Thursday, February 17, 2011

Home is Where the Heart is...

It's your average Thursday here in Glen Carbon/Edwardsville, Illinois. Except it's 60 degrees in the middle of February. Warm weather after a very cold winter always makes me nostalgic... Especially when the majority of what I think about it Africa. I remember David telling me that in Namulonge, they see the sun 350 days out of the year. It isn't overwhelmingly hot there, but comfortable. I also remember one day it sprinkled for awhile, and it felt so refreshing so a few of the team members were standing in it or playing around, and the kids were baffled. They tried to pull me back under the awning, saying that I would get sick if I stay in the rain. It's the little memories like that which make you miss Africa.
I had the pleasure of talking to Jude, my Ugandan nephew, on the phone this past Tuesday. As soon as I heard his voice I started to tear up, and I am not a crier. It's silly how little time it takes for you to actually forget what their accents sound like, and how beautiful they are. All Jude kept repeating to me was "I can't wait to come to America!". I also got to speak to my favorite little girl, I know I know, you're not supposed to pick favorites... but I did. Anyway, she became attached to me after I interviewed her for a project we were doing. The day after I interviewed her, she took me aside and told me that she had lied during her interview, that she didn't live with her parents, and that she was orphaned because of AIDS. It was heartbreaking. It is bad enough to see commercials on TV with some person saying, "This is Marsha, she was orphaned when she was just 6 months old because her parents died of AIDS"- but to actually have a child say it to your face, to see them cry because they are still mourning that loss is completely life changing. She wrote me a letter, telling me she was grateful that God gave her a new mother... When I spoke to her on the phone, she told me she wanted to come to America to be with me. It is little girls like Hanifah that make you want to change the world.

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