|P.S. - Note to self: short people with short torsos should not wear long, full maxi skirts! I look prego! I digress...|
Then our good friend & driver, Francis, came and picked us up to take us to Jinja.
I don't know if I could ever get used to how they drive in Uganda. This is my 4th trip so it is not nearly as stressful as when I saw it for the first time. And I even sat in the front seat this trip, which you could not pay me to do previous trips so I feel I've come a long way! ;-) We best explain it as total chaos - nobody pays attention to the lines on the road, the speed limit, or traffic signs. And amazingly, we only saw 1 or 2 accidents while we were in country. And I can never complain about our traffic in the States after driving in Uganda. There is no comparison. So many cars, boda bodas (motorcycles), walkers, and bicyclists. Crazy crazy.
It was such a relief to pull into the driveway of our next guest house, the Sole Hope Guest House. This was by far our favorite place to stay and we highly recommend it to anyone traveling to Jinja. Such a nice home away from home.
We were even welcomed with homemade banana muffins! What a treat for us weary travelers!
Their avocados are HUGE!
We made our own breakfast every morning with fresh eggs from their chickens...
And "fancy" bath...
As you may know, Sole Hope is an organization that holds jigger removal clinics, typically at schools or local villages within southeast Uganda. At these clinics, children (and some adults) are treated that have jigger infestations in their feet. (We had the opportunity of serving at a clinic on Day 10 and I blogged about it here.)
According to their website, "Jiggers (NOT CHIGGERS– jiggers are parasitic burrowers) are small chigoe fleas that live in the dust, and are found on the dirt floors in schools and the homes of many families in Uganda and other similar climates. These parasitic insects cling to and infest livestock, transferring jiggers into homes primarily in rural areas. The female jiggers burrow into the surface of skin that has been exposed to the flea. Once embedded in the body, the jigger lays eggs and creates up to pea-size egg sacks and continues to multiply by laying more eggs. These wounds are painful, and cause difficulties for victims in daily activities such as walking, playing, and attending school. The infection can lead to severe inflammation, ulceration and fibrosis. It can also cause lymphangitis, gangrene, sepsis, and the loss of toenails, amputation of the digits, and death may also occur. There is also a social stigma and shame associated with the victims of jiggers which causes them to hide the problem which makes it worse. While jiggers in small numbers are not deadly, the secondary infections (gangrene, tetanus and other diseases) caused by jiggers can be fatal." After receiving treatment, they get a new pair of shoes and are educated on how to prevent future infestations. Such a great organization doing amazing things for our friends in Uganda!
Shoe Cutting Parties where we gather with friends and cut out shoe patterns from gently used jeans. The patterns are then sent to their corporate office in North Carolina where they are checked for quality then sent on to Uganda. Hired tailors then make the shoes from the denim cutouts and soles are made from recycled tires.
After we toured the guest house, we went to the back of their grounds where hired tailors actually make the shoes that are given to those who have been treated at the clinics. We got to see the entire process with our own eyes which was so amazing because we have all held or attended several shoe cutting parties, ourselves, so to see the process come full circle was pretty mind blowing to us!
So what are you waiting for? Check out your calendar and schedule your own Sole Hope Shoe Cutting Party today! It's such an easy way to help out but makes a huge impact on the other side of the world!