Today is January 19, Thursday evening. It was a special day at Tender Mercies today. A lot of what was collected over the past 10 months was on display and ready to be scooped up by our beautiful, grateful children. We started by emptying 29 larder totes full of things, separated clothes by boy/girl, size, shoe sizes, hygiene area and kicked off by selecting a favorite backpack. This was the first time in the history of coming to TM that each child hand-selected their favorites in each category.
You heard right, each one walked through with a US Team member and made their selections. There few "trade in" items, but on a whole, it went smoothly and each child had a sense of pride in their selections. From age 3 to 73, everyone had a smile! Picture a hand full of children wearing their packs and treasure into the village with pride and a sense of comfort knowing that they are loved by those that provide for them. This person is YOU the sponsors and donors.
This year's visit is providing a litany of "Best Practices" and we are all eager to put them into action! There is a common thread amoung our team members, some are listed below: We love our children! We are committed to bettering their lives! We are determined to see each one graduate! We are committed to maintaining and improving this beautiful family environment!
And, last but not least We have not forgotten what all of the children give to us, UNCONDITIONAL LOVE AND YOUTHFUL ENERGY! May we continue to bless and be blessed beyond measure by showing the love of God to each other!
Today was a wonderful day, filled with joy. Imagine if you start your day as an AidSpirit team member, enjoying the sounds of tropical birds out your window, eating breakfast as a family and sharing words and thoughts from a very beautiful bunch of people. We spend a brief period meditating on our own personal journeys and goals to accomplish for the day, all the while knowing we are on African time.
That truly means, don’t worry, Be Happy. No changes to a schedule could bring down the individual love and excitement we have when we see our kids at TM. How many of you can say that when raising our own children that they ran to see us and throw their arms around us and greet us with a smile. Being here reminds us of how loved and appreciated we are as their sponsors.
Imagine 35 children hugging, smiling and welcoming you, and 1000's of others that we see on our short bus ride to TM home every day. They shout to us, Mazungu! Mazungu! There way of greeting a very different type of people, White person. Some volunteers danced and sang with the children, songs of our youth. Itsy Bitsy spider, peanut butter and jelly and No More Monkeys give new meaning when they are belted out with a cute Ugandan accident!
The older boys played with their younger siblings, while they played on our iPads and phones. What a joy to have the young girls eager to show us their dorms and pictures of their sponsors, mom and dad, in America. Some pictures were tattered and years old, but they were most proud of them. We sang, laughed, ate amazing food like chapati, matokee and chips! Everyone pitches in to cook, clean and make us welcome. We close our day with a 30 min goodnight (sulabaloong) and away we went back to the hotel for a nightcap and great conversation.
Hello friends and family of AIDSpirit USA.
Today we had our first full day in Uganda and our memories and senses have been stirred by the sights and sounds of this beautiful country, even more so by the welcoming hospitality of the Ugandan people.
After almost 30 hours of travel, today's events took a lot out of our US Team. We have one new member of our team this year and I can see the excitement that surrounds all of us for our special time with the children of Tender Mercies, the upcoming sickle cell clinic and the local journeys in our local village in the Kayunga District.
We stopped briefly at our home for children to say Hello and give lots of hugs. Now we are settling in at Hotel Katikomu. Everywhere we are greeted with smiles and the local people remember us!
I am cutting this entry short, as the Internet is quite slow and I need to post this Tuesday entry before Wednesday arrives!
Tell your friends to follow us on social media and our website www.aidspiritusa.org
God is so good and it is evident by the smiles and progress around us!
Good night to our dear friends and supporters, without YOU this could not be possible.
Sincerely, AIDSpirit USA
January 2018 - Upcoming TravelHello AIDSpirit Supporters:
This is the day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it!
How exciting it is to be taking another journey to see all of the wonderful people in Uganda Africa! Our children are getting excited to see us, but little do they know that our excitement is overflowing for those of us that get to travel and see them. This is my very first attempt to blog and ask that you bear with me as a learn new techniques and share tidbits of the great things going on with our US team of volunteers. Encourage others to follow our blog by copying a link to your personal social media or even by emailing a note to the people on your address list. The more people that know about the great things going on because of the generous donations of beautiful people like yourself, the more children and people we can help in ocean away in Africa!
Keep a close eye on us as we begin our journey January 13th. For updates please check us out on our website at AIDSpiritusa.org, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter
Team AIDSpirit USA 2018
Excerpts and photos from Julie C.'s blog:
This day kept us on the go with teaching opportunities at home, and in the community. But of course, teaching is relative… and the AIDSpirit team continues to learn the perspectives of life in Africa.
We are so fortunate to have the team over in Kayunga at Tender Mercies. We're happy to report all arrived safe, sound, and with many many totes of supplies and love from Montana. Our dear member Julie Christensen is blogging once again of her travels and experience with our AIDSpirit USA team. She has graciously shared her photos and experiences with us. See below for a sneek peak!
WANT TO SEE MORE!? CLICK HERE AND READ JULIE'S BLOG AFRICA OR BUST... THE SEQUEL
As you know, AIDSpirit USA is a completely volunteer run organization, and could not be successful without the partnership and dedication of community members here in Billings Montana and around the nation.
We think it is important to highlight those special groups and people that we are blessed to work with on our mission, so this month's shout outs go to:
Miles City CCW donated hygiene kits for the AIDSpirit sponsored students in Uganda. This group of women have been loyal supporters of AIDSpirit for a number of years through fundraising and sponsoring a student.
St. Pius X Church graciously provides a space for AIDSpirit’s monthly gathering on the second Monday of the month. The parish also recently made a generous donation to AIDSpirit through the Christian Service Committee to assist with our local ministry.