Tuesday, May 29, 2007

a trip to kenya and back

May 15th-21st (Kenya)
Hey guys!! Sorry it’s been a while since I last wrote. I was in Kenya for a week, and I got a chance to go to the internet café, but it wasn’t working. The bus rides to Kenya were TERRIBLE! I don’t usually mind things too much, but it was supposed to be 9-12 hours…it was 17!! And the roads were crazy bumpy! I have bruises all over my legs from the seat in front of me. And it was soooo freezing cold during the night! But guess what! I survived!

But Kenya was amazing. I thought I would miss Uganda too much and not like it there at all, but it was really great! I still missed Uganda but it was really fun walking around the slums of Nairobi and seeing the kind of neighborhoods that aren’t seen often in Uganda.

We got to stay with different families in some of the outskirts of Nairobi. This was right between the city and the slum areas. I got really close with Pastor Paul’s family. I was really sad to leave them. We filled out sponsorship papers for the center of Babadogo. That day we got 300 children’s pictures taken and their information filled out. Which may sound cool, but it’s not so great because we still had two more centers to do. It’s so hard to turn people away, but we can only bring back so many because we can’t find sponsors in the U.S. very quickly. So we could only get 30 kids at each of the next two centers.

At Gachie there was a little boy named Samuel. He was a total orphan. Both his parents had died from AIDs. And he was HIV positive. He had some mental problems and half of his body was paralyzed. His huge crooked smile shone across the school yard. He was the happiest boy in the school. How does that happen? Some look at the joyful faces and are blinded by the suffering of the children and are discouraged and think they are a hopeless case. They obviously still have hope, how else could they keep smiling? I am continually reminded of their hope and faith through all of the difficult situations these children face. It is so amazing to me the unique and animated personalities each of them have. It is so inspiring.

The biggest adventure happened one day at the church. I was a holding a little baby named Michele and she was passing out on me, she was so tired. So I took her inside the church because it was crazy hot outside. One of the Kenyans we were working with told me she had a really high fever. So we crushed up some medicine for her and put it in water for her to drink. She was doing alright with drinking it even though between sips she would fall back asleep. Then I tried to give her another sip and she wouldn’t wake up. I tickled her and bounced her around trying to wake her up, then I tried pouring more water in her mouth and it just trickled down her lips. Her head kind of rolled back then and I couldn’t feel her breathing, I was most likely over reacting, but time stood still at this point. I thought I was holding a dead little girl. You have no idea how traumatizing that feeling is. Every time I think about it I feel sick. I freaked out a little bit to say the least, and I kind of couldn’t stop crying. I took her to the area where Florence (Pastor Paul’s wife) was cooking lunch and she examined the little girl in my arms. She convinced me that she was just extremely tired, that’s why we couldn’t wake her up, and that she was also weak from not eating. It helped a little, but I also felt that she was just saying this to get me to calm down, even if it was a big deal. So I carried her in a wrap until she woke up, which she did, so that was encouraging at that point. Then I took her into the kitchen area and gave her food, and after that, she was great! So that was a really scary experience, one I wouldn’t mind never having to do again.

May 22nd (Back in Uganda)
Yesterday we went to the village of Lugazi back in Uganda. We set up a medical clinic there. It was really fun because I got to hold a lot of babies. I held a baby named David who was around 2 months old. Right now I am not really sure what illness he is suffering from. Pauline (doctor) told me it has something to do with his lungs not working properly, I am going to talk to her again here in the next couple of days to get the complete details. He has a cough and a lump on the side of his stomach and he can’t breathe. I held him in my arms, helplessly watching his tiny stomach and throat trying to draw in air. I couldn’t even be sure that air was getting inside of him except for the fact that he was still alive. He has (what disease/illness?)

Why am I telling you all of this? I need your help. The only way for this little boy to live the life that God had planned for him is to get a surgery, which no one can afford. Please, please pray that God will miraculously heal this innocent child. Even with faith that moves mountains or prayers that never cease, his death might still be a reality. But I know that prayer is one of the most powerful things we can do. So I beg that you will pray with me that he will survive this impossible trial. You may look at the problem and use that word “impossible”, and with man it is. But with God all things are possible (Matthew 19:26).

I also got to hold this little girl named Joy Jackline. She was a triplet, but one of the girls passed away. So now there are just the two of them, Joy Jackline and Joy Lilian. So I got to hold them both at one point too. It was so much fun! …Except that I got peed on. Haha, so that was a little downer to that. But I think that it was probably worth it. Their mom was really cute too, she was one of the only adults who understood english. So I talked to her for a while and she told me she would pray for me and gave me a piece of paper with all her family on it and asked me to pray for her also.

May 23rd
Today we went to Rwenjiri, way out in the bush, to do sponsorship stuff and VBS (Vacation Bible School). In the past it has always proved to be the most challenging village. I’m not really sure why, but it was the same today. It’s just kind of stressful and unorganized with the sponsorship. We only had one translator, so it went really slow. VBS got all of the translators. But I’m not bitter (haha). But it wasn’t extremely bad, just kind of. I think the VBS team had a lot of fun, at least they looked like they were. They made bracelets and played a lot of soccer.

