Part IV ended with the short visit with Dr. Ambrose at the Jinga Hospital, cut short as the doctor and staff were dealing with another outbreak of malaria. "/>
Part IV ended with the short visit with Dr. Ambrose at the Jinga Hospital, cut short as the doctor and staff were dealing with another outbreak of malaria. " /> Christian Life in London


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Was I just a Tourist?
Chapter VI, the Final Chapter

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By Tree Galbraith

Last month, in Part V of "Was I Just a Tourist", we shared the ups and downs of the journey of Tree Galbraith…..the horrors of witchcraft and the joy or meeting those that give tireless of their time to improve the wellbeing of so many.

Part IV ended with the short visit with Dr. Ambrose at the Jinga Hospital, cut short as the doctor and staff were dealing with another outbreak of malaria.

Join Tree Galbraith as this incredible journey comes to an end with her return to Canada. What a journey and thank you Tree for sharing


If you missed the first three segments click here: PART1 PART2 PART3 PART4 PART5

Chapter VI, the Final Chapter

We returned to meet Dr. Ambrose on our last day and delivered many hockey bags full of medical supplies (tubing, gauze, bandages, Tylenol, Advil, stethoscopes, two air casts and much, much more). Dr. Ambrose and his small staff were so grateful to us for bringing such valued and needed medical supplies. From the sadness and disturbing conditions of the hospital we journeyed to the Mirembe Street Girls Home. We brought the girls each a pair of sunglasses and donations. The girls home was full of singing and peace. They also enjoyed designing quite impressive art on the frames we brought. We gave them the theme of what makes you happy to draw. The girls spent lots of time creating and coloring their artwork and were very thrilled to have their pictures taken with it. I met my first name sake, Teresa and her twin Anna and I told her that my nickname was Tree. She laughed and thought that that was pretty funny.

The girls were very excited to show us their neatly kept 3-high bunk beds and cozy bedrooms. We were entertained with traditional dances by the Mirembe girls and even asked to join in. The drumming was amazing. The girls loved posing for pictures with their new sunglasses and their pillowcase dresses. They also changed into their new bright pink uniforms that had been purchased by a Just Cause teenaged volunteer for another photo shoot. Visiting this girls home was a sure remedy for my homesickness and feelings of hopelessness.

The energy, care and concern for the girls by the founder and director (an orphan himself) Daniel, was so very evident. Daniel told us that at Mirembe cottage his main aim is to create a safe, caring, loving and nurturing home environment where the street girls can develop spiritually, physically, socially, educationally, and emotionally. He was indeed a very caring man and inspiration to us all. I continue to pray for the success of this special girls home each and every day. As Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these." MAT 19:14

The last few days of our mission trip were filled with action packed events. We celebrated the end of the school year and the Feast of the Assumption of Mary mass at the big church in Nazigo. I was honoured to be assigned the task of giving the thank you message. I thanked the people of Uganda on behalf of the Canadian Delegation for welcoming us with open arms, carrying hands, big hearts and hugs smiles. I also thanked God for bringing us to this special community in Uganda.

We were able to meet with Dr. Ambrose on our last day and deliver mattresses and sheets to Michael's Baby Home. We then took a quick trip to downtown Jinga to spend our last few shillings. I bought a hand-painted HOPE t-shirt, a beautiful handmade cross and enjoyed one last Ozzie burger with my friends.

We jumped on the bus and departed for a tour of the beautiful Lugazi Cathedral “Queen Mother of Peace.” We stopped at the side of the road and 100's of people approached the bus windows selling chicken, bananas, coke, toilet paper - you name it they sold it! The drive was uneventful until we arrived in Kampala at 8 pm. Livingstone, our amazing driver, somehow got us through the crazy rush hour that is a frantic "everybody driving wherever they want" free for all.

With tears of thanks, friendship and unbelievable memories we said our goodbyes to Sara, Michelle and Alex ( who was still sick with Malaria). Indeed our journey was a "Just Cause" .

As I am writing this article I have used my journal to help keep the days and miracles in order. Some busy weeks have passed since I last picked up this article and started to finish. I have come across the last few days of my trip and reread one of many of the special journal entries. It is from my special friend Alex. He had thanked me for all the fun that we had together. He told me that I had given him hope and that the love we showed him reminded him of his mom and the love that they had shared. He knew that his mom would be smiling down from heaven when she saw him with good people like our St. George Church Just Cause Mission Team. He gave me his email address and invited me to stay in touch and that perhaps one day we would meet again and even perhaps meet my family.

Was I just a tourist, a visitor - a sightseer? Absolutely not. I was and continue to be on a faith journey. Upon my return from Uganda, I was hit with reverse culture shock and with the love and support of my family, friends, church and Sara and Michelle from Just Cause. I am so happy to be able to share my Uganda "Embers story". Alex and I are in regular contact and I look forward to sending and receiving messages and pictures from him. I am eager to help Just Cause with their continued efforts in Uganda.

I have shared stories from this amazing faith journey with my school, with a video/slideshow at this year's Faith Formation Day and with my Family on Thanksgiving Day.

Each and every day I give thanks to God for allowing me to have experienced his love in Uganda. I give thanks for my hands with which I did his work. I give thanks for my eyes and my heart which showed compassion upon his Ugandan people. I thank Just Cause for allowing me to experience the dream of my lifetime.