In August 2016 we sent Days for Girls kits from Yakima to a small isolated island called Brussi in Uganda. Today I was thrilled to finally receive these photos and this report from Jaclyn Thatcher, an LDS nurse here in Yakima who helped organize the kit distribution there. Her husband is going to medical school here. We were thrilled to work with both of them and other medical students who went on this expedition.
Sweet Sister Lewis,
I am so sorry this has taken me so long to send to you. I’ve had it recorded in my journal.
We gave femine hygiene products to two groups of people. One was to the people on Bussi Island, Uganda and the other was a Maasai Village in Amboseli, Kenya.
Their huts were built from sticks patched together with elephant dung, thatched with a plastic sheet and then straw. They are a polygamist society where the chief is chosen by blood lines. Since the government banned their lion killing coming of age ritual, they now jump straight up and down to show their manliness. They also removed their bottom incisors, brand their cheeks, gauge their ears and wear lots of jewelry esp. necklaces. They jumped and sang for us – the woman sang and the men made lion growls. Of all the small gifts we brought – sugar and grains it wasn’t until I gave them the feminine hygiene products that everything changed.
At first they laughed anxiously and then they smiled and started hugging me. Their eyes opened and they no longer treated us like tourists. They saw us as friends. They saw us as sisters! It was miraculous! Later in the trip we went to the Nairobi National Museum. It showcased a society in my opinion, that was dominated by fear not by faith. It showed through their history and their description a society that was submissive physically, mentally, emotionally and socially to the “white man” until World War 2, for this was when they began to see “the white man die,” In those moments that the blood started to spill, they realized the British had a physical, mortal, destructible body. With this realization Kenyans they changed their outlook completely and began to fight for their independence which they gained December 12, 1963.
I realized that those Maasai Women had this same transformation with the hygiene products. Once the sweet women realized that bleeding was normal and not a curse. Once they realized that they were not sick or weak and that menstruation is a normal natural occurrence everything changed!
Furthermore when I truly realize and believe that Christ died for me everything changes. When I truly believe that He bled not just once a month but instead chose to eternally and infinitely bleed from every pore, to feel by every pain, stress and trial to know how to help me return to God I am humbled. I change from being an onlooker to His miracles to His friend (John 15) I come from the crowd to physically and spiritually touch His garments. I move from the masses to His kneeling at His feet. I come to church truly sincere in taking His sacrament. I repent! I change! How exciting!
Thanks for providing so many kits so timely! Thanks for your continual service to our ward, stake and mission. Thanks for all your love and testimony! What an exciting work to be involved in!
Please let me know if there is anything I can do to serve you or our missionaries!
Below are pictures and here is a video