Sunday, June 14, 2009

The Peril called, "Palyec"

I missed getting to write a post yesterday. We were quite busy. “So, what’s new?” you ask! We got up early to drive to the Antonian High School’s adopted village, “Palyec.” It was quite a drive…I must say. I don’t think the pot holes could have been worse. I am certain some of them were one foot deep. It took us much longer than I remember to get there because of those things!!! I am surprised that our rear tire didn’t end up in San Antonio!? The drive, however, is a beautiful one as there are loads of very, very tall palm trees that dot the landscape. I am told they were planted centuries ago when slaves were being moved from Uganda to the Sudan. The slave traffic was quite large there and as the slaves walked, hands shackled, they were given fruits to eat at times and they would throw the pits on the ground. The legend is that those pits grew into the beautiful palm trees that give us such joy. It is sad to think that the beauty from those trees came at the extreme suffering of men and women in Africa. It was such a joy to see Mama Mary, Speaker Martin’s mother. She was so excited to see us and, in typical African style, she pulled her worn and dirty mat from her hut and urged us to make ourselves at home. She is a dear woman and I shall remember her always. The well the kids from Antonian paid for is functioning very, very well there. The tribe has built stick borders around the entire bore hole to allow for order at the well. The women come and put their jerry cans in a line while waiting their turn to fill their cans. Without the fence, there would be chaos and fights would ensue. It is wonderful to know that over 300 people are using this well. I can’t wait for us to get the other two wells in so the entire village is satisfied with enough water. There was sadness there, though. People are starving to death…literally. Last week, four people died from starvation. The problem is that the people have put the seed in the ground, however, it has not yet started to rain and so they have nothing to eat. These are the brave people who chose to leave the IDP camp and move home. The well has done much for them, but they have no food to eat and they are loosing the battle with malnutrition. I am going to the Heifer Project, Inc. on Monday to inquire about a pair of pigs. They have layers and they have some eggs, but the ground is dry. In fact, it is very dry. In town, the city is coming along with trucks to throw water to keep the dust down. The foliage by the side of the roads is actually orange right now because it is so dry. But, we are at the very beginning of the wet season and there should be a lot of rain coming soon. We did stop at the school in the village where we were last March. The people there remembered us and I noticed some kids who were there when we visited. We have spoken to the headmaster and we are going to get some uniforms for the orphans. AEP gave the school some uniforms and that has increased the number of kids coming, but the orphans who cannot pay for a uniform are coming and they don’t have the proper clothing. It is odd, but the school could be shut down if the students do not have uniforms. Our goal is to send Molly to the school and measure those children who need uniforms and find some people who are willing to give $15 for each of them. Please put this in your heart…they need so much help! My heart was very heavy all day thinking about those dear people in Palyec who are dying because they have no food. I just find it so hard to think that we have so much and they have nothing. I am sure that the people of this world do not want these people to die such horrible deaths, but this is such a remote area and it is easy to ignore them. I have to remember my “motto”; “It matters to this one.” Otherwise I know I would go crazy thinking about these people and how sick they are. Think about Mama Mary tonight before you go to bed and say a prayer for rain and food. It really isn’t too much to ask…is it?

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