Rachel Hamilton

Author | Writer | Traveler | Child of God | Kiwi Girl

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Wonderful Uganda 

When I first came to Uganda I had a idea that it would be this adrenaline filled adventure where everything was new, strange and overwhelming. 

While I have had moments like that, I didn’t realise how normal it would quickly become.

 I have traveled and lived overseas enough to know, before you come to a country, you hear the scary, unique and unusual things of that country. 
When I moved to the Australia I was nervous about all the dangerous animals its famous for, I believed deadly snakes would crawl up the toliet into my house, that spiders would bite me in the night and kangaroos would be jumping all over the place. 

In reality I’ve only seen one dead snake, killed a few small spiders and seen a few kangaroos peaceful eating grass by the side of the road. 

Like Australia, I had fears coming to Africa. Yet in the 6 weeks I have been here all my fears have died. 

Uganda has been through difficult times and you can see the aftermath of that pain and struggle, but oh what beauty has been born from the ashes. 

You will never meet more kind beautiful lovely people. 

There is a joy, sweetness and compassion in this country that is so inspiring. 

Life here is wonderful, daily I enjoy rich hospitality, wonderful food and loving community. 

I believe that Uganda is and will quickly become a powerful nation that reaches and changes the world. 

So my dear international readers, I hope and pray, you too can come to the pearl of Africa and let it change and inspire you as it is daily doing for me. 


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Life With Babies. 

How do I put into words how truly grateful I am for the time I am spending in Africa. 

I can’t. 

Baby Watoto. 

A magical place where little lives are formed. 

Each morning when I arrive at work, I am greeted by smiles, hugs and little voices shouting “Momma” 

I started by making the beds and helping dress them. 

Then they have family time and play time.

When the babies arrive at Watoto they are placed into families with a nanny and five other babies. The nanny is the mother figure who for the first two years of their life raises them as her own. When they turn two they are adopted into the Watoto village. 

I am so inspired by the nannies for the way they care and love the babies. 

We often sit outside in the sun.

Then it’s lunch time, feeding 20+ babies per room is a mission but it’s works out.

It’s so cute when they close their eyes and put their hands together for the prayer.

There are 5 different rooms, currently I am in the small toodlers room. 

I have been in Monkeys: ages 6 month – 10 months and Tigers: ages 10-18months. 

International volunteers change rooms every two weeks. 

After lunch we get a 2 hour break because the babies are having an afternoon nap.

During this time I often walk down to the  nearby village and talk to the children or join the babies in sleep. 

When we come back from break, it’s time for a snack and bible time. 

Then it’s play time again. 

You will never find more loving little people than the Watoto babies. 

Each day I am overwhelmed by the love they shower on me. 

Tight hugs, kisses, little arms wrapped around my legs as I try to walk. 

The moment when a baby places her hands on my face and looks deeply into my eyes. 

How am I so blessed to be in this place? 

After play time, it’s dinner, bath time, worship time and then bed. 

We get on the bus at 6:30pm to go back home.

It’s been a month since I boarded a plane to Uganda and already time seems too short.

Eventually my time here will come to an end but the impact these little lives have on me will last long into the future. 

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Below the surface. 

I have only been in Uganda three weeks yet so much has happened. 

The more I dig below the surface of the Ugandan culture, the more I see how deeply kind, caring and inspirational they are. 

A few days ago I had the privilege of going on a slum awareness tour. I had mixed feelings about going, I didn’t want to go and be the rich westerner that looked down in pity, then went home and forgot about them. 

But as we walked into the slum, I suddenly felt God’s presence, he was here in this place. 

Children ran past us and we greeted them with smiles. Women came out of their homes and waved. As we walked along I was aware a group of young boys were following us, but didn’t think much of it. 

We stoped by a house and a little girl came out with her brother and sister, we took photos. All of a sudden there was a commotion and our tour guide Syrill took off running. One of my fellow volenteers had had her phone stolen from her hand. 

Suddenly people around from everywhere, upset by what had taken place. We were guided to a seat and waited. Finally after a few minutes our tour guide came back and said “you will get your phone back within 30 minutes. This is Zebra and he has told the theif he has 30 minutes to bring your phone back. 

Zebra is a famous boxer who has come back to his country to train and inspire young men to become champion boxers. He had set up a network in the slum to control the violence and crime in the slum. 

While we waited for the phone to be returned we went to Syrills orphanage he had started. We meet the children and he took us to the school he runs for over 58 children. It was no more than a few planks of wood with a roof. He told us that when it rained the children can no longer study so they are unable to study as much as they need too. 

It was in that moment, I knew I wanted to help restore and build the school. 

Then before we knew it,the phone had been returned, safe and sound. 

We returned home feeling inspired and deeply impacted. 

To understand a country we need to look beyond the beauty and touristy parts and look deeply in the vulnerable places. What a great honour it is when we are gifted the opportunity to see the brokenness. 

The slum which I visited is home to over 500,000 people who live in extreme poverty, children raising children, women selling their bodies just to buy food for their children. People dying from HIV and AIDS. Children left alone. But in this darkness there is light, wonderful people like Zebra, Syrill and many more who are using their own painful experiences to do amazing things. Teaching, providing homes for the orphanaed, feeding the hungry, spreading God’s love and light. Though Christ the hopeless are receiving hope. Here stands greatness. They are God’s hands and feet.