Jinja, Uganda
February 20, 2007

Dear Friends and Family,

Thank you for your emails, it means so much to see mail in my inbox!   We’ve been doing quite well.  I am finally getting some sleep, which is always a good thing! <wink> 

I am getting into the routine of things around here and am getting to know the mamas in the orphanage.  I forgot to mention that there are some African women hired to work at the baby home, called “mamas.” They all want to be friends and one even asked for my cell phone number in case she needed to call me.  I told her that I would be getting one today and would give her the number as soon as I could.  She couldn’t stop grinning. 

There is a little girl here named Anna, who is in Baby room 1, which means she’s just starting to walk.  She is one of the most beautiful baby girls I have ever seen, and yes, she has my heart. 

Day before yesterday, I helped in Baby 1 for the afternoon and evening.  The “mamas” and I fed the kids dinner, gave them baths and put them to bed.  When I put Anna in her crib, she started crying.  The other kids heard and started to cry too, so I carried her outside to the porch.  Time stopped as I sat there watching the sunset and rocking my baby.  Everything here seems magnified.  Smells are more intense, the colors are so vivid, and every feeling seems overpowering.  We watched the birds fly back into the trees and the breeze blowing across the grass.  Everything around me was serene; I didn’t even want to move.  Eventually I realized that I would already be walking back to the volunteer house in the dark, which isn’t very smart, so I took Anna to her bed and walked home. 

Then, yesterday, I hung out in Baby 1 again.  Anna wouldn’t let me put her down!  When it came time for the kids to take a nap, she screamed until she threw up.  I told Mercy, the “mama” of that room, that I was going to town and could take Anna with me if she wanted.  She practically shoved her into my arms.  I took her with me to the bank and then to the Internet café.  Anna just sat in my arms with her head on my shoulder the whole time.  I bought her a muffin after checking mail and then we walked back to the volunteer house.  I rubbed lotion into her dry skin, washed her hair and then managed to fix it back into a true African style!  She cried so much when I took her back, but I had to just ignore her, which was really hard, as I helped in Baby 2 with baths and bedtime. 

I have to admit that I was scared at first to really bond with each baby because I knew that I would be very emotionally attached and that it would break my heart to leave in the end.  Now, I honestly can’t help but love each and every child with all of my heart.  I heard someone say once that it is better to have loved and lost, then to never have loved at all.  I so agree!  I have purposed to live each day here to the fullest.  I am going to love and give as much as I can, no matter how much it might hurt me later.  I won’t even think about tomorrow.  I am comforted by the thought that a couple of the kids I really love, one being Anna, have been adopted into great families, they’re just waiting for the final paperwork to go through.   

We had a little excitement last night when I went to get something out of my suitcase and felt something crawling on my foot.  I kicked and kicked until I saw this gigantic beetle fly off and scurry across the room.  It turned out to be a cockroach, about 3 inches long!  It wasn’t as bad as I had expected. :o)

 I worked in Baby 2 this morning, holding baby George and Shadia most of the time.  The kids are napping now, so we have a little break. 

I can’t tell you all how much the emails have meant.  Thank you!  I am sorry that I am unable to write each one personally, but please don’t let that stop you from letting me know how you’re doing.  I love and miss you. I would appreciate receiving mail, too.   

Looking unto Jesus, the Author and Finisher of my faith.  

Here is my address in Uganda:

Kathryn Spurling
c/o Amani Baby Cottage
P.O. Box 1799
Jinja, Uganda
East Africa


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