Wednesday, August 10, 2011

SOUP Meets Community

My last day with the kids at the SOUP school was definitely bittersweet. The morning started off by gathering all the supplies we would need to host the entire community at the school. I picked up four medical students to follow up with our precious kiddos, tons of medical supplies, 50 kilograms (over 100 pounds) of rice, 25 kilograms (over 50 pounds) of beef, tons of markers for the kids to draw pictures, and 1 soccer ball, or as they call it there, a football.

It was an insanely hectic morning as I set up the medical students to do their thing, collected over 200 drawings from the kids, and made sure that all the food would be ready to feed the community. All this craziness was definitely worth it though!

Over 100 people from the community showed up, including the government representative of our area! We talked about hygiene issues such as the importance of hand washing and medical issues like how to properly clean and bandage wounds. The parents were so gracious and kind to me. They shared their gratitude for all that the SOUP is doing and begged us to keep up our work in their community. It was so encouraging. After all that talking we sat down to share a meal together. It was great to just sit with the parents and, with the help of a translator, talk to them. We ate in true African fashion with our hands and it was so fun!

After lunch the kids sang songs for us, and I presented the football to the school. I'm not sure who was more excited, the kids or their parents. After this it was time to head out, and it was definitely a tough goodbye. Tears filled my eyes as kids who were so scared of white people 10 weeks ago came up and gave me hugs goodbye. The head teacher, Mr. Emma, told me the kids had gotten used to me. I had definitely gotten used to them. This is a huge compliment in Uganda and especially in this village because most people don't spend enough time with these kids for them to build relationships.

It was hard for me to leave, but I know that this is not the end. The SOUP will continue to grow, and I am so excited to see what the future holds!

Signing Off,

Sarah THomas

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