We left Rumbek at 9:10 this morning, and 10 miles and 40 minutes later arrived at the Leper colony - very bad roads made worse by the rain, which fell all morning. Sisters of Charity Claudette and Mary Immacula were in the back of the Land Cruiser with a large container of Guavas, while I sat in front with Moses, the driver, both of us wiping condensation from windshield and windows, as the defogging mechanism didn't work.
Because of the rain, we had to gather in the church. There was a brief worship service - then the dirt floor was turned over to me. I brought greetings from the church in the U.S., and received them, in return, to pass along to you. A spirited debate followed as to whether the folks would prefer to receive food or fabric for clothing from the funds I brought with me. Finally the decision was made to go with fabric, and everyone seemed happy. Justin will be tasked with making the purchase. I would love to go along and be a part of the selection process, but one look at me and the already high prices would increase to the Kawaja level. I'd better stay away.
The attention then turned to the children of the families affected by Leprosy. There are 3 separate classrooms with 40, 30, and 50 students in the 3. I had brought coloring books and crayons. Each child received 1 coloring page and 2 crayons of his or her choosing, and lessons in coloring followed - the first time most, if not all, of these children ever participated in this activity so basic in American education. Thanks to so many of you who provided funds and activities to make this possible for children who have so little in the way of educational basics.
There is a photo attached of children smiling happily as we drove away - coloring sheets in hand. This is why I do what I do. I am sorry not to be able to attach more photos. There were so many I would like to have included, but don't want to overload the system.
The activity planned for this afternoon had to be rescheduled, so I am taking it easy for the rest of the afternoon and evening. Student interviews are planned for tomorrow at homes of those selected.