This past week was very busy. The Sixty Feet team came, and we were constantly going all week doing sponsorship interviews and visiting various organizations. Now that they are back in the states, it's normal work again. Yesterday, Colleen, Kirby (the Sixty Feet intern), and myself traveled to one of the Remand Centers and helped bathe and clothe the young children there.
What can I say to about that experience, but Amen? I'm so thankful that God allowed me to be a part of that preciousness. The Karamojong children are an interesting story. They live in the bush, and their people are considered second-class citizens. I'm not sure why exactly (something I hope to gain more knowledge about this summer), but they stay in a separate area in the already grim facilities. To see children as young as 2 and 3 in the Remand Home is...well, there's no words. They are usually brought out onto the streets by their older siblings, escaping their homes & villages in search of better treatment. The police then round them up for begging. It's interesting because from one talk I had with a social worker there, the children actually see living on the streets as better. They can get access to better foods by begging, and have more food throughout the day as opposed to their homes or the Remand Center.
Anyway, I digress. So the Karamojong children had not been bathed in a week or more. They were dirty, rags for clothes, and the emptiness of their living conditions only worsened the whole sight at first. I was trying my best to smile as we were shown into the pit latrines where the bathing would take place....not a wonderful sight nor smell. But instantly, with the first bath given to a little boy no older than 5, I was fighting back tears. I was sad to see these children, who need a home, need a parent, need love, need hope, need the basics of life.....but oh my. To see them smile when we scrubbed behind their ears or spent time soaping their feet. Amazing.There were protruding bellies, skin rashes/diseases, open wounds....but we just bathed. And soaped. And bathed again....and laughed as they slung the cold water on themselves, smiling at the fun, just like any child would. They were dried and were rubbed down with oil (shined up, as we say!) ....we took extra time to give them a good massage while we rubbed the oil, they seemed to enjoy the attention. ...then their fresh bodies were given a new set of clothes that had been donated by the Sixty Feet group members. Gender or size of clothes made no difference. There were boys wearing pink. Girls wearing boy t-shirts. Underwear 2 sizes too big, but it didn't matter. They had fresh clothes.....for the first time in a while.
I don't know what will happen to those kiddos. They are in the government's hands. I am sure they will be taken back to their villages eventually, but as I have learned, they will probably be back on the streets soon.
I write this post not to show what we did. We did nothing. But to not tell this precious story, would be wrong. Praise be to our God who sustains the workers who do these sort of things everyday.
PS. Because I have a hard time posting blogs without pictures, here are a few from this past week. Signs are some of the funn-ee-est things here in Kampala. The English is misused and sometimes the point of the signs are hilarious. I loved this one at the Nile River.
Here's a family pic at the Source (Foot 1) of the Nile River.
And finally, here's our "fathers" on Father's Day with their gifts on...the Ugandan FUFA jersery.
That's Daniel, our driver. Lucas, the Jobe daddy. And of course, Boog daddy.