As the summer comes to an end I find myself getting progressively sad. I have fallen in love with 90 amazing kids and God has shown me so much about myself, about others and about the world and this amazing place known as Busia, Uganda.
Today I got a true feel for Uganda and it's problems. I teach at Howard Secondary school and although I'm teaching some of New Hope's students the majority of my class is made from other local students. Today one of the students got called out of class and it was just a mess, so I ended up asking him what was happening and he said that they were forcing him to leave because he hadn't paid any school fees for this term yet and they won't let him continue without them. He said they gave him a week to find the money or he would have to wait until next term to continue.. then he also told me that both of his parents have died and he lives alone and he works to try to pay for rent, a tiny bit of food, an an extremely expensive school fees... I couldn't believe it! I realize that all the kids in Africa have a hard time and I was prepared for the ones at New Hope because I came in expecting it but this other boy who was not a New Hope resident and who acted just like anyone else in class has this incredible task to overcome to even attend school. I wasn't sure what to do but I didn't feel okay doing nothing so I brought him to the director of New Hope and asked him to listen to the boy's story. I should have more details next week, but hopefully he will be joining the program or at least be receiving support from the program starting next week. They have to check his story and background and see if its all legitimate, so we'll see, but I'm hopeful :) On top of that however, one of the girls from my class today told me that her younger brother died last week. I never realized how strong these children here are... they are strong strong children and they never cease to amaze me.
I hate to be leaving so soon but I am certain that my stay here isn't over for good. I have never really felt so connected to a place and not been so sure of why. Some places I am connected to because they draw me in but Busia as a whole is not an attractive place, I suppose it's the community, or the people. Imagine me.. saying that I love children. No one would have seen it coming and certainly not me. I love these kids.
I just hope that I can make the most of my time left here. Keep these incredible people in your prayers because they are certainly some of the most amazing and most deserving people I have ever met.