After three flights, 19 hours in the air, and 2 hours spent in baggage claim the Hazel Dell team of 16 has finally made it back to Uganda! Our only complication was that Brandy, our team member from NC made it to Uganda but her bags did not, along with one of my second bags. We expect that the bags will arrive at the hotel tomorrow. Praise God !! If we have been taught anything about Uganda, it’s to be flexible and trust that God will always provide. Following arriving at the hotel a little after 1am there was only 1 thing left for the team to do, jump right into bed! And that’s exactly what we did, (maybe after a few of us ordered room service). A few short hours later it was time for breakfast and climb aboard the bus to make the drive to our newest project UG459. None of us could have anticipated the greeting that we had waiting for us.
Not long before we reach the project entrance we hear the sound of drums, laughter chanting and singing. We climb off the bus to see 100’s of faces smiling back at us. While some children danced, others held the signs they created to welcome us. Each team member walked down an aisle lined with children on either side, stopping to hug and high-five as many children that were in our reach. Some of us couldn’t help but get teary eyed, meanwhile smiling so hard I know our cheeks were sore after. I imagine it’s how a home team feels when they enter their stadium before a big game but being welcomed back to Uganda is 100x better. We were directed to sit in front as the children performed and danced to a few more songs. It was breathtaking watching them sing a song of worship in their own language with closed eyes lifted to the sky. They truly love praising their Lord and Savior. After introductions were made, Seraphine, the project director, showed us around the project. She takes pride in what she does and truly cares about the progress they are making. Following our tour, it was time for the wonderful lunch the women had prepared for us.
Playtime is the best time. Each of us most likely had 5 children on each arm. Bob Rennier played soccer, Cj Streeter got dragged from place to place by the children, some of us spent the time just hugging and loving on the children. I’d say that Chuck Fannin was the most popular attraction considering he had about 10 children gathered around petting his hair. When it was time for home visits we received a number of disappointed faces, but we assured the children we would be returning on Monday. My family had the pleasure of joining Melanie Lynch on her home visit to her sponsor child, Favor’s, home. His family, as well as his neighbors gave us a very warm welcome and invited us into their home. They expressed that they were very happy to have us and that they had been waiting for us since Friday. Favor has one brother and one sister. To our surprise his sister and her friends had prepared a dance and song for us. The video we will have to share later so that you may get the full affect of how incredibly adorable and well performed it was. We exchanged some questions and then we prayed over their home and their family. As we waited for the bus we played with bubbles, experimented with the filters on snapchat and my mom Joanne Streeter shared pictures and videos of her dog Shockley and the comfort dog ministry she is involved in back home. We’ll never get used to watching the children run behind the bus waving us goodbye.
On the ride back from UG459 our team shared stories from our day, (some of us slept). We ate dinner at what I would like to think is our favorite restaurant in all of Entebbe, Cafe Java. We then returned to the hotel. We await church at project UG511 tomorrow, where most of us sponsor our children. We will having trouble sleeping tonight knowing we will get to see the faces we have waited a year to see or maybe much longer. Lifting up our thanks and praises to God every chance we get for this amazing opportunity to return to our home or visit for the first time.
Yes, we are addicted to Uganda.
At least we admit it.
The Uganda Addicts