It was on the last morning at Lwengo that I met Joseph. I mean, I had seen him before. He attracted everyones attention when he gave a wonderful speech the previous day. But this morning I really got to know this amazing twelve year old. And damn, I am so grateful for that!
It was a silent morning, because all the students went home for a week (after they had been at school for 16 weeks). Although it was the first time that we weren't awakened by screaming children, Kim and I were already wide awake at 7, so we walked around at Lwengo a bit. Behind the schoolbuilding we saw him, sitting on his own, watching the sun rising through the woods. We joined him and were wondering why he was still here so we asked him. "It's just that my mother didn't pick me up" he answered. You could see that this hurted him, very much, but he said that he could understand it, that his mother was very poor and that she had to take care of his younger sister. "But still, I hope that she picks me up today, I will be waiting for her, and I would love to help her digging on the land" he added. His father couldn't pick up Joseph either , because he passed away a few years ago.
This boy has been through so much misery in his young life already, but still he is one of the most optimistic children I have ever met. He told us how much he loves school. How much he enjoys staying in a room with 30 other boys, which would only seem like a disaster in western point of view, because that room was so very small. But Joseph loved it. At school he felt good, he had a great time with his friends and even had time to play and make homework.
Joseph also told us what his dream was, what he wanted to become when he is older: President of Uganda. He had plans about how to improve Uganda's economy, about how to help the poor and how to make Uganda a stronger and even a more beautiful country. I believe that this boy could be an amazing president, better than any other president Uganda ever had. He's smart (He's third on the list of smartest kids at school, well 1 and 2 were the principal's daughters so actually he's the smartest of the school), he can speak so amazingly good and on top of that he is the kindest and sweetest kid I've ever met. He already inspired me so much. It would be amazing if he would be able to inspire whole Uganda.
After more than an hour of talking it was time to eat breakfast and pack our stuff together. After hugging Joseph goodbye it was time to leave Lwengo and begin our journey back to Holland.
Now, I am already back in Holland for 2 months and a half, still inspirated by this boy. I think about him a lot, wondering if his mother did still pick him up and wondering if he would ever get the opurtunity to make his dreams come true.