Thursday, February 3, 2011

That's My Girl

If there's one lesson from Uganda I've learned the hard way it's that you can't give more attention to one child than you do another. If you take one child's hand, you have to take the other. If you put one child on your lap, you'd better make room for another. So in all fairness, after my last post about Mariam, I will now tell you a little about Sophie.

Oh, my little Sophie. Don't let that innocent face fool you. She's spunky and proud of it. She is not afraid to say what's on her mind...and she's only 6!

We went to visit them at their home one day. We were supposed to visit them the day before...and the day before that. But, that's Uganda for you. They had been all ready for our arrival the previous two days, but on this day they were not quite ready for us yet. We entered their home and sat down, the girls scurrying about trying to get their nice dresses on and clean up their faces. Now Sophie, being younger than her sister is still working on her English so she still mostly speaks the local language. Suddenly, from the other room I hear Sophie's voice ring through their small home. And then the girls' mother puts her hand over her face and the workers started laughing. Later we found out Sophie had been yelling through the house: "WHERE HAVE YOU PUT MY PANTIES?!"

That's my girl.

Now this next story is one of my favorites. This girl cracks me up! We were at the center waiting for a car to come pick us up and take us back to the city. There were about 5 children hanging around with us so we took out some candy to give them. All we had were some Now and Laters (You know "Hard and Fruity Now, Soft and Chewy Later"). Well they can also be a little sour. So I gave one to each of the kids, sat back, and opened one for myself.

A few minutes later, Sophie comes over to me and starts saying something in her local language. I don't speak the language but I know exactly what she's saying. She wants another piece of candy. Well like I said, lesson learned - if I get her another piece then everyone will need one. She kept persisting. I asked her where hers went. She walked away and came back with the water bottle I had given her. In it was about 2 inches of pink water and a chunk of Now and Later at the bottom.

And I looked at her like I would any child who I love with all my heart and I said, "Girl, I don't know what to tell you."

She stomps off about 3 steps, turns back around, and with all the attitude in the world says something in her language. Once again, I knew what she said before anyone translated for me (which is probably because this spunky girl is a little more like me than I like to admit).

She said, "You will envy me and my juice!" Took a big gulp, made a huge sour face that shook her entire body, and then trotted off.

That's my girl. And I'll love her forever!

- Aly