Tuesday, January 31, 2012

ESCAPING THE ORPHANAGE


The kids get a bit overwhelming, especially since they are bored from being on holiday for two months.  They stay up till 2 a.m. watching music videos if there is petrol for the generator.  They leave our porch when we eat, but then converge again.  It is very dark by around 8 and no electric lights, so we just have our little flash lights.  The kids get up in your face and you can't quite tell who they are, which is disconcerting.  

Faith spent two days getting braids put on for the Christmas break

...and five minutes taking them off since they aren't allowed at school

Hilda from Norway gets her hair braided by the boys

Me and Sam

Ruth behind the orphanage

The volunteer house.  We have our meals on the porch.


You can't really take a good shower or wash hair and clothes, since there is only cold water and only in the daylight hours because of the solar pump for the well.  I went to kampala overnight twice this week to charge up my batteries (computer, ipod, phone, kindle) and wash my hair and clothes.  The kids enjoyed watching "Horton Hears a Who" by Dr. Seuss on my laptop, and keep asking for another cartoon.  I tell them my battery is dead, since it only lasts less than two hours on a charge.

25 kids watching a movie on my laptop

On January 28, the volunteers ran an HIV clinic for the orphans.  We did 142 tests and all were negative for HIV.  The doctors from the AIDS clinic who helped us were very surprised, since they expected 20% positives.  We have many street kids at the orphanage.  A good surprise, though.  I pricked the fingers of about 40 kids to get blood samples, and nobody cried.  Not like American kids!

This weekend Leah and I are staying two nights in Jinja, an "adventure capital" with bungee jumping, class 5 rafting on the Nile River, mountain biking, etc.  It is a lovely town with nice walking, shops, etc but not really touristy.  The source of the Nile, where it meets Lake Victoria, is here.  Everyone I talked to who did the rafting said they were dumped in the water at least four times, and I met someone at the surgery clinic in Kampala who banged up her knee.  Since my knee is already messed up, I am relaxing today while Leah does the rafting.


I went to a beauty salon in Jinja and had a pedicure, the first in Africa.  Needless to say, my feet were a mess.  I thought the strap line from my sandal was a tan line, but it came off. Just the same old red dirt.  At the same time, Leah got a manicure.  She has bruises from the "massage."  All the "beauticians" in the salon were men, with one woman, who I assume is the owner, acting as receptionist and cashier.