June 25, 2011

Uganda Day 8 Leaving Canaan's

I woke up knowing that I would be saying goodbye to the three girls that have made me their American Mama.  I wrote them each a letter and took it to their dorms.  We had about 45 minutes to be together until it was time to take them to school.  We sat down on a cement slab and held each other in silence.  Words can not describe the emotions that I was feeling.  I had only known these girls for a few days and they attached to me to easily.  I can imagine that bonding one on one with a loving adult is not easy in an orphanage.  I am thankful for the opportunity to love these girls, but will miss them deeply. I asked Carolyn what she was thinking and she said, "I will miss you."  I look forward to being able to see their sweet faces in August via Skype when the next team comes to visit.

When it was time, i joined the rest of the team an the school children on the walk to their school  it was a quiet walk up the red dirt path that sat next to the road.  I had my arms around Sharon and Carolyn, while Helen held my right hand tight.  They wore their new pack backs so proudly!  A the younger sisters of one of my girls joined us.  When we arrived at Canaan's school, I huddled around the three girls and prayed. I asked God to fill their hearts with the love I have been giving them and to protect them from harm and illness, the same prayer I pray over my American children.  With tears streaming down my face, I hugged and kissed each one and told them I loved them.  They looked at me with a blank face, no tears, just an empty stare.  I'm sure on more than one occasion, these girls have heard the promises of family members, temporary sponsors, or other visiting missionaries.  But I truly want to be their American Mama and hope they will grow to trust that.

I sent them on their way and left crying.  I needed a moment to myself, so I started on the journey back alone.  On the way back, I found two metal boxes and locks for the girls to store their belongings.  I gave  a staff member some money to find a third box, so all three would have one.  I wish I could have seen their faces when they received them.  

By 10:00 a.m., it was time to board the bus and travel to The Haven for our Sabbath, our day of respite.  We have a little under 24 hours to rest until we head back to Kampala.  

The Haven is a bungalow community on the bank of the Nile River.  It is so beautiful and luxurious for Uganda.  A team member and I walked down to the bank of the Nile and took picots and put our feet in the cold water.  We saw a women doing laundry. It was truly a day of rest. In the evening, I took a boat cruise.  There were so many kids cooling off, scooping up water in their gasoline like containers, or washing clothes on the bank.  There were fisherman fishing.  The steep hills that came to the bank of the water were covered rows of cornfields.  They truly used any piece of land they can!

I slept so well in that cute little bungle for four overlooking the Nile rapids.  We all needed that!

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