Hello to all our wonderful friends and supporters from Jinja, Uganda
If you look closely at the side of the hill, you can see our children's home with the red roof
forming in the trees.
The second home is expanding daily with 22 men working in 30 celsius heat, never complaining and proud of the work they are doing. It is amazing how I am seeing young boys who have been helped by Edwin, coming and watering the plants and palm trees. These kids are orphans themselves and trying to give back for the little kindness he has shown them in the past.
Meet Mutesi, Nathan and Alex. When Edwin found this family, they were in a very bad state. The entire family has HIV and Daddy has just passed. Mutesi and little Nathan in the middle are very sick at the moment with complications. As you can see, Nathan has a rug for clothing until this week, where he has a beautiful outfit bought by a very special woman in Canada.
Edwin and I consider this family very special in our lives and have given them food and new clothes to wear in their last days. Nathan and Alex will be the first two children to come and live with us. Even if the home is not open, Edwin has planned to live with them alone in our Jaaja Barb's Home of Angels to be sure they are not alone. Nathan is six years old but the size of a 4 year old. He has large tumor size lumps over his entire head but mostly in the eyes. He still smiles and is a very brave little guy.. We love this boy......
Edwin and I entered an area that they said I was the first white person to ever visit ...What we saw was unbelieveable. Contaminated water flowing in a very small creek to supply 3,000 people. When the rains come, the sewage is washed into this stream and many people are infected with typhoid. The HIV rate here is 85% and poverty is something I will never forget. At one point, my feet slipped into the mud. A small girl of 5 years old, bent down with a dirty rag and washed my feet. I will never forget her or that experience.
It is not uncommon to see small children carrying water long distances. Children as young as 4 years old will help each other down the street carrying jerry cans full of water fetched 2-3 kilometers away
As we looked around the different villages for children we will choose to live at our home, we came across a village with so many that had no clothes. Thank goodness Edwin and I had come prepared and supplied many with outfits. Also, our Jayme in Abbotsford had made many friendship bracelets that we handed out. These kids had them on one week later and grateful that someone their own age, thousands of miles away, cared about them.
You sure can't beat the smiles on these kids.. So little makes them so happy.
Well.....it happened. I just became a senior citizen. I had the chance to celebrate my 65th, along with Edwin's 23rd. Almost 100 people came to show me what a real Ugandan birthday party was all about.. Children from Agape Children's Home came to celebrate with us and friends from outside Jinja. I was treated like a queen and the cake....wow the cake....brought in all the way from Kampala. I even had the District Engineer of Jinja buy me a beautiful African dress for my special night. Thank you Duncan..
A real African Jaaja
As Edwin and I celebrated our birthdays together, we decided to go for his young years worth of candles instead of the 65. Each person also held a lit candle and sang Happy Birthday as they waved their candles in the darkness.
As this fun ends, reality sets back in. Tomorrow we have 15 trucks coming with bricks, sand and aggregate and hopefully, by the time I leave, we will be up to the roof. A long way to go but with God up there smiling down on this beautiful home, how could we ever go wrong. We are blessed and we know it. Thank you all who have stood beside us. Thank you to the team I left behind at home to continue with the work. Thanks to all the people fundraising and the people still emailing offering help. All of you know who you are and Edwin and I want you to know
"We Love You".