Sunday, July 17, 2011
by Darlene Skarda
Am in Tororo, Uganda.  Sure makes me very thankful that I live where I do.  Today is Sunday, July 17th.  We attended a very “live” 2 1/2 hour church service.  There was lots of dancing and very vocal praising the Lord!  They wanted all the American ladies to get up and dance.  It appeared that everyone was going along with their wish so rather than sitting by myself I got up too and moved around!  They were just thrilled that we all did that.  My dancing was rather tame as it’s just been 2 months since I got my new hip but I have had no problems at all.  In fact, I brought a friends fold-up cane with me but have not taken it out of the suitcase.  After church we came back to our hotel (Rock Classic Hotel) and had lunch.  Then a group of us went to the Tororo City Hospital and prayed with the people there and handed out small items (sugar for tea, soap, toothbrushes/toothpaste, toilet tissue).  The hospital is very, very different.  Basically a building with very few nurses etc.  If the  patients are going to eat they have to  depend on their people at home to bring them food.  They are all so very happy to see us.  They seem to be very happy people in general in spite of the fact that they have so very little.
Our trip is going well – I can’t believe that a week from today we’ll be heading back to  the US.  We spent 2 days in Amsterdam which was very interesting.  Then we had about an 8 hour flight from Amsterdam to Nairobi, Kenya.  We spent 2 days in Nairobi and did 2 safaris.  The second one was at Nukuru where there is a very large lake and advertises over 400 species of birds.  We also saw many animals – giraffes, lions, rhinos, zebras and many more.  It is so very different to see them in the wild vs. at a zoo.  The giraffes are so graceful.   The time difference here is 10 hours later than Phoenix so while it’s now 8:30 am Sunday morning in Phoenix it is 6:30 pm here.
The food we’re served is good – not so very different than our own.  That is not true of the natives.  Our group is part of the  Hope4Kids International and there is a  boarding school here with over 400 students here.  Yesterday we met Douglas, a 12 year old that Amy’s family sponsors.  He was so thrilled to see Amy and Tristen.  He just  couldn’t quit smiling.  They had met him when they were here last year.  We sponsor Joseph who is 10 and I just met him this morning.  He just started in January so his English isn’t so good yet but he was happy to meet us too.  We saw their dorm where 42 boys live in one dorm.  Some have triple bunks and there are two housemothers!  They each have a  locker where they keep all their belongings (probably 2 – 3  changes of clothes, their plate and cup and a few other items.)  There is a  central ” kitchen where they  prepare all the food – when we were there yesterday they were cooking poi (a white pasty looking cereal type) and a  big container of pinto beans.  They were cooking over a charcoal stove in 2 huge tubs (probably 40 gallons each) and had started water in another tub to make porridge for this morning’s breakfast.  The boys each bring their plate and get a serving and just sit on the lawn and eat.  They were also doing their  laundry by hand in plastic tubs on the ground and hanging it on a line to dry.  
We’ll be seeing lots more this coming week – we will be attending the dedication of the 100th well that Hope4Kids Internation sponsors have drilled.  That is so exciting when you see where they get water before the wells are drilled.  Some are surprised at the color of the water – they thought it all was brown! 
Darlene Skarda

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