hello from cloudy jinja town!
rainy season is here friends!
Today Joe and I decided that we were going to visit some of the new members. We started out looking for Caroline's house. Caroline has been asking us for the past two weeks to visit her so we decided that we HAD to make time to see her. (Visiting is a very important part of the SUUBI group and Joe and I haven't had much time to visit lately so it was nice to spend some quality time with some of the members...especially the new ones.) As we were searching for her house in Walukaba (where all the homes look the same) we stumbled upon baby Melissa's home -- she was sleeping but her mom who is a hoot and a half was there. We talked with her for a bit and then we continued with our search. we wandered in people yards a bit asking whoever we saw if they new Caroline and finally we found Immaculate another new member who was more than excited to show us where Caroline lived. With a baby on her hip Immaculate laughed and giggled the entire way to Caroline's. (It made me realize how important it is to visit these women -- they enjoy spending time with us so much -- I love it!) When we reached Carline's house she was in the backyard and immediatly greeted us and took us inside. She introduced us to her brother in-law (Simon) and her 6 year old son (Innocence). And then of course I asked if I could help her make necklaces (one of my favorite things to do) she brought out two boxes full of beads and Joe and I started making and talking to Simon while Caroline dissapeared to the back. After about 5 minutes Joe looked over at me and said "she just showered for us". We laughed and thought it was so funny that she showered for us. She was clean when we greeted her...these ladies are so sweet! She then came in and asked us what soda we wanted of course we declined and she insisted which is how it goes most times. The brother in-law had left at this point and her son was leaving to go back to school (lunch break was over). I asked Caroline what she did this morning aand she said nothing.. that she usually has nothing to do. She proceeded to tell us that her husband does not allow her to do any work except for house work and that she was thankful for SUUBI because it gave her something to do for herself. That she can sell her necklaces and have her very own money to spend because her husband does not give her any. I was heartbroken to hear about her husbands "rules" but happy for her that we could give her something -- She wants to open a bank account (which is something that Amberle started for us. We are gathering information and pictures and LC letters to open FINCA account for our ladies who want them...It's a beautiful thing) but Caroline's husband will not allow her to have one -- he won't even allow her to go to English class somedays. I just want to shake this man. I never thought I would come to Africa to empower women but SUUBI has inspired Caroline to not sit back. She is going to have a FINCA account, she is coming to english, she has her own money. she's not backing down ... I am so proud of her. God is faithfull and will continue to provide for her -- He will continue to strengthen her because as much as I love this woman.. He loves her so much more HALLELUJAH!
we finished our sodas and necklaces at caroline's and then we continued to Danida to meet with Doreen and her family see if her mother had finished the prototype for the new EPOH bags. (She wasn't finished but me oh my it's looking good!) I absolutely love Doreen's sister (Sidi) she is BEAUTIFUL and so humble...she is about 12 and doesn't go to school because she has responsibilities and home (taking care of Doreen).. and her mother can't afford for all the children to go to school anyways. I am praying and thinking and wondering how I can help this family.. how we can get Doreen AND Sidi back in school without just giving them the money.
please continue to pray with us and for us and for these beautiful Acholi people.
love and peace, Melissa