This place is warm, inside and out.Time passes slowly.. Life moves slowly even during the the hectic rush-hour, with boda-bodas(motorcycles) and busses crammed full well above their maximum capacity racing by, honking – always honking. Amidst all of this, there is a slowness, a feeling that all is well. No one truly hurries in the same way we do ‘back home’. When we came here to Jinja, Uganda, we were happy with what we found.. Happy children. Playful children. Well-fed and watered children. We came to Jinja to work with an existing organization, so that we could learn valuable skills before we begin our own projects. So, now we plan to go north to the refugee camps housing thousands of people from bordering countries. Even though it has only been five days, I know that I will leave with a heavy heart. The children we are staying with are beautiful. One girl truly stands out for the both of us. Her name is Ruth and she is 11 years old. Ruth is currently the oldest of all eight children in the home, and she does a lot for the others, all of whom she really loves. She works hard to take care of them and because of this, she doesn’t always get to be the young girl that she is. But, yesterday something beautiful happened when we left the home with all of the children to go play. For the first time, I saw Ruth as the eleven year-old girl that she is. She was running and laughing and playing just like the other kids. I really can’t explain the feeling in my heart as I watched her. I was finally seeing her, free of responsibilities. She even came at me with ‘the claw’ and tickled me! Ruth is a beautiful, wise soul with the kindest of hearts.
Jinja has been warm and sweet. We found love in friends, children, goats and puppies. We found love in the mountains and the red soil. We found love in the lightning storms and the rainfall. We learned many things, the most important being that this beautiful life is truly a love mission after all.