Good evening! Nicole here with warm greetings from Pallisa. As our trip progresses the days seem to get longer and the workload larger. Each time we board the bus again it feels like we never got off, but the team is just as energetic and motivated as on day one.
We wrapped up our work in Kitgum and have since traveled South, but the time we spent there is still filling my heart. As Ryan, Deb and Cindy mentioned in our last post, we visited Faith Academy/Faith Alive Ministries where we really made the most of the time we had! Aside from the VBS, Bible Club and Community Health Evangelism (CHE), we introduced a new program for women focusing on women's health issues, specifically related to reproduction and childbirth. Kitgum has an extremely high mortality rate related to pregnancy, childbirth and infant deaths, so I was eager to see how the ladies would react to the teaching.
Of all the things we've done thus far, this program really had the biggest impact on me. The crowd was large, engaged and very interested in the education. It goes with saying that the things we take for granted in America are too many to count, but most people probably don't even realize that there are so many women in this world who don't even know what is happening when they are pregnant.
Rhonda and Susan organized an amazingly educational session complete with pictures, diagrams and even a stuffed 3D pelvis and baby! Even though we were using a translator, it was clear that the women were really learning and many questions were asked. Though it was just a couple hours of what may seem like basic information to most of us, I saw what an amazing impact it will have on reducing the death rate of these women and their infants.
Have you ever physically, emotionally and spiritually felt yourself directly making an impact on the world? That's what we get to experience everyday here.
We were rewarded our last evening in Kitgum with an amazing meal at Clayton and Monica's house and quite an adventure to go along with it! The path to their house had been blocked by a river which raised due to rain, something we were told rarely happens...
Lisa's Land Cruiser was the only vehicle which could transport us across so we loaded in the bus, went as far as we could go, crossed the flooded road 8 at a time crammed into the Cruiser (except Justin and Sean who decided to roll up their pants and wade across!) and then waited in Clayton's truck on the other side until everyone was there.
We then road to dinner standing in the back of the truck, bouncing down the road (and I mean bouncing!), ducking to avoid tree limbs and eating bugs, laughing until we cried. It was even more fun on the way back when we couldn't see the limbs :)
We did all make it in one piece and each with two eyes, what more could you ask for?
xo ~ Nicole