Greetings on Monday evening. Power has just returned so I am hoping that this blog post will actually be posted. Or maybe it is that the generator has been switched on for my benefit so that I actually have power. Either way, I will get this blog post written and update you on the excitement of the last two days.
Sunday is an ideal day for shopping in Kampala. The roads are less busy and because fewer of the shops are open, there are fewer people around. Betty and Rachel joined Andrew and I in getting the facecloths and undies for the kits so that I we could assemble the kits in the evening.
Our usual morose undies man did not have his stall open so we went to another location that Rachel knew located in a tiny alley. This man named Vincent had the undies and the facecloths so we were able to kill two birds with one stone.
This is what these stalls look like. They warehouse sell to the individuals who sell on the street. Because I have an “in” I can also get to these places and bulk buy. This is a good thing when I am buying 1200 knickers and 600 facecloths.
We heaved the bags back through the alleys and streets to the van which Apollo had parked not too far away and then Andrew went to buy 75 bars of soap. These we cut into eight pieces and add to the kits.
We were home by 5:00 and immediately got to work on assembling the kits. I unpacked the first set of components while Andrew cut the 600 pieces of soap.
Once he was done with the soap, we paused at 5:45 for supper then were back at work assembling the kits by 6:15. The reason that I say that we had our 30 minute supper break is because we did not stop again until it was all done at 12:30. This means we averaged 1.4 minutes per kit that we assembled and worked 7 hours to get it done.
It was all neat and tidy when we started, but by the end we were stepping over packages and just tossing the kits to one side. We were done!
Seven hours of kit assembly and five hours of sleep was all worth it to be able to spend the afternoon with the teen moms at Kupendwa Ministries in Jinja. We presented at their village outreach last year but this year Amy wanted me to talk to the girls from the home themselves. When we visited the home last year, there were about 30 girls but now Amy has two homes for the girls as the demand for her program is high. She told me that when she first started the average age was 16-18 but now her average is 12-14. The youngest girl in our group was 12 years old and she already had an 8 month old baby.
It was lovely to sit on the front porch and talk to the girls about their bodies and staying healthy. We talked at length about avoiding further pregnancy through contraceptive use as well as the menstrual cycle and the use of the kits. While they are at the home, Amy provides sanitary pads for them but once they are back in the village, these girls have to provide for themselves (they stay in the home for at least one year after having their baby.)
The girls were thrilled with the kits! They all thanked us personally and gave us hugs after we were done. They were so positive and excited and full of love. Amy is doing such an amazing job and I am so happy to be able to be involved in her work. She now has an outreach program in several villages and on the islands and when I spoke about coming with a larger team of women in 2017, her eyes lit up and she said that maybe I would need to schedule 2-3 days with Kupendwa so that we could present at several locations with her. What a fantastic opportunity!
Check her out on Facebook and also online.
Thanks for reading and have a great Monday!