JACARA Gives Back in Africa!
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Greetings from “The Pearl Of Africa”…Uganda,
After fourteen days I am impora, impora (slowly by slowly) getting into a rhythm. Each morning after my tea (or porridge) I adore my twenty minute walk to the orphanage, where I am almost always greeted by eleven little bodies running to say “good morning Jas-Mine!”. What a wonderful way to start the day.
My time here has proved to not only fly by, but fulfill a need that has been deep inside me for so long. When preparing for these five weeks, I was only sure of one thing…… I would be totally immersed in the lives of these children. I did however sense an internal shift , but nothing could have prepared me for how massive this shift would be. Although I am not proud to admit it, in the past I suffered from feeling “sorry” (to a degree) for those that were much less fortunate than I. This feeling left my heart heavy and I knew somehow I was not seeing life as it was meant to be seen.
In a profound way, it took Africa to teach me that “feeling sorry” was seriously incorrect. Committing myself fully to this country that is constantly faced with extreme poverty, starvation, disease, HIV…and yet it is this same country that has taught me to see life differently, in a new and brighter way. Sure, my heart weighs heavy with the desperately sad situations I have witnessed. BUT, I am finally able to see that letting go of “feeling bad”for those that are less fortunate, has empowered me in a way that I am truly inspired to make an even greater difference than I ever thought possible. How ironic (and ultimately wonderful) that it is those with so little that have taught me so much.
orphanage) were contacted. Through some investigating it was learned that his Auntie (only 11 years old) would leave to fetch water each day, and Deo would escape from the house where he was left alone, to follow her. When they approached his home they found that he had grandparents there and inquired further. Each day, all day, they both work in a gravel mill, chipping away at massive slabs of rock to create gravel, all done with a chisel of sorts. After Deo’s mother abandoned him, his grandparents took him in, which meant another mouth to feed. They can’t possibly choose to stay home, their lives would be put at serious risk. So, with the option of receiving a monthly stipend to help take care of Deo or sign him over to the orphanage, they selflessly admitted his life would be much better if he lived in the home. Only less than two months ago Deo arrived. It is now that he is beginning to laugh more and more. Deo LOVES to climb, especially my legs . He is my little warrior. His sweet smile brightens my whole world, and when he laughs…oh how I wish I could bottle it for all to hear .
It is with each passing day that I am so grateful for all I have. For each of you reading, we live in a land of plenty. Just think, we are able to turn a knob and drinkable water comes freely flowing! I don’t mind the cold drip showers, or the basin baths. Nor do I mind eating a rotation of the same eight things every day (in fact, I enjoy it). I don’t mind feeling totally out of place, struggling with a new language, or being the only light skinned person on the road. I do however mind when someone takes the simple (to us) things in life for granted. We are all guilty of it at times, but today…enjoy your hot shower, be thankful for a refrigerator full of chilled food and love those that stick by your side day in and day out.
It is with so much joy that I will sign off. Thank you for reading and thank you for your encouraging words…they have a greater impact on so many more lives than you will ever know!
Webare Munonga (thank you very much,