On the 16th, we packed up all our stuff and left Hoima for good. It was a strange feeling – because I had been late in getting to Uganda, I really felt like it was too soon; I felt like I had so much more to do! But even if I had gotten there on time, I know I would have felt the same. But today held what would end up being one of the most awesome and emotional experiences for me: The dedication of a well for an orphanage and school. So we drove off to this small school and orphanage about 35 minutes outside of Hoima.
They were ready for us, and had quite a celebration for us. It was quite a treat! Then the pastor and headmaster told us how the school had been started, and how they found that there were many orphans in the area with no one to take care of them. So they started an orphanage, too! It was actually really hard to see – the school and the orphanage had mud floors. The conditions were not what I would have ever expected before I got to Uganda. In fact, as an American, I would be horrified to see children living like this. But after a short while in rural Uganda, I realized how blessed these children were – it wasn’t glitzy,and it didn’t even have concrete floors, but they had someone who loved them and was doing their best to take care of them. And now they had a well that would give them clean water. Those blessing make the things I have here in America pale in comparison. It made me feel very mixed up inside – sad and depressed and yet also happy for them. It’s really hard to even describe it, so I guess I’ll just leave it at that.
After that we headed off to Kyenjojo to visit another orphanage, run by a young American woman, Alyssa, and her Ugandan husband. It was like the complete opposite of what we had seen in the morning. We spent most of the afternoon putting together a swingset/jungle gym for the kids. I actually put my camera down and started building for the first time – it was rather refreshing.
After that, we said our goodbyes and headed out for the last portion of our journey.