None of these pictures are from Sanyu... you aren't allowed to post any pictures from there online...
But I couldn't resist posting some more pictures from our time at Praise's house:)
fingerpainting was a big hit... they really did love it... you can't really tell from this little one's expression...
This little one loved being tickled... I love her expression:)
Community kids waiting in line for a donut and drink:)
Some praise time during VBS... I love it!
Now, onto our time at Sanyu Baby home...
Every morning and evening during our time in Kampala we volunteered at the Sanyu baby home. I think it is one of the oldest baby homes in Uganda. It is just a short walk from the guest house that we stayed at... so after breakfast we would get our aprons on and head down there to meet with those precious little ones.
I seemed to gravitate most days to the babies. Not the itty bittys but the ones probably 6-12 mos. Little Felix, who stole my heart, was in this bunch. (Although I did make sure to get some time volunteering with all of the age groups just so I could get a feel for what it is like for all the kids there.
There are about 50-60 kids there and ladies, called mamas, that care for them. Maybe 6-7 mamas for the whole bunch. (Not enough) When we got there in the morning, we got them out of bed... for some reason it is warm there, yet they always cover the babies up with big blankets so they wake up sweating. (I know African people tend to be cooler than Caucasian people so maybe that is why, but it was kind of a mystery because they woke up soaking wet from sweat and messy nappies, diapers! They use very little disposable diapers, mostly cloth... but they don't seem to stay dry but leak almost always... hence the reason for the apron... It was great... you could just scoop them up, love on them and it didn't matter what was leaking of the diaper.
We fed them "super hot" bottles of porridge... I am not sure how they get it down but they do and then they got baths...They were ready for the day... They usually get another bath in the afternoon, strictly because they are always messy from the diapers. And the older kids 2-3 year olds get a bath at night:) Now that is one CRAZY SCENE! They basically set all, maybe close to 30 kids, on the kiddy potties and one by one they go from there to be bathed. Then they are sent out for us to dress. One night I literally was the only one trying to dress them. At one point I had 10 little naked pumpkins who thought it was hilarious to run wild while I tried to pick out clothes and get it onto them. It was wild... But they are so precious you can not help but just want to love on them.
At Sanyu they take kids, newborn till 4. At 4 years old they age out of this home and go to a permanent orphanage where they can never be adopted if they arrive there. Makes my heart sad to think of young 4 year olds too old for a family... Yet soooooo very young with so many more years to need a family.
There were a few really sweet mamas that did their best with those little guys. They seemed happy to be there and loved on those little ones... but a lot of the time, the mamas don't seem thrilled, to say the least, to be there. I will admit that with 10 kids to care for on your own, especially the little ones, maybe they are just plum worn out... but it made me so sad to see them short tempered or just not happy with those babies. I guess that is why we were there... to just love those little ones unconditionally and fiercely... and that is what we did every morning and evening.
I miss those little guys. I miss meal time as I went down the row of 8 or so babies shoveling in the rice and g-nut sauce. I miss the cuddles that seemed to say, "I love warm cuddles, and I don't get enough of them!" I miss lining up all those babies in front of mirror after changes and just marveling at their super dark, yummy skin. They were sooooooo beautiful! I miss the absolute chaos of bath time with the older kids... total craziness as I tried to corral one or 2 to get something on them to sleep in. I miss singing to the babies, praying and blessing them before I put them to bed... I miss my Felix... honestly, he has a piece of my heart... He had only arrived there about a month earlier and was around 7 mos. old. (that would be my guess) So so so sweet, that little man.
There is soooooo much more I could say about my time there... I loved it, yet, It made me sad to see so many kids in that orphanage when they could be in families, either reunited with their own families or in new families. It made me sad that right now they don't have the loving, caring, nurturing love of a mama. Hmmmm.... each of those precious little children God created... so so sweet... I miss them...