Friday, February 24, 2012

Light at the End of the Tunnel

So much has happened this past week that I don't know where  to begin sharing this blog.  The wonderful thing is that we were granted our electricity today because of Edwin once again speaking to the property owner next to us, convincing him we needed the pole put up on his property.  He agreed to let us do this.  Good job Edwin for your persistence.

The project is really starting to take shape and the 17 men are all working very hard.  A special thanks to our contractor John for overseeing all phases of construction, making sure his men are not cutting any corners in carrying out each task.   The bathroom and kitchen tiles are being installed, the outside rocks below each window are being painted and the rains have started to come to water the grass.  Edwin, Isaac and David located the grass to finish the roof on the hut so now we will be able to put up the mosquito screens and start using it for meetings.  With the electricity now in, the slate for the tiles can be cut and the floors completed before they start the compound wall.  We still will have to raise more money for the wall as the cost of cement has gone up significantly but we have a lot of faith that we will be able to do this.  We have come so far and the days can almost be counted now before moving day.

This is a back view of the main house.  The verandas and stairs are in and the stand for the three
1000 litre tanks has been put up.  The painting is yet to be done but we will surprise you when we
decide on the colours.

A full view of the compound.  The grass has been found for the top of the grass hut and will be
finished within a day or two.  Paver stones will be put in for the walkways and Barb's Lane leading
from the main street.  Over 10,000 have been made to cover all areas.

Edwin is painting the rock below the windows.  First a thick white is painted to separate the rock with
a black line running through the centre.  This was to be our job but seems I can't get there to fulfill my part.

The tiles in the kitchen and bathrooms are being laid

Laury and our little Hope sandpapering the children's bedrooms.  The coat of primer has been put
on and the two coats of paint will follow in the next few weeks.  All that will be left to do is the
paint on the outside of the house.

When Hope is not babysitting her siblings, she is helping us in the compound.

No shortage of help here........

Catarina, the kids loved your touques....even though it is hot here, they still all hoped to get one.
The nights are cool and for anyone who sleeps outside, they are a lifesaver.  All the kids say a huge
"Thanks" to you for your loving heart.

Thank you Rhys and Sebastian for helping to feed this family.  Rhys and Sebastian are 9 years and 11 years old.  They had opened their very first bank account and came to my door to give me $20.00 out
of each account for this food.  I want you to know that you made them so very happy and they told
me they will never forget you.  I don't think I ever saw them smile like this before.  Thanks so much to both of you.....

After I returned from the hospital, I came to my friends house to recuperate.  Outside my bedroom window was a market that went up in fire not too long before.  Many people lost everything....  I saw
what it was like for a community to come together.  My friends feed approximately 80-100 every night, with others coming together with donations   Long story short, enough money has been raised to build 28 families a new home.  Edwin and David have been in the plantation fields all day, gathering eucalyptus trees for poles for the structures.  Tomorrow, the men in the village will start stripping the wood and treating it in hopes to start building this next week.  My friends Pastor Jesse and his wife Bev have put up a large tarp to house 5 families and the rest are sleeping in what you see in this picture but they really need your prayer.  They have suffered so much and have no way to replace their businesses.

 Thanks to all of you who made special presents for us to bring to the people here.  Some of the things have not been given out because of circumstances but they will and we promise to take pictures.  You are such a blessing to us with your love and caring for this project.  The kids have been told that they will  have a home and you would not believe the change in them in such a short time.  They are so excited and we are proud to call ourselves a "team" who have made a difference in this world with our little ones.  You are a big part of that team.  Thanks once again and God bless you all.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

It's called "Racing the Clock"

Hi to everyone from Mpumudde Uganda

I have tried so many times in the past few days to create another blog, but due to the area and bad modems, I am not having too much luck.  We have lots to share with you; so many pictures that will show you what your efforts have done to make someone really happy and improve lives.

Marian and Laury left yesterday for Canada and we accomplished a lot while they were with us.   Here are some of the things that happened to make children and families a little more happier and villages a more hopeful place to live.  Because of people like you, donating so much of yourselves and giving us specific tasks to fulfill while we are here, we want to share some of them with you now.  There are many more situations, but we will continue to accomplish our mission within this next month and of course taking pictures along the way.  Wish you were all with us to share in this beautiful journey with us......

