Thursday, August 19, 2010

Musana Camp

Our weekend started out like this:

With 6 doors, 30+ backpacks, a couple camera bags, LOTS of snacks, a tent, two sleeping bags, two pillows, several kilos of beans, 10 loaves of bread, 20 cartons of shelf-life milk, and who-knows-what-else, piled into the infamous Japanese fire truck, we left Samuel Family waiting for two matatus. Hopefully, we would meet up 6 hours later.

I wish you could have seen it. 3 Americans squeezed into a Japanese fire truck, driving down the dusty roads of Uganda. Talk about a cultural experience!

5 painful hours later, after driving through heavy rains, on roads that make our dirt road feel as smooth as buttercream frosting, we made it to New Hope's 713-acre land on the shores of Lake Victoria. 713 acres of beachfront bliss and scenery like this:

713 acres of hilltop vistas, jungle streams, and sandy shores.

The rest of Samuel Family arrived safely and only 2 hours behind schedule. They weren't too sure that the beautiful scenery was worth that horrid drive. But after a few days of walking through those streams...

playing camp games on those hilltops...


and doing a whole lot of THIS...

(I'm giving extremely informal swim lessons!)

After all that, the turbulent drive seemed like a very small price to pay.

I enjoyed participating in all those activities. But my absolute favorite part of our 5 days at Musana Camp was spending time with the children and adults of Samuel Family. Perhaps you are lost when I say Samuel Family. Let me enlighten you: New Hope Uganda cares for orphans. My guess is that you know that much already. Maybe you didn't know, though, that these orphans live within 7 different "family groups." Each staff member is associated with one of these, giving them the opportunity to build relationships with a particular group of children. Each family group has 12-20 children and a family father and mother. We are associated with Samuel Family. The family has added some and lost some children since we first met the family in September of 2006. But we love them. They are our children. Here are some of their faces:

(family father!)

(biological son of family parents)

My second most favorite part about camp was spending time with Shawn without daily distractions. How many times have I said that I love his eyes?!

My closing photo is of the entire Samuel Family crew (children and associates), plus the Musana Camp staff (as of right now, only 2 American families and a young man who grew up at New Hope!).

We will definitely be going back!


Allison said...

Looks like you all had a great time! I loved seeing everyone and so wish I was with you all, please send my love.

Wanda said...

wow, amazing! It was great to put all you told me to pictures.... STUNNING!! Thank you Shawn and Court for all you do and the investment of your love to the Samuel Family!! You guys are a blessing to so many!

//nancy said...

beautiful!!! love these shots, and love the z family.

(ps how great is it that you were giving swim lessons!!? haha!!)

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