My emotions have had a full range these last few weeks. The rains have returned and the beauty of the flowers, green trees, and mountains is breathtaking. I love standing on my deck seeing the cows in the pasture next to the hostel and the changing skies with sunsets and even lightning shows. I love my adopted country Uganda.
Along with such beauty there has been deep pain with the death of Olive, a sweet ten year old from our Manna Rescue Home. She became quite sick so we brought her to the hospital where she stayed for 10 days. It was suspected that she had meningitis, but medical diagnosis is not always accurate and she was discharged to be with her grandmother. There she only lived another 3 days. A burial here is very different from developed countries. The villagers dig the grave within the property—often in a banana field– and the caregivers dress the person and buy a coffin. The burial can be so hard with people wailing and crying out. The family sit all night around a fire and most of the area villagers turn up the next day for the service and burial. It is heartbreaking to lose children.
On the same week 58 young people graduated from Amaani vocational school and received what is called a worker’s pass. That was a colorful and joyful ceremony with these young people ready to embark on their future with skills in many different fields. I pray these students succeed in their lives. Along with the vocational skills, they were given classes in entrepreneurship and life skills.
We are in a land with huge poverty yet strong spirituality. During Palm Sunday we all come to church with palm fronds, calling out “Hosanna” in loud voices everyone shakes their palms. Even driving through town many cars and bodas—small motorcycle taxis— have palms tied on. On Good Friday, a huge number of Christians walk many miles carrying crosses and stopping in different places for prayers. What a moving experience it is to walk with close to 1000 other Christians.
On Easter Sunday, the church overflows with so many people dressed in their very best clothes. The worship is very deep and real. I have been asked why we use bunnies, chicks and colored eggs for Easter and really didn’t have any good answers. I need to google it. Family is very important here and Christmas and Easter are the biggest holidays for the families. For many in deep poverty these two days are the only days they get to eat meat.
Because of all of you generous people we have 268 kids in school who now have a hope for a future.The office will be very busy this next month as the first term of school finishes and all students are required to bring the results in.
I hope all of you are now headed into warmer weather and a beautiful spring season.