 work, but they found out most have missing parts and there are no tools. The staff was basically waiting for some mzungo (white person) to buy the supplies and fix the equipment without really attempting a solution themselves. To me, that’s a little frustrating that they’re not very self-sufficient.
Mama Eva does seem to have things under control at the orphanage, Home Again. If anything, I think we slow them down when we try to help but at least we lessen the load. I changed and even washed diapers for the first time in my life. I comforted baby Maqueline who had the flu today and washed and dressed baby Cato aka Paul. We learned hand games and songs from the school children and played soccer and some variation of marbles. Whenever they win, the kids always cry “I am a winner!” in their cute accents that are definitely more British than American. It’s fun getting to know everybody’s personality and how their behaviors change from day to day. It also seems that the most common reason the older children don’t go to school is because they are HIV positive. As a result, one of the DukeEngagers who usually works in the clinic, Carl, has been visiting and teaching them English. I’m sure it’ll sink in because they’re very smart people!
Oh and happy birthday Aisha! As a present, here’s a pic of chubby baby Anna. Sorry you can’t really see her face, I’ll try again next time. x)