"I’ve noticed most mornings I’ll awake around 3 – 4 a.m. At first I tried to fall back to sleep as quickly as possible, as I knew the days would be long. But soon I learned to enjoy the sounds around me. First, there is music playing late into the night. If I wasn’t so tired from the day at SMK, the rhythms make me want to venture out to find their source. It is the rainy season here, so most nights I listen to the rain. Such a soothing sound. Then around 5:00-5:30 there is the call to prayer from the mosque— a unique and soothing sound. Many mornings I can also hear the songs of praise from nearby churches.
Then, of course, there are the sounds of the boda-bodas (motorcycle taxis), wild dogs, birds, bush pigeons and roosters (and I swear there is a rooster that knows exactly when I fall asleep just to wake me up!).
These are the sounds of a village awakening…. bringing on a new day.
As my days are coming to an end at SMK, the sound of the children’s laughter, playing games, random singing, or quiet moments with a child wanting to share his or her story will forever be ingrained in my heart. There is nothing like the squeal of laughter when a child sees her own photo from your camera. I would never tire of hearing that sound.
To capture and put into words the experience over the last few weeks is almost impossible. The sounds of Africa will always remain close to my heart."
"The past couple days have been wonderful. Relationships have blossomed between particular orphans and me. I can truly say that they have my heart. I can honestly say (I mean this from the bottom of my heart, I’m not trying to be phony/bubbly/cheesy/fake) every single orphan, even the secondary students, seem innocent and pure. Takia, Miriam, Solmon, Faswila and Sandra are the orphans I am closest with. Sandra wrote me a whole letter and gave me two bracelets today! She has no idea how happy she made me. Takia and Faswila are Muslim. As I walked by the Mosque earlier today, I heard someone calling my name. As I looked back I saw that it was Takia, and my heart melted.
My favorite moment was when we were eating dinner outside under the stars at Melissa’s house; there was music and laughter coming from the teenagers in the art room. I was in awe of their happiness. I can’t say for sure why that moment has me thinking so much.
Today three young girls were sitting by me (the ones mentioned above) and asked, ‘Anna, are you coming back to SMK next year?’ The question caught me by surprise and made me think. Each day I get more attached to the orphans… which is both a blessing and a curse, considering Saturday is my last day. I am so happy that I have spent my Christmas break surrounded by such energetic and happy people! I love Team 6, and I love Uganda! The orphans will forever be a part of my heart."