Monday, June 6, 2011

Last Friday, I visited an orphanage that Nick Hall and I developed a special place in our heart for last summer. Operated by an amazing lady named Penny, the orphanage is located just outside of Kampala. Friday was Martyrs Day, which you may recall from last year was the day when everybody walks to a shrine to honor those who were killed in the name of Christianity. This year, I chose to go to the orphanage rather than take the long journey to the shrine.

Last year, Nick and I formed a particularly strong friendship with one of the boys at the orphanage. At the time, he was really excelling and showing signs of maturity. He had struggled for a long time to let go of the temptations to join his friends in age inappropriate activities such as working and going to see violent films. It seemed that he was finally ready to be educated and plan for his future. One of the first things I asked Penny when she picked me up was about this boy. She was sad to tell me that she had to let him go. He had started to act up again and was becoming a threat to the other children. Penny did not want the other children to be brought down by his behavior. She has communicated with the boys grandmother that if he writes a note of apology and promises to fix his behavior, she would allow him to come back because he showed so much potential. Unfortunately, he has not taken advantage of this offer f. In the next few weeks, I hope to go speak with him at his grandmothers. I was so proud of all he was accomplishing last year, and I hate to think that he might return to selling scraps he finds on the street for extremely small profits.

When we arrived at the orphanage, I was happy to see many familiar faces. Because it looked as if it was about to rain, we stood on the balcony. The children asked me many questions about America. They were often tough. For instance, one of the girls asked me what it takes to succeed in America. During the more than 30 minutes of questions (the majority of which came from the same two girls), I explained to the children the structure of the US government, the US school system, and what it takes to become an American citizen among other things. I asked that they explain to me how all these systems worked in Uganda as well.

After the Q&A session, I taught the children how to play Monopoly and Jenga. Someone had donated these games to the orphanage; however there were no directions so the children had just been making up games. I was glad to help them develop a better understand. After game time, I left with Penny to go back home. I hope to return to Bright Futures Orphanage a few more times while I am in Kampala.

- Feldman

1 comment:

  1. So what does it take to succeed in America?