Setting up a Farm

Friday 23 October 2009

A smile from a child……………………………….

It rains the corrugated roofs get wet. We have water again. The rain falls almost every morning with buckets from the sky, what a bliss. A refreshing shower under the gutter, all the plants green again, the dust from the roads, many puddles, a leaking roof… happy with rain. When it rains I always have a bit of a Dutch feeling. Just sitting inside, sometimes watching a movie, wearing socks, with a blanket on the couch only the warm chocolate milk is still missing. How happy you can be with rain, the water tanks overflow and that doesn’t feel right because we are wasting so much water. Bizarre that we are so grateful for water while in the Netherlands you flush your toilet with at least 5 litres of water for every little pee. Now that the rain has come it is time to plant. So we are getting down to work. Every morning we go to the piece of land we rent. First it’s all about shovels, unbelievable what a work man and now it’s just a matter of making holes, throwing in seeds and closing them up again. We plant beans and corn, yes it looks like a piece of cake, but making holes and seeds and spreading them over a football field of one and a half metres is still quite a task. After 3 weeks we have planted everything and I am very curious about the result. Just look at the beautiful rows of corn plants you always see running through in those exciting movies or of course for the couples among us having a romantic escapade in the corn field in the romantic movies.

Yes to be honest, my romance is kind of defenitive about it. My “up to 30” crisis doesn’t get any more fun, but what doesn’t go is not. Sunday has been my friend for 2 years and will always be a friend but I don’t think he is the man of my life. And since I really have to take things seriously for once I have to make decisions that hurt a lot. I love him very much but sometimes loving him is not enough. I am disappointed in myself and also a bit scared. Will I ever find someone again is of course the biggest question. I don’t believe that the prince on the white horse will appear here between the banana trees and since my social life is almost dead I am a bit panicked. I do realise now that I can continue to give love and sacrifice myself to help “pathetic” children here but apparently I also need love and someday someone to take care of me. Of course I get a lot of love from friends, family and the children but that is not the same as the man in your life. But who wants a mother of (at the moment) 6 children, who walks all day in her old cliff, is in crisis and doesn’t know exactly what she wants. People I really don’t complain and I myself am to blame for this breakup but someday I hope to find my Dr Mc Dreamy because in the end we are all looking for love (yes mam, you were right, even though I said I could do it all by myself).

Had I just informed you about our new beauty in the house, I now have even more news. We have also taken in Betty’s sister Noe. The poor child was skin and bones and was sleeping on a mat all day because she didn’t have the energy to do anything else. Everything that went in came out so it was time to take the child away from that grandmother and take responsibility for it. Well, I saw a lot, but Noe touched me emotionally. The first night I woke her up every hour to work a few spoons of water and ORS inside. What a fuss and those few spoons came out again in the form of diarrhoea, what you could no longer call diarrhoea but pure water, or vomiting. The child was just staring in front of him and there was hardly any life in it. She is 6 years old but you wouldn’t give her that. I had given myself a week to make a small improvement, if not I would take her to a specialised hospital where they have a nurse’s department. But of course that is not stimulating for a sick child at all. Noe has a protein malnutrition, which means her body is skinny but she has a very swollen belly and swollen feet and face. The hair doesn’t grow and is brownish, her skin comes from her body because it’s not healthy, her teeth grow badly and the brain doesn’t develop enough. I have tried everything but the girl refused all the food and drink we gave her. Terribly frustrating, such a grumpy head who then shakes no to everything while you want to stuff it in and make it clear to her that it is for her own good. Apparently I have little patience for this, but Sunday and Maureen are a breeze. With some threats we got some juices and biscuits in it at one point, not really protein-rich but it was something. At least 6 times a day the diarrhoea but I didn’t care if she started eating. In the evening I asked myself if I had done the right thing to take her in, it is frightening. The lady takes a lot of time of the other children and it is not the most sociable sheep in the house. But for me it is a challenge and I need it otherwise it will be so boring. Gradually things went better but she knew how to take advantage of the situation. She understood that I did everything for her (which she could do herself) and so she started crying when she didn’t get any attention or when I came near her. A couple of days of being very strict and showing her that we share everything, are nice to each other, thank you very much and say please and that we have to divide our attention over many children. I also understand, if there is someone who gives you warmth and attention and cuddles you and you don’t know that at all, you want to keep that with you. As it turns out, Noe is a spirited aunt, all people what a change that girl has undergone in the past 4 weeks. She laughs, she talks and eats the ears off my head. Of course we are far from there yet but how beautiful it is to see her blossoming like that. I am so convinced that love and attention is the best medicine. She goes everywhere and plays with the other children. Babirye is very happy with her new boyfriend even though they both haven’t fallen on their mouths and that sometimes causes a fight but that’s part of it. Noe and Betty are both “temporary” yes I hear you think so, it must be Kim, no I mean it. We have probably been able to arrange a sponsor for Noe and that is great. When she goes to a boarding school she lives at school, has three fixed meals a day, no grandmother beats her, friends, we are in the neighbourhood and she gets an education which is so important here. I hope that plan will continue and that she can grow up as a cheerful and carefree child.

Her sister Betty has moved me to tears again this week. Betty walks……unbelievably. In May Betty came to us like a bunch of misery and of the week she came by herself without holding on to me, oh people how beautiful and touching. That little Betty is now a naughty girl who is close friends with Rosah and who is playing and chatting all day long. Betty is really a “Licorice” to see and actually I have to admit that I will find it very difficult to send Betty back to her grandmother where she gets little love and where there is not enough to eat. No hurry, she doesn’t have to go back but the children’s workload is high and since I need some “me time” it’s not favorable. Luckily I have my wonderful Maureen who helps me with everything and is super with the children. Sunday also deserves credit because he plays a big role in their lives and helps me enormously. Unfortunately Maureen and Sunday will both go their own way next year and I will miss them so much….

Because my reports have been so extensive lately, I will shorten the end with a wist je datje list, that goes a bit faster as everyone is in a hurry in our little frog country……………..

Did you know that:
* We broke into the office 2 weeks ago incognito
* All items have been deleted
* And again neatly put the broken locks on the door
* I really don’t know why it all has to be sneaky
* Because we are not doing anything that should not be done
* Jan returned to walk to our house from the border of Tanzania
* This is more than 60km and he walked it in 2 days
* I am very proud of him (also because he quit smoking)
* The weather was very nice when he came home
* As a result, I had an extra help with the washing up again
* Jan unfortunately went back to the Netherlands this morning
* We are definitely going to miss him
* I want to set up a farm where local women work
* Want to stick a project to it for malnourished children
* The women here are very strong and work very hard
* By combining these two projects, something very beautiful can be created
* I also believe in it
* I have really been in the disco
* That there are mirrors everywhere in the disco
* The Ugandans love to dance with themselves in the mirror
* Or harassing the Mosquitoes all the time
* I wonder if they ever heard of toothpaste
* The Ugandans love dancing
* And being able to shake their buttocks very well
* I can’t possibly match this with my dance training.
* Everyone is always welcome here
* And we like it when visitors come (pa/ma)
* We care about many things that are a waste of our time
* I want to write you a lot of things
* But I’m tired of all that computer and I’m hungry for banana with satay sauce
* I send you all a big kiss
* And of course lots of love

Greetings from Uganda