We have safely arrived in Uganda and spent our Monday getting our clocks adjusted, seeing some old friends and ……..looking for a place to stay. That’s right. When we left the guest house that we stayed in for the 2013 trip, the manager indicated that he would love to have our group back in 2014. We made our schedule in December, gave him numbers, plugged the rates into our budget and then he informed Faith (the big boss in Uganda), 2 days before we arrive, that they will not be able to host us. We did not know this little nugget of information until we pulled up at the “wrong” guest house at 1:30am on Monday morning after flying for 24 hours. The Aspen Place is about a mile from our previous guest house and Wentz Medical Center. There were several things that we liked about the other guest house: Location close to the church and medical center, beautiful view of Lake Victoria and a large living room and dining table for meals together. The Aspen has none of those, but it is clean and seems safe. We aren’t able to stroll out into the market for pineapple and avocados, but we can take a short drive to these areas.
We looked at a place across the dirt road from Wentz Medical Center (our home base), and it is still an option. We also talked to a new friend from Watoto, Randy. He is looking to see if there is any space at one of their guest houses. Only problem there could be that they are farther from our home base. One thing is for sure, we will have to pack and store all of our stuff before we go out on road trips and won’t be able to leave stuff like we did before.
This morning, I have been running the scenarios and checking the costs to see what it will cost to stay in the different locations, but I have been convicted that home is not the location, it is the family/people. We reconnected with some of our good friends yesterday, including David, Faith, Dr. Martin, Dr. Louis, Andrew, Kevin (the little boy we met last summer with the burns) & Julie. Today we have seen Jonathan Kabanda, Jonathan (with burn on his arm), Tendo, Nakiganda, Teddy, Bashira and Shakib. So, despite not being in the location we anticipated, we are home.
Here are some updates for you.
Last night we went to CORSU hospital to see Kevin.
He is doing so much better! His neck and shoulders work normally. His eyes and mouth are much better. His mom tells me that he is eating and drinking well. His last operation was to release some scars on his left elbow. He played catch with us and wanted to kick the tennis ball. When we first met Kevin, I wondered if he would live. Now, I think he will be attending school, at some point. Thank you to everyone who has prayed for Kevin and those who have given for his care. You have changed the life of a young boy.
Today we saw Jonathan, the boy who had the bad burn on his arm and abdomen. He was miraculously healed when we were here in 2012. Today when we stopped to see him, I had to look quite closely to determine which arm was burned…..truly a miracle of God. Jill was walking back to Wentz, apart from me, and she too stopped to see Jonathan and had to examine him closely to see which arm was burned.
While we were sorting medications and supplies for tomorrow’s trip, a young lady brought a girl named Mary by to see us. We had seen Mary last year and Due Unto Others supporters were able to help Mary to get an EEG to evaluate for seizures. She has now been started on seizure medications. She appears to be doing well.
We went to visit Nakiganda this afternoon. She growing quite well. She has earrings, and is absolutely beautiful! She is growing and walking much better. She is still not in school. This is a girl that is 9 years old or so. We had a good time playing ring around the rosies with the neighborhood kids.
We stopped to see Tendo. She is smiling and looks as ornery as ever. She says that she is doing well in school. Her mom was not home yet, therefore, we could not get the whole story. She seems to be recovered from her major surgery which repaired her diaphragm.
Tonight, Teddy brought Shakib by for a visit. He is a miracle walking. His left hand, once mangled and scarred looks really good and he is using it to eat and play with toys. His scar at his hip that kept him from standing straight is now gone. His sister, Bushira Nalweyiso is attending school. Today, we were walking past the school and she yelled “I love you” from the inside. We had not even seen her yet, but she recognized us from before.
It has been awesome seeing some of our “old” friends. We look forward to seeing Jamil on Thursday and others as we go. We have made many friends in Uganda. This fact is what makes it feel like we are back home. Not the house.
We continue to prepare for “Due Season”. Leaving for Jinja Wednesday am and working clinics in Palissa on Thursday and Friday.