Musa Makes My Soul Smile

I have done all kinds of jobs in my life both odd and white collar. If it brings money that I did not have or adds onto what I have, I go for it as long as I can do it and it is legal.

My most recent escapade was teaching! There is a friend we went to school with and she is now a very passionate teacher, Alice. Every morning I got into my life skills class I thought of her in high esteem together with all teachers in general. They have a different kind of grace from God. During the lock-down, a parent made a joke and said she had just been home schooling her kids for a week but she wanted to expel them all – already! Bless teachers 🙂

This was a project supported by the US Embassy in Uganda and my job was to teach Life Skills- thank God. If it was something else I would be damned! My lessons started with learning about America (see my life) and later went to human rights and responsibilities, hygiene, self awareness, hand crafts etc.

This particular week we were in a certain school in the East and one kid stood out for me, Musa. He was always early and offered to help me set up and then ask about my life while we were at it. He asked about what I do when I am not teaching, where I live, how the city looks like, how old my baby is, her name etc. I loved talking to him. I generally love children which was more reason why for this coupled with the spirit of adventure of course.

My class was fun. I had nursery rhymes in between so they don’t get bored and a huge screen, Thursday afternoon was always movie time and the threat to get any of them to do what you wanted was, ‘I will not let you into my class on Thursday afternoon‘ and voila, peace would prevail. For a village kid, who has no electricity and other privileges we take for granted like owning a pair of shoes, having three meals a day etc, this was a big deal.

Ready for a movie

I asked them to draw anyone they wished to draw in some class that week and Musa asked if he could draw me. I said sure, go ahead. He came up with the biggest forehead I have ever seen (image below)! I know I am a chair person of the mighty ‘forehead clan’ members but is it that bad?- smh. Okay at least he pushed my hairline forward lol.

We were in the field three weeks a month meaning each week took us to a different district and this was our third. We were going back to the city to rest and prep for another trip. As was the norm, Friday afternoons were for packing up and taking strolls around the place if we had time. In some places like here we would pass by a market to buy food and vegetables to carry back home for our friends and families.

While walking around the busy market, I sensed someone following me but every time I looked back I couldn’t see anyone. Then as I turned at a certain angle, I saw him! It was Musa all along and he was hiding behind an electric pole, he is small bodied but well the pole could not hide him entirely.

Selfies/hugs/questions/smiles/goofing before teacher Joy heads out

I laughed out loud and called him out. When I looked into his eyes in that moment, he wore a sadness that I thought was too deep for his age. I did not know whether I had missed it before or if it was new. I asked him what was wrong and he said his mom had fallen sick and was admitted in the hospital for days now and that he was walking there to check on her.

I asked if he had someone with him at home, he mumbled something I did not quite pick out. See, these kids are mostly taught in their local language and so the communication was strained with our English all over the place.

He shifted his gaze to the opposite side of the road after our communication hit a wall. He owned no shoes so I asked if I could buy him a pair since we were in the market and to also break the ice- there was a smile on his face. I asked him to go pick what he wanted and he went for crocs sandals.

My heart was melting, in that moment I was looking for one thing to make his day beautiful and distract him for a moment and just that smile on his face as he held onto the sandals before sliding his muddy feet in them was enough.

As he said good bye and run off to his sick mother, I whispered a short prayer to God for her healing. Months later, I still see his face some times and wonder if the mother ever healed? What he is up to in this lock down, what the future holds for him, will he grow up to be what he said he wanted to be? etc.

It is children like Musa that got me registering that NGO and before I could even finalize with the whole process I had people pledge and request to help. When it is all sorted I will be starting off with over seventy kids going to school, my job is to find them.

I already have two from my neighborhood I am paying for so that whole experience with Musa pushed me to fast forward on that dream and make it work now with what I can and slowly grow into the big thing .

Covid19 happened and everything was put on hold but this is something close to my heart. I would like to send a good number of kids from poor backgrounds to school and also set up a big home for those children who have no place to call home. This will be mainly babies who are abandoned so they can grow together as a family.

I look forward to getting this ground work over with and then launch! It is going to be amazing.

I dream in color and this is the passion that burns in my heart. I am convinced that this is my path. Let the little children come home, mommy Sparrow will be waiting!

I am the Sparrow

12 thoughts on “Musa Makes My Soul Smile

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