Hey guys! Yes. I know. I am TERRIBLE at updating this. Sorry. But here is a quick recap of the past month, with an emphasis on the past week.
1.) I went rafting up the Nile!! It was sweet. And quite terrifying. But we all lived to tell the story. I would suggest reading Dean's blog (http://deansmanyadventures.blogspot.com/2009/10/rafting-nile.html) for a great description of the events of that day. He was on my raft and tells the story quite well. He even includes the highlight of my day...dominating the second rapid as everyone else flips out. This following their making fun of me for being the only one to fall out on the first rapid and my teasing that next time they would all fall out and I would stay in. Bahaha. It was a really great time.
2.) We went on a weekend trip to Luweero which was pretty great. We were able to meet a Father Gerry, a Catholic priest. We learned about his ministry in the rural areas of Luweero and then attended a Catholic service at his church the following morning. It was actually really amazing, even though the entire service was in Lusoga and untranslated for the most part. We were also able to visit a Compassion International center to play with the kids there and witness their Saturday activities. It was really interesting to see what our money actually goes toward. Finally, we went to visit the Bishop of the diocese. It was a long weekend, but I really enjoyed it.
3.) I have really been enjoying my time here lately. I am finally comfortable with my family and that has been a great relief. They are amazing and I really love coming home to them every evening. Dokas makes my day. We are now "good friends". I carried her to the clinic a few weeks ago with Mama and the lady at the clinic was so surprised that she was so friendly with the mzungu. The other children are also warming up to me. Their friends sometimes come over as well and we play together. They are trying to teach me some words in Luganda. I have a couple pages full of words that they wrote for me yesterday that I need to study.
4.) Everyone in my home has been sick with malaria in the past few weeks. It has been a bit nerve-racking knowing that those mosquitoes have been in the house. However, I have been taking my medication religiously and sleeping under my net, so hopefully I will stay healthy. Many of my friends have gotten parasites. It does not seem pleasant and I am so thankful that I have remained healthy thus far.
5.) Hanna and I journeyed to Kampala a few weeks ago. It was great. We hopped a taxi and rode to town. That was an adventure. We ate at New York Kitchen which was great American food. Then we went to Nakumat which was so exciting. It was a little taste of America. Basically a scaled down version of Wal-mart. We also went to a market to shop for gifts. It was so much fun. Finally, we hopped a taxi back to Mukono. Great experience, and we survived!
6.) This past week we went to Kapchorwa in eastern Uganda for rural homestays. It is absolutely beautiful. From my home we could see Mt. Elgon. The scenery was exquisite. I was paired with Hanna for the week, which was a blessing. We stayed in a home with Mama Dorothy and her four girls, ranging from five years old to ten years old. Our four brothers were all away at school. Mama was so crazy. She did so much work. Her husband works as a policeman in western Uganda, so he is not around. Neither are the boys, and the girls are at school during the day. She cares for the cattle, goats, chickens, etc. all alone. She would come home carrying two matooke trees on her head as feed for the cattle. It was definitely different than farming in the States.
It was also interesting to hear mama's comments and questions about the US. She was pretty convinced that there weren't leaves, smoke, or mud in the US. We were asked if we had seen the queen to which we replied that we did not have a queen but a president. She then realized that Obama was our president and got very excited. Obama is soooooo admired here. You have no idea. She started singing a song about him and then asked about the African American that came with our group. Apparently Adeline had told them about Manny at orientation and they called him "The Obama". He was quite the celebrity.
Anyway, it was an alright week. Hanna and I had a lot of free time because Mama had so much to do and it was raining a good deal of the time. We helped her with some things, but I think we both wish we would have been allowed to do more. Oh well. We learned a lot nonetheless.
7.) The past couple days we have spent at Sipi Falls. It is basically the most gorgeous place I have ever seen. There are three waterfalls there and we were staying up on a cliff that overlooked all three. On Saturday we were able to go hiking to all of the falls. It was ridiculously awesome. Pictures cannot describe the beauty. On Sunday morning we hiked up to the top of a mountain and had a worship service while viewing the most beautiful scenery imaginable. Our God is great.
8.) I'm back in Mukono!!!! You have no idea how excited I am to be back. How I have missed this place.
9.) I will be home in about a month and a half. I have mixed emotions. I am very ready to be back in the States and see you all again. However, I will miss the friends I have made here and especially my family. Oh well, I don't have to think about this for a few weeks.
This does not even begin to describe the past month, but it's a start. You should also check out Hanna's blog. She has so many more details about what we have been up to.
Well, I love and miss you all. Cannot wait to see you again.
Oh, and I love to hear about life back home...hint hint.