10 December 2008

Photo update

I'm back in the States now, with such awesome internet connection that I'm going to update you with some photos.
This is Christine Mwende, Edwin's wife, and I on the ferry across the Nile. Lexie and Jeremy are the white people behind me. It was really special to have Christine on this whole trip, although it was difficult for her physically. She and Edwin have been very important people in my life.

Here's a picture of all (but one) of my wonderful kids at Amazing Grace Orphanage. I told them to act like gangstas for the photo. I got to know these children particularly well over the course of my trip, spending about four of the eight weeks at this orphanage. They are such talented, intelligent, affectionate kids, and by the end of the trip we'd built a great relationship. I miss them immensely.

This is me in Kajo Keji, at St. Bartholomew's Orphanage. These two boys, Duku and Mak Wei, are sweet, special boys who are so rough and tumble during the day that they are just wiped by the end of the day. When it was time for them to go to bed, I picked up Duku and carried him to his bed without him ever waking up.

Those who know me well will be somewhat astonished to hear that this photo was taken at approximately six fifteen in the morning. This girl, Guo Betty, was doing her morning chore of sweeping in the compound. I was much better about taking photos and being aware of good photo opportunities, and I was very pleased with how this turned out.
Don't be too impressed. I wasn't at all good at carrying things on my head, but I think I have decent potential. "Strong neck, eyes forward!"
This photo was taken the night we took questions from the girls about their bodies and sexuality and all that. They had such great questions for us, and it was an awesome night. I love them so much.
This is little Juan Minikaya at the Kampala House. She was still my friend even though I had to punish her at one point in the trip for disobeying and being stubborn. She told one of the staff that she just wanted to go with me wherever I was going, even if it was the States. I mimed putting her in my pocket and carrying her around with me, and she got excited, although she told them that she knew she couldn't really go.

It was so hard to leave, and it's not easy to be back. There are so many things to think about and work on and process, and I miss the kids and the staff and my friends so much. It has been great to see my family and the Lahash people, though, which makes life a little easier. Even more fun is that Jose Nunez, who has been living in Sudan and Uganda for the past year and who I've met twice in East Africa, is in Portland this week. It's been great to process with him, and helpful for both us, I think.

Anyway, I'm going to be continuing to update this blog over the next nine months and more. In September of 2009 I'll be moving to Tanzania in my work for Lahash, and in the meantime I'll be raising support and preparing to leave. I'll be updating this blog as I continue along that path, and I hope you'll continue to follow along.

1 comment:

Jaclyn said...

leisha! we miss you!

and thought about you a lot especially this week as we were in kajo keji kissing and loving all of the babies and kids that you have done such a fantastic job of advocating for. it was such a special few days.. check the blog for stories, but wanted you to know that we followed your instructions, happily, in passing your lovin' on to the kids in kajo keji- including the AGO kids who were there for the youth conference.
You are missed dear one!