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:
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...
and doing a whole lot of THIS...
(I'm giving extremely informal swim lessons!)
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:
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?!