Saturday, October 3, 2009

TIA [this. is. africa.]

[me holding 2 week old Ashford]
[baby Maria!!]

TIA is a common saying here at the Empower A Child house. There are just things that you see or that happen that you just have to say... "TIA" Here are a few examples.
- there is a nightclub near our house that we can hear the music from constantly...last night's wonderful music selection was "colors of the wind". That's right, the one from Pochantas. Priceless.
- you will see a small child playing with a machete sized knife on a daily basis. scary
- when buying food from street vendors, just don't think about the sanitation grade
- we constantly hear.. "muzungu, muzungu, i love you!" oh man...

those are just a few, I will keep you posted on more TIA events.

Thursday we went to the Sanyu Babies Home. When we walked in we were greeted by very unpleasant smells and lots of sick babies. They were pitiful. After getting all of them bathed and dressed and fed the girls and I each chose a baby and took them outside. This week I got to hold precious Dorothy. She was not content unless she could see my face. As we were sitting there talking and cuddling and kissing those babies we were wondering if they would ever know how many different people held them and kissed them and wished that they could just take them home with them. We have met many other muzungu volunteers from Sweden, Germany, Scotland, & England. In Germany you are required to do I think it is 9 months of some sort of service work. It can be abroad or in Germany. I think that is so wonderful and I wish that America would require the same thing of their youth. I am not sure how well that would go over though. On Friday we went to 2 primary schools and the highlight of that event was when a huge, and I mean huge cow just walked through the children playing. It was completly unattended. I wonder where he was headed?!?! The children ran after it screaming! There are other children who are not in the school who hang out around us whenever we are there doing the program. It is so sad because the school children treat them like outcast too and push them away when they get near. I just give them the biggest smile I can muster and tickle them and try to make sure they feel included. The schools really amaze me. The classrooms are tiny and they squeeze about 40 children into each room. They all sit on wooden benches and most do not have paper or a pencil. There are hand drawn posters on scrap paper depicting the alphabet, animals, numbers, phrases, etc. US teachers...are spoiled. I am sure the teachers here do not have to deal with annoying parents. In fact I doubt they deal with the teachers at all unless it is to get them money. I have taught a few was so fun but interesting because it has to be translated into Luganda and so I have to pause and usually lose my train of thought! I asked our Ugandan volunteers what the children did for lunch on the days that we don't serve them porridge. Well...they don't eat lunch, or a snack unless their parents sent them with a few shillings to get a snack. Then they won't get dinner until at the earliest 8pm. So the teachers love when we bring poridge because the students concentrate better for the rest of the day. Sooooooooo incredibly different from the states. Also, you only go to school here if you can pay for it. If not, oh well says the government. That is why child sponsorship is so needed and so important. Empower A Child has 100 kids on the sponsorship waiting list.

Today is Saturday and I am so excited because Hannah and Courtney and I are going to a legit Italian restaurant! Yay for NOT rice and beans!!! We also went to a craft market. They have beautiful things there for really cheap!!

Prayer request: I have a bad cold and I would love not to be sick by Monday so I can go see 2 week old baby Ashford again.
Energy and stamina to keep up with these kids. I now understand why all of my teacher friends are so tired!!

Love and blessings to all!!!


  1. Baby Maria made my day! Just look at the joy on that little face.

  2. Meredith, I wanted to let you know that you and those you are serving are in the Clemmons' family prayers. God Bless you for the Great things you are doing!