4:22 a m. That’s the moment I finally got excited about our trip. Gently awakened by the pleasant song of a friendly neighborhood drunk, I lay here in bed and feel the adrenaline surging through my body. Today I leave for Uganda.
This was what I posted to Facebook the morning of The Big Day. The day we were finally leaving for Africa. Seven months ago, on a whim, my roommate Ashley and I decided to tag along on our friend Bekkah’s return trip to Kampala, Uganda. It was to be four women going: Bekkah, her mom Karen, yours truly, and Ash Cap.
The Four Girls! Prayed over and ready to go!
Bekkah volunteered five years ago at an organization called Watoto, which translates in Lugandan to “Children”. This organization, which rescues orphans and ministers to people of all ages, was started over 20 years ago by Pastor Gary Skinner and his wife Marilyn. They have several bases of operation throughout Uganda, and some have been planted in other countries such as Sudan. I knew nothing of the orphanage before we got there, other than Bekkah had fallen in love with a little boy named Harrison, whom she continues to sponsor. A big reason for the return trip was for her to be able to reunite with Harrison, who is now 5 and living in Watoto Suubi, an orphanage in the country about 45 minutes outside Kampala. Watoto Suubi houses over a thousand children between the ages 4 and 18, and many of the babies from Baby Watoto in the city are moved there when they are old enough.
Bekkah had also mentioned the fact that we would be going on safari. Sold! We waded through a couple different options and eventually settled on a safari tour through Kombi Nation Tours, which fit nicely with both our budgets and our schedule.
When not on safari, we were to stay at The Uganda School for the Deaf in Ntinda. This school houses, cares for and teaches over a hundred and fifty deaf children. Bekkah’s friend Kara lent us her apartment there while she was home visiting in the States.
Both Watoto and The School for the Deaf are run on the generosity of others, and the four of us were blown away by the donations of both money and supplies we received for all of the children.
After months of anticipation, finally we were at the airport, excited and not knowing just what to expect!
Armed with the love and prayers (and 350+ pounds of donations) of all our friends in the U.S., we boarded the plane, and settled in for the long flight(s).
To be continued. .