I have been wanting to post something for a while but have not really been sure what to say.
Yesterday was our last day at Off Tu. We went to one of the slums of Kampala to visit the homes of two of the girls who now live at Off Tu. The slum was heartbreaking. Tiny homes, built so close together, dirty water that attracts malaria-carrying mosquitos flowed everywhere. The water they drank was also dirty, as were most of the children. The girl's mothers were very kind though, and we had time to pray with each one. The girls were both happy to see their families and pretty sad to leave again after such a short visit.
When we got back to the Mission we played with the children and then had an amazing dinner. It was our farewell dinner so everyone came, we ate delicious Ugandan and German food, and several people (including me) had to give speeches. I almost cried at the end of my speech when I tried to tell the kids how much we love them and how wonderful it has been to be their "aunties". When it was time to leave I held Martha in my arms and she wouldn't let go of me. She started moaning and saying "Auntie, don't go". I really just wanted to take her with me, back to UCU and then back to the U.S. on Tuesday. Martha, and all of the Off Tu kids, is so precious and loving and fun to be with. I know that I am going to miss them so much and it breaks my heart that I might not come back to Uganda to see them.
It has been wonderful and beautiful to love these children. To know them and play with them and connect with them. To hear their stories and see their homes and to imagine their future. But the downside to the deep attachment that we have made is the eventual pulling away. The inevitable detachment that occurs when we leave. I will always hold them in my heart but I will miss holding their hands.
(the one in the front is martha)