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Moud Kasirivu May 6, 2008

Posted by Mike O in kids.
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Moud is now about 20 and a very talented artist.  He lost both of his parents to AIDs when he was 15 (and long before was in orphanages due to their inability to even care for themselves).  He has lots of hustle, is quite personable, and presents extremely well.  He helps care for a much younger sister that is HIV-positive but seems to be doing OK on medication.  This is one of the ‘kids’ I don’t worry about making it; he has the drive and skills to go places.

 

Rakai work July 24, 2007

Posted by Mike O in Charity, kids, places.
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Was really embarrassed to go to Rakai; I only could do 210 K (about $120) in work there and that involved paying to get most- but not all- shower room doors fixed for the boys. Pretty minor stuff. Was glad to see how much progress others had done on drainage and water retention, however. They really need an agricultural effort at Sabine; that place could not only feed itself (including chicken), but grow enough to help feed Kiwanga. It just has to be managed, the kids need to be trained and motivated.


I was left feeling worthless enough that one morning I tackled the last standing water in the compound; a big pothole at the entry to the area. Had wanted to use a wheelbarrow, but both they had were broken. So I ended up digging dirt out of a pile for that excavate for the septic tank and carrying it in a bucket up 100 yards to the pothole. Vincent Mujune, National Team leader of an AIDS outreach program called Reach the Youth, ended up pitching in on this mindless activity; when asked why by Rhita (a phenomenal young lady I’ll discuss later), I told her: ‘When you have money, you use that: when you have words and wisdom, you use that: when all else fails, you use your muscle to try to make the world a little bit better every day.” I told her to pass that on to the kids she was teaching: hopefully, the life lesson will end up being worth far more than the filled pothole.

Toward the end of the effort, Vincent pointed out that rock would stabilize the patch and we could get the young kids (who were out of school while the older ones practiced for a performance contest) to find them. I transmitted the need and within minutes, we were have to stop kids from ripping bricks out of the edging around trees. If we hadn’t got it stopped, the mob of kids would have torn down the school for rock to throw in the hole. My back pretty well gave out, but the hole was 75% filled by the time we quit, got cleaned up and got ready to go out to see the AIDS awareness program out in the country.

Muscleman Kalim (Kiwanga Kids) July 24, 2007

Posted by Mike O in kids, people.
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BTW: I am not sure of some of the spellings of these names, as I rarely see them written down. If some volunteer is reading these and knows of a correction (of names or any facts), please leave a comment and I will fix it.

I don’t know as much about Kalim as I’d like to. He was a street kid they found and brought into Kiwanga a year ago. He’s one of the nicest, most helpful kids at Kiwanga and is quite strong for his age, hence the nickname above. He was certainly more helpful in clearing out some bed frames from some rooms being converted to visitor quarters than I turned out to be (I arrived late for the work). I arm wrestled him, letting him win, though it was not as much of a stretch as I thought it would be. The kid’s already at 80% of my strength (from years in the gym); I figure in 2 more years, he may have me licked. He really enjoyed the arm-wrestling and got his buddy involved, with Bedda (who I’d nicknamed ‘Candy Mooch’ last trip) looking on.

Sir Charles July 24, 2007

Posted by Mike O in family, kids, people.
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Charles Mugarura I met on my first trip to Sabine, A nice young man, very interested in music; he ended up with my MP3 player most of the time. He always went out of his way to be helpful; I nicknamed him ‘Sir Charles’.
Charles was a surprise on my second visit after 2 years; he’d gained at least 9 inches in height and was by far one of the biggest kids. Still very much a ‘country boy’, though, and that’s part of his charm. He seems to have done very well; he’s the school’s librarian. Like Irene, I didn’t get to spend enough time with him. Next time I go back (it definitely will be for a school break), I’ll get him to come to Kampala and let him stay at Visitor’s village for a weekend. That would be a real treat for him. I need to make sure his school is covered, even though I can’t help. I specifically brought a cheap MP3 player so I could leave it with him; he was very touched.