Today's post is from Eduardo.
On Monday we traveled to a town where hundreds of youth from the community come to get tested for HIV and Aids and receive treatment.They have a very nice facility there called the Youth Center.
My main "job" was to do some crafts and music with the children. We really didn't know what to expect as far as numbers so it was hard to plan how much to bring as far as supplies. I had purchased some things from the Michael's stores in the Portland Metro area before I left, so I felt pretty confident that I would have enough for everyone. Today's crafts: visors and frisbees.
We had four "work stations" where the kids got their supplies. As it turned out, there were many adults as excited as the children to work on the crafts. They loved to peel the stickers, use markers to write their names and immediately wear the visors. We also taught them how to throw a frisbee. It was quite a sight to see the mothers, carrying a baby on their backs, running around throwing frisbees to each other. Lots of fun.
We also did a few songs that were a "hit!". They love movement, rhythm and find everything quite amusing. I loved this crowd!
One of the most touching moments was when a choir and dance group of children and youth (all HIV or AIDS patients) performed for us. They had prepared several songs and dances. It was heartwarming and heartbreaking at the same time. Huge smiles and so much energy! They also came one by one to greet us and welcome us. The work that MTI has done in this place is beyond words and I can't even imagine where all these kids would be if they didn't receive the care needed.
On Tuesday, we drove to a "middle of no-where" near a town in northern Uganda. This is where the oubreak of nodding syndrome is more prevalent. In the "town" where we were, there are over 500 people affected. MTI had a small tent set up and several stations under trees where they saw youth and adults, prescribed and gave medication. There were so many children! They sang for us, we sang for them, I taught them a few songs, took hundreds of pictures BUT one of their favorite things was when I video taped them and showed them the video. I had dozens of children around me laughing histerically and pointing at the i-pad when they saw themselves on the screen. Lots of fun.
In trips like these it is easy to always see the "bad things" like illnesses, poverty and suffering and although we have seen plenty of that, we have also seen so much hope and joy and the incredible commitment of MTI staff to serve these communities, knowing that they are indeed making a difference one kids/adult at a time.
Thank you for your prayers!