Regina Photographer – Chickens, Goats and Soccer, Oh My!

We had a busy day today doing a lot of touring of other Watoto sites outside of Kampala.  Our first stop was a village called Suubi, and while there, we visited a few of Watoto’s sustainability programs.  If I haven’t already mentioned, I believe wholeheartedly that Watoto is an amazingly well run and planned organization.  They currently have three children’s villages and three baby homes that altogether provide and care for approximately 2,800 children.   To reduce the cost of milk for the children at the baby homes, they have built a goat barn with a number of goats that produce milk for the babies and toddlers at the baby homes who are over 9 months old.  The future plan is to build a second goat barn, to provide milk for the children’s villages as well, and any additional milk will be sold at market.  On site, they have a metal fabrication and carpentry shop set up where they make all the furniture for the Watoto sites, including cribs, chairs, beds, trusses for all of Watoto’s buildings- they are pretty amazing at what they do!  We visited a chicken barn that will be up and running in September, and it is WAY beyond what I would think an African chicken barn would be.  They are planning to have 12,000 chickens, to provide fresh eggs each day for the various Watoto sites.  With the assumption that 80% of the chickens will lay at least one egg a day, they expect 10,000 eggs DAILY from this chicken barn!  Whatever is not needed in the Watoto children’s ministries will be available for sale in the market.  Ah!- the more I see, the more I’m just so in love with what they’re doing here, and I’m incredibly blessed to be a very small part of it.

These are three very special kids that I’d like to introduce you to.  This family was brought into the Kampala baby home not long after my parents arrived here.  They, like a great deal of the kids we have met here, have a very sad story.  They had been abused, and were severely malnourished when they arrived at the home.  My mom met them, and within those first few days a special bond formed between them.  I would so often hear her talk about these children when we would talk over FaceTime each night, and so badly wanted to meet them, but they were moved to another village before we came.  Today, I got the chance to meet these beautiful kids.  As we looked in the window of the toddler’s room at the baby home, the older girl immediately recognized my mom, and started calling out, “Mommy!  Mommy!”  When we walked in the room, she ran to my mom and would NOT let go, with her little sister not far behind.  It was a reunion unlike any I have ever seen, and it is so evident how mom had impacted their little lives- it looks like I have inherited some amazing Ugandan sisters and another brother!

As you may or may not know, soccer is kind of a big deal in Africa.  I don’t quite understand it, but I respect that they have such a passion for the sport.  Today, the Ugandan soccer team is playing against Angola in their last World Cup qualifying match.  If they win, it would be the first time Uganda’s soccer team ever made it to the World Cup.  On our way home, we ended up on the road headed DIRECTLY past the soccer stadium.  Okay, we think Rider fans are dedicated?  I think we witnessed some people just slightly more dedicated to their team today!  We had been invited to go to the game, but given that we can’t be sure what might happen win, lose, or draw, we didn’t want to risk it, although it would have been an amazing experience!

UPDATE: We have been told that Uganda Cranes won, and are one step closer to the World Cup!  There will be another match to determine their spot in September, so we’ve been told- Go Cranes Go!  Can’t see any celebratory riot flames out the window from our apartment, but we will see what the city looks like tomorrow…

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