Yesterday (Saturday July 9) was the hardest day we’ve had so far, or at least it seemed that way to me. What made it hard was the combination of the location we were in, along with the fact that everyone was already exhausted when the day started. We’re going to that same general area tomorrow, so I’ll write more about it after that. Today, however, was a much needed day off. I’m writing this blog from New Creation Family Home, where our team is hanging out for the afternoon. New Creation Family Home is the home base for Loving One by One.
Although New Creation Family Home is technically an orphanage, we don’t like to call it that. The 17 kids here are really a family. Every child here was brought from a desperate, even life-threatening situation and given a home and a family, along with an education and a whole lot of hope and love. Plus like I’ve mentioned in a previous blog post, they all like to sing together, so it’s as though we’re doing a Ugandan remake of the Sound of Music.
Most of the team members have been here before, so they know all the kids’ names and stories. Since it’s my first time here, I’m always asking the kids their names, or asking another team member, “Which kid is that?” As anyone who has seen me teach school can tell you, it takes me years to remember a kid’s name. But I’m trying.
As I’m sitting here in a quiet room typing this, someone is playing drums in the living room (which actually makes the term “quiet room” kind of meaningless). Outside my window, kids are playing soccer with some of our team members. In the garage, some of the women on our team have set up a nail salon and are hanging out with the girls in the home, creating a horrible smell while painting nails. But the smiles on the girls’ faces make up for the smell. Plus, whatever’s baking in the oven at the moment helps, too.
Oh and one thing I’m not proud of, but it’ll probably end up on Facebook so I might as well tell you. As I walked through the garage/nail salon, the girls offered to paint my nails. Ha ha, I said. That’s not gonna happen, and I continued walking. To my surprise however, a moment later I felt a little hand grab mine, and turned around to see little Mercy, one of our girls, painting the nails on my left hand. They are now kind of a reddish-brown color. I may never live this one down. So if the blog seems a little off today, it may be because my left hand nails are painted, but my right ones aren’t and I’m a little uneven.
So tomorrow we’ll go back into a horribly depressed, filthy, hopeless area, near where we were yesterday, and try to bring a little hope. Actually, most of the New Creation Family Home children came from areas like that, and suffered the death of at least one parent (usually to AIDS), and in some cases the abandonment of the other. Just thinking about going back in there tomorrow makes me tired. But today, hearing the drums and singing in the next room, plus the soccer game outside, and smelling my left hand, is helping me get ready for tomorrow.