Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The end of Off Tu

I have been wanting to post something for a while but have not really been sure what to say.

Yesterday was our last day at Off Tu. We went to one of the slums of Kampala to visit the homes of two of the girls who now live at Off Tu. The slum was heartbreaking. Tiny homes, built so close together, dirty water that attracts malaria-carrying mosquitos flowed everywhere. The water they drank was also dirty, as were most of the children. The girl's mothers were very kind though, and we had time to pray with each one. The girls were both happy to see their families and pretty sad to leave again after such a short visit.

When we got back to the Mission we played with the children and then had an amazing dinner. It was our farewell dinner so everyone came, we ate delicious Ugandan and German food, and several people (including me) had to give speeches. I almost cried at the end of my speech when I tried to tell the kids how much we love them and how wonderful it has been to be their "aunties". When it was time to leave I held Martha in my arms and she wouldn't let go of me. She started moaning and saying "Auntie, don't go". I really just wanted to take her with me, back to UCU and then back to the U.S. on Tuesday. Martha, and all of the Off Tu kids, is so precious and loving and fun to be with. I know that I am going to miss them so much and it breaks my heart that I might not come back to Uganda to see them.

It has been wonderful and beautiful to love these children. To know them and play with them and connect with them. To hear their stories and see their homes and to imagine their future. But the downside to the deep attachment that we have made is the eventual pulling away. The inevitable detachment that occurs when we leave. I will always hold them in my heart but I will miss holding their hands.
(the one in the front is martha)

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

SaSCU has a piece of my heart

"I can see the son of man suffering, oh my Lord
No one cares for their lives, street kids all over the world"
This is a song that the kids of SaSCU (Save Street Children Uganda) sang for us on our first week of visiting them. These kids are all former street kids who now live together (all 43 of them!) with a few "uncles" and "aunties" to care for them. We have been there every other Tuesday to play, sing, preach, share and dance with them. Today was our last Tuesday there and it ended bittersweetly. Bitter because I care a lot about these kids, got to know some of them well, and know that I probably won't see them again. Sweetly because we got to take two of the girls with us, to move into the Children's Center at Off Tu Mission. It was exciting to see these girl go from a temporary home to a more permanent, stable place to live.

Monday, November 30, 2009

15 Days left

Things I did this past week:
-Made pumpkin bread and banana chocolate chip muffins with friends-3 hours of chilling at Mark's house listening to good music with good friends
-Celebrated Thanksgiving by giving a presentation in class, playing football, and eating lots of good food, especially delicious desserts.
-Played ultimate frisbee ALL DAY on Sunday with a bunch of friends. We beat the Peace Corps and ended up 3-3 after the tournament. It was exhausting but very fun.

Things I am doing this week:
-Worship tonight!
-Writing final papers for my three classes: African Lit, African Traditional Religion and Faith & Action. Not really ready to write any of them....
-Eating dinner and spending the night at my host family's home in Mukono
-Spending Saturday in Jinja (it's our last weekend!)

Things I am looking forward to doing when I get home:
-"Jumping" (on the trampoline) with Ty
-Getting my wisdom teeth out, and then watching lots of movies with my siblings and eating ice cream and iced coffees
-Finally seeing Matt for the first time since MAY! I almost tear up when I think about seeing him again (For those of you who know how not very often I cry you know that is a big deal!)

Things I will miss about Uganda:
-Off Tu-everything about it. But especially cuddling with the girls before nap time and dance parties after dinner.
-Faith & Action class: so challenging to the way that I think and I act. I have learned so much from this class and the teachers and other students.
-Taxi rides, walking the streets of Mukono, going "rolling", watching soccer in the DH, movie nights, shopping at markets, fighting off grasshoppers, sleeping under mosquito nets...basically our Uganda university life :)

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

"How can I ever say enough, how amazing is your love"

Happy Thanksgiving!

In honor of my favorite holiday, here are some things I'm thankful for:

-My families: First, of course, my family at home: Mom, Dad, Matt, Brandon, Pete, Ben, Tori & Ty. Secondly, my Ugandan families: My Mukono and Soroti host families and my Off Tu family.

-The longest summer ever! I have been able to enjoy the same warm weather from May-December.

-Amazing friendships: I am so thankful for my friends from home who have stayed in touch, encouraging me and loving me. Also, I'm thankful for the great friendships I've made here. I have had so many challenging conversations and lots of fun with friends here.

-God's amazing creation. Rwanda and Uganda are both so beautiful and I am so thankful that I have gotten to see so much of His creation; mountains, valleys, waterfalls, sunsets, flowers, and so much more.

-Thought provoking classes and reading. My opinions and views on issues have been challenged here more than any other time in my life. It is sometimes frustrating to wrestle with these issues but I am so glad I have had the opportunity to do it.

There are a lot more things I am thankful for (and those were really general categories) but I am running out of time. I am doing a presentation in my African Traditional Religions class today (Thanksgiving is not a holiday in Uganda so we still have school) so I have to go do that now. Then, I am baking desserts with my friends (from Eastern University) Angela, Redmond and Davis. Then, we are playing an American football game and eating Thanksgiving dinner with the ex-pats on campus! Hope your Thanksgiving is as good as mine!!

Monday, November 23, 2009

No one on the corner has swagger like us

We are currently suffering from a plague of grasshoppers. They are covering the ceilings of our bathrooms, especially the showers. They like to jump on us and people like to fry them up and eat them

This is me and my friend Nicole and my new boyfriend: the Chamuka keys man. He promised me a neon Rav4 if I drink the right soda and I gave him my heart. It's a happily ever after kind of story.

For realsies tho: we were on our way to Touch of Class, a very...classy restaurant on campus that we eat at several times a week. We get pretty tired of rice and beans at the DH so at Touch of Class we eat chips (fries), smoothies and occasionally chicken.

It's been raining ALOT here. Basically every day it rains for an hour or so. This is me in my poncho:

It was about as protective as wearing a ziploc bag.


This is me and my friend Meghan at a Sipi Falls. This picture is really for my mom, cuz she loves waterfalls.


In other news: I got my hair braided. They add fake hair and it takes about five hours and as a result I have 140 small braids on my head. I think it makes me look like the child of shane claiborne and one of the daughters from the cosby show (can't remember her name...) Here's some photos to explain better:

The song "Paper Planes" by M.I.A. has been stuck in my head for weeks now (hence the reason for the name of this post). Partly because we recently watched Slumdog Millionare and partly because it's so dang catchy. I also have some songs from "Fiddler on the Roof" stuck in my head...("Tradition!" "Do you love me?") At night we like to watch a lot of movies and tv shows on our laptops. Me and a few others girls have been working our way through episodes of "the office". We started at season one and are just beginning season five tonight.

Right now I am sitting in the computer room trying to fend off the advances of a very agressive Ugandan guy...I should probably leave now before he asks me out again.

Sunday, November 22, 2009


"The more I pursue the light of Christ, the more He illumines the diseases of my heart, and the dysfunction of my soul." -Mere Discipleship by Lee Camp

Amen, Lee Camp.