Well I am back from my amazing travel to the western side of Uganda and I have so much to share over the next few days!
Today I want you to meet my Moses! Why he is MY Moses will be part of the story of the visit to the pygmies but you will need to be patient – that story comes later….
Raise your hand if you ever had to ride the bus to school! Now keep it up if you hated it like I did! Thankfully, it was for a short time and my big sister kept me safe in the dark while we waited at the bottom of the hill. We could take for granted, rain or snow, warm or cold, that big yellow bus would come to a grinding halt and we would climb on board. My kids were lucky, they lived close enough to walk and would find a ride on those miserable Midwest winter days.
But this is not my story – it is Moses’s day. Here is Moses. I met him yesterday at Lake Bunyonyi, the most amazing,untouched place on earth! More on that later too. This is Moses’ story. Moses is 11. I asked him. He asked me how old I am, not realizing it is really not that polite of a question. I laughed when he asked and he said “100”? I just laughed again. He has two sisters and four brothers. Moses
is in Primary Five (5th grade). This is the village where Moses lives. It is on the banks of one of the many islands on one of the deepest lakes in the world. Yes, an island. Moses has never left the group of islands. There is a small town, Kabale, just eight kilometers away but he has not been there. That means he has never driven in a car on a paved street. Each day he climbs barefoot into his school boat. The children go to the few
schools scattered across the islands by boat. The sun takes its time rising above the hilly islands so the boats begin heading across the glassy water about 8:30 in the morning. They head back to the little clusters of homes dotted on the hills of the islands about five in the evening. What amazed me, and in fact brought me to tears, was his school. I will tell more about it in the pygmies’ story but let me show you using a couple of pictures. Clay walls, one chalk board, handmade benches. Now, this is the Primary One classroom but Moses’ was very similar. Where were the shiny desks, white boards, TV and DVD player and projection system, the maps, the games, the BOOKS??? I told him I lived in the United States and asked him if he had seen it on a map. He has never seen a world map. just one of Uganda. Moses is incredibly intelligent, speaks English quite well and has big dreams. I asked someone about teachers for this remote part of the world and was told that often teachers that are not strong academically end up in the remote areas. From what I read on the chalkboard, the Primary One teaching is doing his or her very best! Moses melted my heart. I asked him what he wanted to do one day. His response was “a doctor”. That means someone needs to be there for him all the way through secondary school and his parents will not ask him to stop so he can tend the garden. He will need to pass the tests for university. How will he learn biology and chemistry? He will have to compete against the students from the city schools and private schools for a government scholarship to university. He wants to become a doctor and come back to take care of the people of his village. I know full well the odds are not in his favor and I wish he could take for granted the opportunities most of the young people I know can but he is strong and smart and I wish him the very best and pray that God gives him the desire of his heart!! More on MY Moses later……