Recently I had a conversation with 2 guys from the church. They were about my age and had kids that were the same age as mine. They asked a lot about my life back in Canada . They asked about our food, our roads (are they dirt?) and my family. They asked me if my parents were still alive. I went on to tell them that when I was 6 years old my mother died. They thought that was sad...and it is sad. Then it was there turn to tell me about their lives. The first guy told me how when he was 10 years old his father was murdered right in front of him for his political beliefs. His mother died shortly after and he was left to raise his siblings and tend to all the crops. He never got an education. He now lives on the same farm raising his own kids. The other guy had attended his brother-in-laws funeral that week. They both went on to give me a long list of brothers, sisters, and other family members that have all died.
The average life expectancy here in Uganda is 42 years. There isn't a person you meet that does not have some close family member that's passed away. I then realized that our own kids have 4 grandparents, and 10 great grandparents.
Sometimes amidst the construction, playing with all the children, and everything else we are doing here, we can too easily forget the pain these people have been through. These children that we play with everyday are orphans. They didn't have all those grandparents to look after them after their parents died like our children would have.