Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Day 5 - Bullrushes Baby Centre
Today we went over to visit the Bullrushes baby centre.... This is where babies up to about 18 months are raised. There were 107 babies in the centre.... it was amazing... babies everywhere. Every room you went into.... more babies.
I think it's fair to say that everybody from the team was taken with these gorgeous little kids, there were all types of kids.... cute, cheeky, disabled, disfigured, premature... you name it... we saw it.
We spent about 3 hours totally immersed in babies, at one point Lauren had 3 babies asleep on her and a 4th one lying on her legs. Within minutes all of the HRX crew were playing with the kids, changing nappies, feeding them, cuddling them and just holding them while they slept.
The nurse's were telling us about the various babies, some of their stories are just amazing. We met one little boy called Chris who was born 2o weeks premature and weighed only 850gms! You would never know this by looking at him now, he was a gorgeous and healthy looking infant.
We met lots of volunteers while we were there. There was a surprising number of Aussies there... most of them seemed associated with the Hillsong church in some way. The work that they are doing is really noble.
It was an amazing experience spending time with these gorgeous kids. After the visit, we discussed the fact that there are over 11 million orphans in Africa.... it is impossible to get your head around numbers like that... Just seeing the 107 orphans this morning was very powerful and an experience that I'm sure has made an impact on everybody from the team.
I have asked Katrina to write a post with her thoughts on the Bullrushes experience.
After Bullrushes we stopped in to a local art/craft market and then Stephen, George and I thought we better treat ourselves to a Ugandan haircut.
Tonight we are going out with one of the founders of Watoto - Pastor Garry Skinner. Should be interesting, I think we all have lots of questions for him about Watoto and the church and an underlying curiousity about him.
Tomorrow morning we leave for safari up to Murchison Falls.... I think that we are all pretty much exhausted.... not so much physically, but more emotionally. This has been an incredible trip and I know based on conversations with other members of the team that we all feel extremely grateful to the company and all of the staff that contributed to the Watoto project for giving us this experience.
I hope that you have enjoyed following our journey via these blog posts. If I have internet connectivity at Murchison Falls I will continue to update you on our safari. I have some incredible photos and video footage that I will edit over the coming weeks and look forward to sharing more of our experience with you upon our return.
Hi - it's Katrina here. Visiting Bulrushes was very emotional for everyone. It was impossible for any of us to process the enormity of the situation. Everyone from our team immediately found themselves drawn towards a baby. Each time I held a baby I asked the carer to tell me about the baby and as they told me each story such as where they found the baby abandoned, whether they were HIV+, etc... you felt heartbroken. But the smiles on the babies faces and the care they receive gives so much hope. The photo Brent took above of me was with Bethany who is 4 years old and has Cerebral Palsy. She is such a happy and warm girl and at Bulrushes she receives fantastic love and care.
However you can't help but think about all the abandoned babies that aren't found and wonder what can be done to help them...