We decided to invite the children for a Christmas party. We hired a woman to cook rice, meat, cabbage salad and Irish potatoes. This was a real treat for them as it was the first time they had such a meal. Oh, and I can't forget the pop. But the surprise was a cake for desert that Edwin and Dr. Isaac had made for them. This was the real treat. We blew up balloons and let them go up into the air and the kids showed me their Ugandan singing games. Lets just say this was the best day they ever had and even 91 year old Jaaja came and enjoyed himself colouring children's doodle art.
There has been no water for more than a week and we could see the people walking further and further away to fetch their jerry cans for cooking and washing. Edwin and I decided to open our boar hole to our community to share the wealth of water that we have. We are still pumping 5000 litres a day and to share it won't make any difference to us. The levels are very high and all our tanks are full. We needed to help these people make their lives a little easier.
Huge changes are happening now and we are so grateful to all of you who have sent donations to help us provide this home for the kids. You have changed lives and it is really evident in the expressions the kids have now. Thanks from all of us for caring.
It's so nice to see these kids so happy. The only two that are missing are Alan, age 2 and Olivia, age 3 but they wouldn't have understood what this was all about. These kids know that Jesus was born on Christmas day and families get together to celebrate His birth. Their joy is what it is all about and it is only the beginning. We have 20 more kids to find but Edwin and his brothers are being very specific as to who will come to live with us. They must be a real orphan, no family and more than likely have HIV/AIDS. For me to see little Joseph (green shirt with white stripe) is a miracle. In February we almost lost him twice but he is hanging on for his new home and family. I would bake another 7000 loaves of banana bread just to see this happen again. If it wasn't for Lorna, we would not have been able to provide this party so thanks from all of us for your huge heart.
We want to say a special thanks to Catarina for the toques. It may have been 30 Celsius but they never came off the whole day. Also, to Trudy for the pillow case dresses. They all fit perfectly and the kids felt so special in them. Thanks to both of you for your Christmas gifts.
This is real happiness....a whole bowl of food and a pop to go with it.
We had a few other children that showed up for the party unexpectedly. Maybe there wasn't a dress for them but we allowed them to join in as we had enough food to eat. How can you ever say no to a child like this? They blew their balloons up and watched them sail up into the sky over and over. It's amazing how they can play together for hours and only laugh.
And then there was the cake. Everyone wanted to cut it so Edwin let them all put their hand on the knife and slice. I would say each child averaged three pieces of cake if you can imagine. This was their first Christmas party cake and they didn't want to ever forget.
Because there had been no water for more than a week, we noticed the children walking further than
normal to fetch water. When this happens we know it's time for us to step in and help. We are pumping so much water an hour, why wouldn't we help the people in our own community. Our electrician told us that after 4 hours of filling the jerry cans, that we hadn't made any change to the water level.
Maryanne is taking water to her 91year old Jaaja. She can't lift the jerry can so Hadeja helps to put it on her head so that she can walk a 1/4 of a kilometre to deliver it. These two girls will be living with us along with their little sister, Olivia.
The men have been working on plastering the wall for the past 3 days and it is looking so nice. It's amazing how they are all taking such a personal pride in this compound now. The hedges are growing and all trimmed, the grass is thick and the flower gardens are all blooming.
On the outskirts of our kale garden you will find the guardhouse. We still need to plaster it, install a door and window and put in the floor. We will also be building a kitchen in this area where the children's food will be prepared. Edwin has finally given me a job.....I get to paint the gate black with gold trimming.
The main house is almost painted both inside and out. We purchased the rest of the paint today so I think in another week it should be done. These boys brag about being the Canadian boys now because they don't work in the Ugandan time anymore. Days and weeks for one little job is long gone.....they have learned to move much faster with a good quality of work being done. Our crew even comes in on days off to work because they are taking great pride in their work.
The ground in the front of this picture will be covered in stone slate. It is much cheaper than the paving stones and will work well with the water run off. We have underground pipes taking the water to the end of the property and outside. The kids house is finished except for a good cleaning.
Global Television has done another story on our Home of Angels and it was recently aired while I was in Uganda. They just sent me the clip so I could put it on the blog to show all of you. We are very grateful to have the updates done and we thank you Global for caring so much to show the world that a simple thing such as a banana bread can make a difference.
Edwin, myself, Dr. Isaac, David and the children would like to wish all of you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Thank you for your prayers and help to make this home a place for children to grow and feel safe.