May 24th
Today we went to Kassanda to do a medical clinic. It went really smoothly. I don’t think the village realized that muzungus (white people) were there because there is usually a HUGE crowd wherever we go. So we just had all of the school children come and then some parents and teachers and whoever else heard that we were there. I got to see my little friend named Kato Grace. He has some disease, I’m not sure what it is, but I think it’s the same thing as like Simon Birch (If you’ve ever seen that movie). He is like 9 maybe, but is as small as maybe a 4 or 5 year old. He has a little bit of a hunchback and his shoulders are permanantely tensed up. But, oh my gosh, he is the cutest kid I have ever seen! He is an orphan and doesn’t have anyone who would take him in, so he stays at a house on the school’s property where four other children also live with one of the teachers in charge of the house. It was really cool to see the house, because that is something that I definitely want to be a part of here, a place where children can come when homelessness is the only option. So Kato clung onto me the whole day and I gave him a green wall ball and he was so happy about that! We played soccer for a long time and he was enjoying himself to the extreme! It was so great to watch him kicking the ball as hard as he could and all the other kids kicking the ball back to him every time.

May 25th

We went to Kittongo today to do sponsorship and VBS. The VBS was crazy, they were all so into it! I think our group is also getting better with relating it to the Ugandans. All these children get usually is preached at and are expected to keep silent. It was so amazing to see them getting really involved in the stories- Booing Haman and cheering for Esther. And to see Zack with a boy on his shoulders fall dead pretending to be Goliath. We may just be crazy Americans, but the kids are LOVING it! Haha

I made a couple friends while I was watching the soccer game of Americans vs. Uganda. Their names are Prudence and Jane and are probably like 8-10 years old. I used all my Luganda knowledge when I was talking to them (not much to brag about there). Which just made them crack up, I don’t think they’ve ever met a muzungu who knows the language. So I talked with them in luganda the rest of the day. And then almost at the very end I realized that Prudence actually knows a lot of English! And she had just been pretending that she didn’t understand me. It was really funny. Well, I hope you are all having a great week! Love you!!


Anonymous said...

Hey Hillary,
It is so good to hear about your trip and to know what to pray for. I have been checking the blog daily and We have been praying for you every since you left for Uganda. Your Dad posted your schedule so we kinda know where you are and know how to pray. One day I told the kids that you were going to Kenya for the week and to pray for your safety and the kids there. LaMario- one of our kids here doesn't pay attention all that well sometimes, it was his turn to pray for you at snack time. He said please help Kenya while she is in African, the rest of the kids caught his slip up and were trying really hard not to laugh at his words, finally I just had to stop the prayer and we took a few minutes to explain to Lamario that your name is Hillary and that you are in Kenya, a country in Africa- then we all laughed out loud for about 3 minutes. It was so good to laugh. Then we continued our prayers for you. So we lovingly call you Kenya now!
I will show the kids your blog today and we will continue to pray for you all there... And God does do the impossible- I see it everyday here too, I know He is doing it there.

Miss Brenda
Obasi Ministry

Anonymous said...

Hey Hill!

Just read your latest posting and it sounds like you're really in your element. Your writing really helps create this sad yet wonderful picture of what you and your team are doing for those children and their families in the villages. Thru your words, I can see the smiles on their beautiful faces! It sounds like they really love you, for some reason - ha! I will continue to keep you and your team in my prays and will be saying extra special prayers for Samuel, David, Michele and Kato Grace. Hopefully no more long bus rides or getting peed on! Be safe.

From your muzungu aunt back home. Luv ya, Stacey

Anonymous said...

Hey! so finally here i am :) all adjusted to life back with the fam for the summer. i loved reading your blogs and looking at the pictures-that kids choir is absolutely precious! how is it going with the corban team? i've been thinking of u alot and just praying that God helps all of u adjust to each other and the new culture (even though the culture change is totally normal to u!). I'll love hearing back from u whenever u get a chance-my email's snowflake3503@comcast.net if it's better that way or myspace instead of this. kinda weird that everyone can read this i think. i have another question that i want u to answer ;) but i dont think i should write it...
i'm working at dutch bros by my house for the summer and it's alot of fun, worked out great! love u and miss u ~in Christ, Katie

Stephanie said...

Cool! u know what I just realized!? I can click on some of the pics and make em HUGE! haha Well I really like that green shirt u have that says paz. I don't know if that's a place or what but in spanish that means peace...so i like it :)

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the latest on the sells

As of May 27, 2009...

Wow, it's been almost a year since we've updated this. Our family had a wonderful experience traveling to Uganda two summers ago, which prompted us to keep a journal on this blog. You can read our daily journal from our month long trip

This year brings new adventures. Our eldest daughter, Courtney, after graduating from George Fox University with honors, left for her third trip to India to spend nearly a YEAR to work at Happy Home for the Handicapped in Shimoga, India. You can read about her first trip to India and the impact it had on her life here. She'll also give us new updates from her current trip on this site (here). As of this writing, she is just starting to settle in and is very excited to be there. She has been looking forward to this for a long time!

Meanwhile, Hillary spent all of last year
touring the western U.S. with Matsiko, the choir of children we grew to love as our own in Uganda. She journalled about her experiences in Uganda if you'd like to see what that was like. At some point during this tour, she felt led to join the U.S. Army. Quite a big decision, and one she didn't take lightly. After moving through Basic Training with flying colors, she is now at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio training to become a combat medic. It's a very intense training, but we're sure she'll do well. Our whole family was able to travel to South Carolina to watch her graduate from Basic Training. What an awe inspiring experience!

Leslie is having a great year of teaching 5th graders. She's also in a Master's program, which takes a good chunk of her time. She's still finds time to read a TON of books. Literally, a ton!

Curt was overwhelmed by his experience as a first time overseas traveler and kept up his journal here (you can also read his random posts on everyday life here). The busyness of life and keeping track of his traveling kids has slowed down his writing, but he hopes to begin writing on a regular basis again soon.