Deb and I just returned from Mokano, a two and a half hour drive from Kampala. We got a call last night from Kelsey, a Sixty Feet volunteer from Florida who has been in Uganda since August.  She arrainged a home meeting with a young girl we sponsor. She arrainged for a driver to pick us up at 8 am and said it was a short trip to her home. Wow what a break, we got a driver paid for and all we had to do was travel. You see in Uganda that is a short trip, it’s the road and traffic one has to deal with. I joked with our driver Frank that Ugandan drivers won’t tell you the truth about how far or long the trip will be. Its always “its just over the next hill, or only about a half an hour” after you have been in the car for hours. Anyways we finally drove thru the three foot grass in the middle of the driveway and the holes you could lose a trash can in,  (did I mention we went the whole way with a spare tire that looked like a bicycle tire?) and came upon a delightful colonial home. An elderly Uganda gentleman met us as we exited the vehicle amidst groans and sighs (I’m old) and showed us into a type of sitting room. Kelsey accompanied us with her sister and three children, who were saved from dire straits, and we all sat very formely in this plantation type house. I half expected Clark Gabel, most of you wont know who that is,to ask us on safari. Anyways we learned that thru Sixty Feet that this man and his wife were the great uncle and aunt to young Claire which we were about to meet. I almost went into my favorite Colombo routine because Claire had not appeared yet. Then she finally entered the room.  What a beautiful youg lady. Her story was tragic and now thanks to obedient calls on their lives this  14 year old girl has a sure future. She had been ignored after the death of her father by an angry step mother. This turned into severe abuse and eventually placement in a child prison. The unwanted children in Uganda can be victims of the most heinous behavior by neglectful parents and officials.  Her family had no idea that Claire was in this position until Sixty Feet informed them. They were all for her living with them and raising her.

Her great uncle is an educated man and we all spoke excitedly for over an hour and a half. The discussion centered around politics and the future of Uganda and her people. Africans are savvy to global polotics and even our driver, a graduate in statistics, bent my ear. Then amidst the discussion Claire brought in African tea and chipatis (a tradtional Ugandan dish – like a fluffy tortilla) to our delight. She served it (very British) and then proceeded to sit with us. We presented her with a  Lugandan Bible that Tom Young pulled out of his hat the night before to our delight. The whole day was so typical of life here. You never know what you will encounter. What started out for me as a ‘here we go again’ ride turned into a beautiful day of fellowship and life changing experiences. Deb and I will keep in touch with Claire and her family and 60 Feet to see how they are doing. The last thing Claires great uncle said to us was “we greatly appreciate your help but we dont expect it.”  What a wonderful thing to say.  As we left the village the children flocked to the roadway to wave and yell “muzungo” at us as we headed for home.

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