Wednesday, December 31, 2008

New Year's

The children at the orphanage in Uganda have a very interesting New Year's Eve tradition - they burn old things. On the day of New Year's Eve the children cleaned house. Mismatched shoes, drawings on the walls, toothbrushes...everything old and unwanted was collected and carted outside the compound. Then went the Christmas decorations, the tree was the last item to be thrown into the pile.

After hours of dancing and celebrating we gathered around the large heap of garbage and as the New Year arrived, the fire was lit. We watched as the children grabbed burning materials from the bonfire (particularly the tree) and run towards the more populated area of the village.

As I stood there watching them parade around with flaming branches (surprisingly relaxed, considering), a fellow volunteer asked, "What were you doing one year ago?" I couldn't help but smile as I recalled the previous year and how it had progressed; it was amazing. As another year is about to begin I smile as I look back upon this one as well.

And yet, this New Year's I am focusing on what is to come.

With BULA's return to Uganda only nine days away, there is much to look forward to. We will construct a kitchen at the school to provide a consistent food source for the students who go through an entire school day without. We are also installing water filters to improve the health and productivity of the children at the school. Also at St. Kizito, we are going to improve the solar panels and battery system so we will be able to utilize lap top computers that were donated and introduce technology into the curriculum.

We will also prepare for the fellow who will be living in Uganda for one year and assisting BULA with after school programs to enhance the children's educational experience. Along with this, we are also sending over thousands of donated textbooks for the students who currently do not have any.

This is all very exciting, but that is not all. We are also very excited that we will begin the plans for our second school.

Thank you for all your support over the last year and stay posted to learn more about our progress while we are in Uganda.

Have a wonderful New Year!!!!

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