Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The Nile

Rafting on the Nile was one of the coolest things I have ever done. The thought of rafting always freaked me out, but it really isn't all that bad! In fact, it was so much fun, I'm already trying to plan where my next rafting adventure will be! You are welcome to join!! One of my favorite parts was the view we had as we traveled along this famous river. I can't possibly begin to describe the feeling of having an adventure on this river that I have learned about since childhood, and hoped to visit my whole live. Not only did I visit it, I was also submerged in it, drank gallons of it, and bled a little in it too! [Don't worry, just a minor cut from my paddle, but still, it counts!]

Today’s stories are of Sandra, Julious, and Osward: The student leaders of my peer-health education program.
Sandra, Julious, and Osward
Sandra’s Story:
I know that as a mature adult who is spending time with over 100 children every day it is not right for me to chose a favorite. Yet Sandra is hands down my favorite…just, please don’t tell the other kids.
She is ten years old and is already smart, witty, fluent in English, well versed in the entire Harry Potter series, and incredibly kind. Whenever a younger student cries, Sandra is always the first person to tend to their tears. She runs towards them, wraps her arm around their shoulder, and speaks with a gentle soothing voice until they feel better. Sandra wants to be a doctor when she grows up so she can, “treat poor peoples the way they deserve and so I can teach about health.” Perhaps you are beginning to understand why she has become my number one?

Sandra stays in the current housing facility at Future Diplomats even though she lives nearby and has both parents. Her reason is that if she goes home after school each day she cannot learn as much due to the demands of housework. In order to accomplish her goals in life, this ten year old asked her parents if she could stay at the school and get the most out of her education.

Julious’ Story:
Julious is 11 years old and a very soft-spoken young man. His English is minimal, but he is still always very eager to talk with me. Julious only has one sibling, an older brother. His younger sister died a few years ago. This is Julious’ first term at Future Diplomats. He boards at the school for the same reason as Sandra, to learn. He wants to become a lawyer some day. However, unlike Sandra, Julious lives about five hours away from the school. Future Diplomats is special for a rural school in that parents send their children very far to attend the school because it is one of the best.

Granted, teachers at a private school in Kampala probably have more education, experience, and expertise when it comes to teaching. However, for a rural school, Future Diplomats is a great bang for a parent/sponsor’s buck. It provides meals, housing [albeit currently limited], and teachers that do not use violence in the classroom. Julious may have to sacrifice time with his family, but the school guarantees meals, shelter, security, and an education.

Osward’s Story:
Sweet Osward [as I like to call him in my head] is 10 years old. He was very shy at first, but now that I have been around him during our peer-education training sessions, he is finally warming up to me. For the longest time, I thought he couldn’t speak English, as it turns out he speaks almost as well as Sandra. Just like Sandra, he wants to become a doctor when he grows up. For now, Osward is not fortunate enough to live at the school. Instead he leaves his house every morning at 6:00am [in the dark] to walk alone to school. When he gets home he must do the full days chores, and does not have any time for studies. It doesn’t seem fair that Sandra and Julious have a place to stay at school, but Osward still puts his life and education at risk to come to school every day.

Kids like Osward—with dreams of becoming doctors—deserve the opportunity to excel too.

With love and appreciation,


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