After finally getting a good night's rest (thanks to tylenol PM) we did some errands around town - withdrawing money from the bank, posting some blogs, and going to the central market. The market - what can I say, it was heartwarming and familiar. All the same things in exactly the same kiosks - the smalls bags of popcorn, the bright array of curry powders and spices, the fruits, vegetables, and baskets of small fish. I can only repeat what I wrote yesterday - although a year has passed, it seems as nothing has changed.
And then after a trip to a new sandwich eatery in town run by an Australian - Indulge (which was awesome), we prepared for the Suubi meeting with the new group of women. The travel on the bumpy red dirt road up to Danita was filled with anticipation and excitement. The children were running alongside the van from the time we entered the village to the time we parked - trying to touch the hand of the volunteer in the passenger seat. You can tell I am the only mom here - I know they do it every week, but it's probably not safe, but what are you going to do?! :) At the Suubi meeting place I got out of the van and was immediately spotted by Margaret who lives right by the Suubi building. I guess I hadn't really prepared for an encounter with the original Suubi women, but within seconds I was surrounded. Margaret, Nicolette, and Daisy were embracing me, screaming, jumping up and down, and picking me up. It was too much - of what I didn't expect and the tears began rolling down my checks. They kept saying sorry and I kept saying "its okay, these are tears of joy, of happiness." They wiped my tears and told me I have been lost. Then when they couldn't take my tears any longer, Daisy flipped my sunglasses over my eyes so she didn't have to see them! They asked of Dave and Asher and Jadyn. I told them they wished they could be here, but maybe next spring - to which they wanted a specific month! (Amberle got it all on tape).
Then JaJa Margaret grabbed my arm and pulled me (she speaks no English) and I followed her across the street where she brought me to Carol's house - where once again I embraced and loved on. Before I knew it I was holding 2 babies - the twins that were born last spring and named after David and me! Baby Morgan and Baby David - our namesakes, so precious and after hearing stories, so amazing to be with them in person. Surreal! And there were 3 or 4 more encounters with 'old' Suubi members before the end of our time in Danita - all the same, marked by surprise, joy, and embracing. The only thing is that by all the women I was told that I had changed and that I looked healthy – one said I had gained weight! But here that is a good thing – means you can afford food! Incredible to have these connections, these bonds that join two cultures and two continents despite time and distance. I am blessed!
It was my first time standing in the completed Suubi building - great to see it finished and full of colorful women and smiling faces. During the buying meeting Daisy (our interpreter) introduced me and I stood up to a sea of new faces - none of which were familiar, but all were beautiful. With awe at what this (the Suubi Project) has become in a year and a half - now over 120 women, I addressed them to welcome them to Suubi. With tears in my eyes I thanked them, told them they were beautiful, and said that our hope is to see the project expand so that we will soon be able to buy more from them each week, I then told them to continue praying for a good market in
Last night we made a cake and celebrated Baby Kymby’s (Baby David) first birthday. He is Betty’s baby (our housegirl), who was pregnant while we were here and had the baby 3 days after we left last year. Good times! Yesterday alone made the trip worthwhile and now I have 2 more weeks!
Today is the meeting with our original Suubi women - I am looking forward to it - to the many more reunions and embraces! And I am driving up to Danita b/c Julie had to take Josh to a clinic in Kampala - he has malaria. I only drove two or three times when I was here last time, and never in the villages! An update to follow...