May 22nd


Hello again!

It’s hard to believe that we only have a week left in this beautiful country, but today also marked the first of some very busy days. The team split up this morning with Alissa, Matt, and Ryan heading with Gayle and the doctors to Bugando hospital for an outpatient clinic and Kaylin, Taylor, Jamie, and I going with Julius to Fonelisco orphanage.

Only a few of the children were around the orphanage when we arrived, so we began with a tour of the boys and girls homes. I speak for everyone when I say that what we saw was heartbreaking. The small bunk beds that may or may not have a blanket included slept two kids to a bed. The rooms were filled with the smell of urine. We were each humbled at the conditions that these children live in. But what was even more amazing was that these kids still played like kids, laughed like kids, and were joyful even in their circumstances. They absolutely love the game of soccer. And these guys are good too! The little girls were sweet and shy, always wanting to hold our hands, sit on our laps, and be held. They somehow always find a way to keep themselves entertained, whether it be climbing a tree or drawing in the sand with sticks. Being able to play with them and love on them was a blessing to both us and them. When the rest of the kids returned from school we were able to talk a bit about the heart, the muscles, and the importance of exercise. You should’ve been there to see faces light up when they felt their pulse! Teaching the kids different exercises made for a fun afternoon!

One of the highlights of the day was being able to go to the market and buy food to help feed these 54 children. The head of the orphanage told us that the kids hadn’t been treated to a meal with meat since January. We were able to bring back bags of rice, beans, fruit, vegetable, and BEEF. What is a normal, day-to-day occurrence for us was a very special treat for these sweet kids.

-Kelsey De Jong