This is an amazing story....We were visiting Mutesi and Alex in their village and I happened to ask Alex, what he would really like to have one day.  He said a chicken for his mother and I was a little taken back, thinking it would be a football or something like that.  Laury, overhearing, told us that she had been donated money to do something very special and could she spend it on this entire village.  We figured out there were 9 families and if each had 2 chickens, they could really start producing enough to carry them through their daily lives.  Thanks to the families who donated this money and used Laury as a vessel to make a difference in an impoverished part of the world.  Thank you all for caring, you made a huge difference to many.

Our little Joseph has struggled these past weeks with sickness.  We are on our 3rd blood transfusion and it seems to have worked but for how long?  Please pray for our little guy that he will get to come and live with us.  Thanks Simone and Olivia for loving him and caring enough to be his sponsor.

Lottie, thanks for helping 4 Grandma's to raise their many grandchildren.  This lady is in her 80's and
has 7 grandchildren to feed.  She has chosen to raise rabbits to sell to earn food money and everyone in the family is helping to make this possible.  They will be building a rabbit cage soon.  

This Grandma is amazing.  She is 82 and acts like a 30 year old....
When we presented her with this dress, she danced and danced, ran into her one room hut and came out still dancing.  Oh my goodness, she was so happy.  I remember her last year in the same dress, so this was really a treat.  Thanks to Shirley and Bob for all the "Jaaja" dresses.  The women raising all the children really got to feel special for once,  they just loved them.

Did I say 30 year old?   Sorry, I meant 20 years.  She carried this suitcase on her head as she lead
us out of the village.  Full of clothes I might add.  

Tina, your little underpants were such a huge hit.  The kids loved them and were so grateful to you.
Tried to download a beautiful picture of your dresses, shorts and tops but couldn't so send it next time.
The kids were overwhelmed with all your sewing and they felt so special in their new outfits.  Thanks Tina for all your hard work.

Thanks to all the wonderful ladies at the Nanoose Evangelical Free Church on Vancouver Island.  You worked so hard to make beautiful dresses and many other things that the people just love also.  We are delivering many more dresses tomorrow and will be sure to send you pictures.   I just couldn't resist this picture to show you the happiness in her face.  Thanks to all of you and look forward to meeting you when I come home.

We bought the generator that was so kindly donated by Simone, Olivia and all their blogging friends in England and around the world.  We took it home immediately, hooked it up and decided to test it.
We thought it would be fun to run the water off of it and share this valuable commodity with the communities around us.  As soon as it was turned on....the word spread......

They came from everywhere  carrying jerry cans for Marian and Laury to fill.  So many small
children with cans almost bigger than themselves and for Laury to see what her cow "Faithful" did was almost overwhelming.  With no water in 3 months, it is dry here and the people are always so thirsty.  .  We left the water on for about an hour and let everyone just enjoy the time drinking, laughing and splashing each other.  Thanks Laury and Tom for such a huge gift of water.

Thank you all for travelling this journey with us.  We are truly grateful for the things you have done and given to the people here.  I want to be sure that you really feel what we are all feeling with the immense gratitude and the thanks.  We have many more things to distribute and will be sure to show you the reactions of all.  Please keep praying for us that we can finish the project in time before we lose any more kids to HIV/AIDS.  God bless you all.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Hello Uganda

What an amazing trip we had and it all went so smoothly.  We were so excited to get here to blog and show you the wonderful work the men have done in building the compound.  Edwin and his brothers did what they said...blindfolded me and led me in by hand, to then remove it and see the excitement on my face.  What a beautiful sight before my eyes.... a sight I will never forget.   We have tried to let everyone know for three days now but due to Ugandan technology we were unable to download the pictures.  We hope that we will be able to keep in better contact with you, but it has been a challenge.

We needed a pickup truck to haul all the luggage.

We were grateful and amazed that ALL the luggage made it.

Precious moments

Sight to behold

This is what they saw when we drove down Barb's Lane.....I was blindfolded

The community grass hut.  Our first event will be David and Maureen's wedding in a few days.

It's all in "black" and "white".  From the right is David, Laury, Isaac, Barb, Edwin and Marian

Laury teaching the kids to be kids playing ring around the rosy

Our two precious "Marians"

Edwin reading the B.C. Holstein News wishing he could thank all that donated for the wall personally.

Medical equipment from Canada was shared.  We learned that some of it isn't available in the Ugandan hospitals for example, the blood pressure cuff for children.

We will make our best effort to keep in touch and appreciate the prayers that are rolling in.