What an exciting day for the children as they returned back to school today, all 43 : ). They march off to school in small groups, as the older ones start around 7AM and the younger ones begin at 8AM. As you can see in the photos they all look so sharp in their school uniforms, and they proudly walk through the community as it is an honor to be a student attending school. The private school system is somewhat similar to what we have back home in the states (the system is similar, not the infrastructures). The younger ones attend only for half a day while the older ones are in school from 7-4:30. They are served a small meal for breakfast which consists of tea or pourage along with cassava (similar to a fried potato wedge) or chapte (similar to a flour tortilla). The older children have 3-4 teachers which teach them English, math, science, and social studies. Just as our kids back home, they are served lunch (posho=similar to smashed rice and beans) and go out to have recess.
They all take their studies very seriously and apply themselves to the best of their ability. Some you will find studying and reading late at night by candle light. The opportunity of learning how to read is perceived as gift from God. Patrick tells me that there are many nights he will wake up in the middle of the night and find a few of the children reading by candle light. He says once they get it, they can’t read enough- they love it.
Last night, I walked into town with one of the older boys, Simon who is now 15 (Photo Below). He is such a bright young man and has a heart for the orphanage as well as the community. He and I developed a bond during my last visit. We created a greeting between the two of us during my last visit which is “Chicago Fire” followed by a big smile. Two years ago his English was very poor, so it was difficult to communicate. One of the shirts he received last time was a youth soccer jersey from a team that must have been sponsored by one of the local fire departments in Chicago. The shirt read “Chicago Fire.” This phrase became our common bond : )
The amazing news is that in just a short time, Simon’s English and comprehension skills have accelerated to such a degree that he has become an interpreter in his local church. He is interpreting parts of the sermon as well as the Bible. This young man has dreams of becoming either a teacher or a journalist. He shared with me that he feels it is Uganda’s responsibility to be the best communicators they can be in order to relay the message of their nation to the western world. Simon’s father passed away at the age of 35 of unknown causes, and his mother abandoned the family when he was just a baby. Simon was found on the streets 3 years ago by Patrick after one year of being homeless. We had an amazing conversation last night, and celebrated that we could now communicate a bit better. He shared with me that he will always thank God that he was rescued from the streets and will never forget where his journey began. As he was sharing, I envisioned him as a grown man with a family. I’m confident in this young man’s future, and I know with all of my heart his life is and will continue to impact this community as he grows and matures. Where will Simon be 10 years from now and what will his life look like?
Thank you RUHU, TRUAC, and all of the supporters back home. It is children like Simon that have become the fruit of your labor. Well Done! I feel we are just in the very beginning stages of something beautiful that is continuing to unfold with each day!
Opportunity=Education=Empowerment=Impact…… We are investing in the transformation of lives!