Map of Uganda

Map of Uganda
The Uganda Kampala Mission includes Uganda, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Burundi and Southern Sudan. Our assignment covers all the areas except Ethiopia.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Orphanage Christmas Party

Early in December we were told that there were 150 students at The New Hope for Africa Orphanage in Seta who had nowhere to go for the Christmas break. We previously did a project at the orphanage and Elder Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve visited them while he was here in Uganda. So the senior missionary couples, along with President and Sister Christensen and some of our friends from the Mengo Branch, decided to prepare a dinner, gifts and a party for them.

We arrived early in the morning to begin preparing the food. All the cooking is done on this wood burning stove.

Everyone was pressed into service to help with food preparation. Art and Joseph hard at work on the carrots.

The main staple food in Uganda is matoke, which is made from a type of green banana, cooked in banana leaves.

It is not really the favorite food of the children but no meal is considered a "feast" without it. Our friend Olivia is a great cook and dishes up the matoke when it is cooked.

Some of our other friends from the Mengo Branch: Harriet,Tina,Olivia, President Sylvester Mugishu and Kezia

We also prepared beef, potatoes, chicken, beans, cabbage and cake.

The kids rarely even see a large piece of cake much less get several pieces. It was easily the favorite food group. Usually when they "cut" a cake here, everyone gets a piece about the size of a quarter. Four little girls waited for us to cut up one piece for them to share. They could not believe that they each got their own piece and just stood staring at their plate and smiling for about 30 seconds befor digging in.

Everyone enjoyed the meal, especially the rare chance to get seconds.

There was even enough for some of the children from nearby houses.

We took some jump ropes and soccer balls to leave for the children to use. They had great fun playing while we were preparing the meal. Two of Elder and Sister Beachley's children were visiting from America and helped with the kids for the day.

The older kids put on a great show for us with authentic drumming and dancing.

Many of the older orphans were displaced as a result of the war in the North with the LRA. The country-wide dance program was designed to help them forget the trauma of their early years. They have a lot of fun when they perform.

After the show, we handed out a school bag with some Christmas goodies, toys and school supplies sent from our friends in the U.S.

We got to enjoy the day with some "substitute grand kids".

A good deal for everyone! A BIG Thanks to all our friends back home who made this day possible.

"Everything must have a beginning"

"Everything must have a beginning"
Children at an orphanage in Entebbe, Uganda. There are so many children here it is incredible; there are orphans everywhere. The people take them in and it is not unusual to see families struggling with 8-10 children. We talked to a woman yesterday who has taken in twelve children. She said, "sometimes I feel sad that I cannot do more, but everything must have a beginning". We have decided to use that as our personal reminder to guide our actions here as we try to help.