Sunday, December 23, 2007

Merry Christmas

Right before James hoed his toe. You can see the tools we were using...but once again...don't worry...duct tape works wonders.
Mike holds a baby during a concert that we attended. Sorry it is dark..but you can kinda make out the fatness of the baby. I have never seen a baby so chubby as this little girl.
Melissa after coming out of the pit latrine. This was the first time anyone had to use it while on the trip. While we were at the school it became second nature...but this was while we were still in the capital.
This is why we are here! The clear water on the right is my personal bottled water. The water on the left the muddy looking one that Kasekende got from the pump that was installed before we got here. This is what the children are drinking! That is why we are here!
This is Martin. We went on a long walk around the schools gardens. We had to walk for many hours and little Martin got tired. So Dr. Grenney gave him a piggy back ride and he loved it. During the ride his pants started to slip and you could see his underwear. All the children started laughing that they could see his underwear. So cute.

Everyone on the team would like to wish our family and friends back home a warm and loving Merry Christmas. We wish we could be with our family at this time, but we are really enjoying the time we are spending here. We finished the work at the school and said our sad goodbyes. After working with the people day in and day out you really develop a lasting friendship with them. It is difficult to part. I can now see why Dr. Grenney has come back as often as he has.

As I mentioned last time we were able to move a lot of earth to give our school more playing fields. So really the last day we spent in the fields playing with the kids. it was fun to interact with them as we played volleyball and net ball. Let me tell you what, they said that netball was a lot like our American basketball...but they are wrong. It is so much harder! They don't have a backboard and to try and get a ball (that looks much like a volleyball) through a rim (which is small than a basketball rim) and do so without a backboard is so amazing. Now i don't think I have the best basketball skills in the world...but I can hold my own...but when it came to netball I think I only made it once. I was really bad at it.

Melissa made it an effort to have every little child love her. There were are few new kids from when we came in July that had never seen a muzungu before and it was her goal to make them like her. At first they would cry but by the end she got one to come into her arms. At one point in the trip Melissa was walking back to the staff room and was walking in the area of where Mark was. He got one look at here and took off crying. All you could see was a half naked African running away from the bewildered white girl.

Shannon is our expert plasterer. Big Jon taught her the flick method...well really he taught us all but she was the one who caught on the best (if you can count catching on meaning she had the least amount of mortor fall to the ground...and the least amount on her body). We have also learned first hand the mortor does burn when it touches the skin...but only slightly for the first few seconds.

James is the master shoveler. While we were working on the volleyball court we were amazed as the Africans would stand in the dirt with their bare feet and take the hoe and get to work. They would come so close to their feet that we were afraid that someone would lose a toe. James decided that he could do that too and got a little too close to his foot. Before he knew it he had taken the hoe to his toe. Now for his parents who are reading this please don't worry...he is fine. Nothing that a little bandaid and duct tape can't fix.

I became the mother of many. I went in with one little boy who called me the end of the trip I had many children calling me their mother. Not only did my little Kasekende with me all the time, but his sister Namayanja came along too. Even the nuns would address me as such. I know one time I was walking to the doctors office and one of the nuns was standing next to the classroom. She said something in Lugandian and then said "Kasekende's mother, how are you?". The director of the school even told me that he had the papers ready if I wanted to take the boy home with me.

Roger suprised us all by showing his true self on the volleyball court. He was not only aggressive (he got a little too close for comfort on the balls that went down the hill) but he also ran over a few of his team mates as he ran for the ball. We would never had guessed that that would come from our wondering friend.

Dr. Grenney once again has amazed the team by his on going attitude. While the rest of the team thought of no other projects...he is the master of all ideas. He came up with so much for us to do...we could hardly keep up. He continues to amaze us with the love he has for the people who have come to love and respect "their professor".

Mike, words can't describe what Mike has done for the children and teachers there. I know one little boy names Jonah asked him to bring his dog Bear next time he came to Uganda. Mike didn't think that would happen and so he gave Jonah the picture of Bear. You should see the joy the kids had while Mike would push them on the tire swing. I have never seen bigger smiles.

So to all our friends and family we wish you a happy Christmas. Even though we are away from you we are with you in spirit. All the love in the world. Finally we were able to get pictures put on. Hope you enjoy them.

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