There have been so many things happen since the power. The first thing I remember thinking I would need to write a bit on the blog about was a little girl. Since then there are two more girls to add to the list.
You may have read early in our time here of me giving biscuits to children who were collecting water. One of these girls I had a chat with and discovered that she didn't have a mosquito net. She came back a few weeks later and explained that I had told her to come back for a net. It was great timing, God's timing, because we had just bought the large amount for the 'Women of Hope'. It was good to be able to give her the net but I didn't think much more about it. Then, on a Saturday I heard someone calling "Aunt Anne" and there was Rebecca with her mother. I was presented with a beautiful box. It was a gift for me as thanks for the net. All carefully wrapped in glittering paper, in a homemade box was a patchwork bag. The photo hardly does it justice but gives you some idea.How humbling is that! I think it has become one of my most precious possessions.
Around the same time, another little girl had been becoming part of my life. Her name is Priscilla. I met Priscilla on my travels to school. The first time we chatted as I walked, she escorted me to the school and I gave her some biscuits as she said she hadn't had breakfast. Then, when I came out of school, approximately 4 hours later, there was Priscilla to greet me. She told me of her life and that she wanted to go to school. After inquiries with people that know, I discovered that she did have a father, her mother had abandoned the family and that she lived with her grandmother. Her father provided some money for food, but as a boda driver there was not a lot left, certainly not enough for school fees. So, where to from here. I gave her an exercise book, pencil and some 'work' to do. Thinking that would appease her. Wrong! Next day Priscilla was back with her book filled with pages and pages of work. It appeared she had copied work from her previous year's book or found questions to do that were definitely school work. So, what is next? Perhaps some more work and don't come back until Monday! Well, first thing Monday morning, despite other plans, there she was. It soon became apparent that if we did not get her to school our work would be cut out finding work for her. So, Priscilla is now in school for this year. Her desire reminded us of our dream of helping children who cannot get to school. It is still in our heads, how do we help these children? We cannot pay the school fees but maybe we could run classes for them to have some education.... More prayer needed about that one!
Finally last week, we thought we were facing something that is a constant reality here in Africa, death. The mud bricks for the houses and buildings in the village are made by widows. One of these widows is a lady called Joyce. She has suffered much in her life. She has come from northern Uganda and was adversely affected by the Lord's Resistance Army. This affect is ongoing, she is now HIV positive and so is one of her daughters, Mary. Mary is a lovely girl with a beautiful smile and when I next see her I hope to get a good photograph for you. She is about 9 years old and is also keen to do well as school. On Wednesday, last week, there was a knock at the door and it was Mary. We were busy meeting with Robert but it was instantly obvious that she needed our attention. Her face was swollen, like the most severe case of mumps you can think of. After seating her, we found out the whereabouts of her mother. She was just next door and so I was able to call over the fence. It appears she had insisted on walking to school and told her mother that if she needed help Aunt Anna would be there. So, with some assistance they headed to the hospital after a prayer. However, Joyce needed to get the medical information, so had to go back home to get it, leaving Mary at the gate. After finishing the discussions, Ron and I needed to go into town, so hopped in the car. Oh dear, Mary was still at the gate! So, we bundled her into the car, drove and found mum on her way back and off to town we went and dropped them at the hospital. Tests were done and they needed to return the next day. We didn't hear the results on Thursday but Friday morning Ron was just walking down the road in the village and saw Mary upright on a tyre but appearing to be sound asleep. She did not quickly rouse and when she did, did not speak. He called us and then she was carried to the sofa. I went to find Joyce who was at the brick making shed. She said that Mary had treatment and that she needed a cup of milk each day. She had missed Michael (our farmer) so wasn't sure about getting milk. I reassured her that we had milk and checked that we didn't need to make another trip into the hospital. Joyce was sure that the treatment would be fine and so we all took care of her throughout the day. We were all very concerned. However, by the end of the day she was much improved - thank you God. A highlight for me, was that she wanted to 'bathe' and so she did so in our bathroom with a basin in our shower. There were some noises coming from the bathroom and still being concerned I took a quick look. There was a girl squealing with delight because she could freely pour water over her (a half basin) and enjoy it, for her a rare treat. Her mother has to buy water so it cannot normally be used in any way like this. Mary is improving and tried to drop in yesterday her mother informs us, to greet us. Unfortunately we were out.
There are so many special children, not just in the village but in the wider community we are able to be a part of.