Thursday, August 27, 2009

Uganda, continued

We did a lot of work at Sunrise House, and learned a lot also. We bought all of the tools and equipment that we used and left all with Sunrise. Sunrise takes in mostly secondary children who are orphaned due to AIDS and most have some family around so they can spend the holidays with them but the families are unable to completely care for them.
One of the rooms was burned in October and we were able to completely clean it, sand the walls down, hire a carpenter to pull out the burned ceiling and replace the ceiling. Then it was repainted. Below are a few of the Sunrise boys working on the cleaning.

Everywhere we went there were children who came out to greet us and would just hang around. These are some of the children from the neighborhood.
In the picture below, our girls and girls from Sunrise were busy painting. At times there were so many people in the room to paint that it was difficult for our girls to adjust to the idea that the efficiency was not what mattered but working together as a group was. People are always helping each other here.
The last two days of our trip were spent at Queen Elizabeth National Park. We went on a boat tour to see the water and animals and also went by this small fishing village. They are getting the boats ready to take out. Two men will go out in each boat int he afternoon, sleep on the boat and start fishing the next morning.
The picture below is not an uncommon sight.
Small trucks, large trucks, laden down with produce to take to market with lots of people piled on top. I was always surprised that people didn't fall off but then the traffic doesn't move very fast either.

We accomplished a lot at Sunrise House. We met James, the manager, whom we had only been in touch with by phone and email. We learned that the long gaps between emails were due to the fact that he had to go in to town to use an internet cafe to get his email and to respond. And he would only go every three days or so. When we left, we left extra money and he was able to purchase a mobile modem and buy air time so he could use his computer where ever he was.
We took craft supplies, three lap top computers, soccer balls and a host of other things. We purchased the materials to finish the front the front of the building, which had remained only partially done. We left enough paint to paint the remainder of the rooms. We feed the orphanage lunch three times while we were there. We met the kids and made personal relationships with them. We met the staff and became friends with them. We saw with our own eyes what was needed and discussed various ways to work to sustainability.

I started both an art project and a sewing project. We purchased fabric to make small patch work table toppers or placemats which they can sell at the local African crafts stores in town. We brought back lots of paper beaded necklaces to sell here and send the money back. I left the kids with a lot of my personal art supplies so they could continue with their painting and I brought back lots of the pictures they did so I could use them to make cards to sell.

But most of all, I brought back visions of the future for a very poor country that is struggling to pull itself into the modern age with little infrastructure outside of the big cities. I also left with a lot of very personal experiences that will stay with me for ever. More on all of this later.


Lora Martin said...

Thanks again for sharing your expereinces. Any chance you'll post photos of the paper bead necklaces so your blog readers can have the opportunity to support this vital work?

LoieJ said...

AS per the recent postings on
QA that say one really should communicate with a blogger and get a reply, I'll just say, I have been reading your blog because I have been to Uganda and have a love for the friends we made there. But I haven't had time to comment much and I sure don't expect you to reply to this! And I'm commenting under my alternate blog sign in name. I'm LoieJ on QA and blogger, usually.

Gerrie said...

This was a wonderful, life changing adventure for you, wasn't it? I am really jealous of this enriching experience that you had - enriching for you and those you encountered.


Rochelle Ball said...

I enjoyed hearing about your trip this morning and also reading about it here. Makes me homesick for Africa (I grew up in the Congo/DRC), and I'm glad you and the others were able to have that experience. PS-Found your website and you do beautiful work. :)