“He gives His best—the sun to warm and the rain to nourish—to everyone, regardless.” Matthew 5:45 The Message
One thing that is the same everywhere? The rain. I may be thousands of miles away from Seattle, but the steady drumbeat of drops on the roof this morning sounded like home.
Rain in Seattle slows traffic, but in Uganda, it nearly drives it to a halt. Potholes turn to lakes, and the rivets in the road merge to create rivers.
“The little Nile!” joked Paul, one of the Sole Hope drivers, as our van crossed one.
We drove to the village of Bibbo today, which is only about 30 miles from Jinja, but 30 miles can mean two hours, and maybe more in a steady downpour. Fields of sugar cane passed us, workers tucked among the fronds, hacking down stalks with machetes.
Bibbo is remote, lush village, nestled in the hills. Its school is painted a cheery blue, and unlike yesterday, it has a tin roof and concrete floor. We carried brushes, buckets of waters and crates of shoes in one of the classrooms. Inside our room a poem covered the chalkboard.
Like yesterday, the kids piled out of classrooms — some shy, some gregarious — as we set up for our clinic. The clinics are run the same each way — an incredible, well-oiled machine. Kids file in and we scrub their feet, washing tenderly over the spots where there could be infection. From there, they go to another worker, who examines each heel, each tiny toe, and the palms and fingers of each hand for the sign of a chigoe flea – a jigger.
Jiggers are tiny fleas living in the sand. They burrow in skin — usually feet or hands — and lay eggs. They create infections, pain, and sometimes deformation.
In the clinic, the jiggers are removed. These kids are tough and sit through the removals with gritted teeth.
Once they are bandaged, they get their pair of shoes, ones made by the shoemakers and tailors at Sole Hope out of the donated denim from the U.S. and recycled tire.
I am a member of the #blogHOPE team, a group of 8 bloggers here in Jinja, Uganda to share about jiggers, the stories of the kids suffering from jiggers, the teams here making a difference and the communities being transformed.
follow our trip on bloghope.org.
read the posts of the other bloggers on the trip: wynne | mo | carey | cara | logan | melissa