Wednesday, March 24, 2010

One more thing...

I promise pictures are coming soon! and I miss you all!

My Ugandan happenings

Okay so I'm a bit frustrated at the moment because I just deleted the blog I had been writing so I'll try one more time...Sorry it's been so long since the last update. Internet can be hard to come by in a house with 14 people. My best chance is earlier morning but i can't seem to get out of bed which is no surprise to anyone lol! or late at night but I'm too tired after our long days. I decided to stay home tonight and enjoy some alone time and a chance to update. Right now i'm sitting in the dark because power went out again (it's happened probably 5 times and the longest it's been out was a day) with bugs flying at the only light source, my computer. Kind of gross but I'm dealing. Alright so i'll try to be brief on what's happened in the last week because there are a lot of things I could write about but people will be back soon so i should hurry.
Here we go:
1. Last Friday I spent 45 minutes in the moring catching our pet monkey at the neighbors because she escaped and they were going to poison here. She is so cute but when I caught her, she pooped on me! I still like her though, not everyone in the house does.
2. Also Friday, there was a primary school district track meet. 18 local school gathered to compete and the kids at Musana had been practincing for probably 6 weeks. We had a couple kids win their events: boys hight jump, girls shot put (i wish i could say it was me who taught her), and a couple races. These kids were troopers because it was so hot. In between events kids were given glucose packets water and pieces of sugar cane (i tried some for the first time) to keep energized. However our school is small and kids get tired quick after a couple events. We had some kid's drop out and one really good boy not show up (we thought perhaps he was paid by another school to compete). School sometimes hire older boys to race for their schools and judges are bribed. Kind of disappointing. The day was still cool though, we muzungus (white people) were more on display than the athletes. I've never felt like such a celebrity. I hear the word muzungu probably 100 times a day. I love the kids thought they are so cute just to see a white person and they love it if you hit fists with them. I don't think i'll get tired of their smiles. So even if I bring them joy simply for being white that's ok with me.
3. Saturday I headed to Kampala, the ugandan capital with 3 other volunteers. We ate an amazing Thai restaurant, took fun moto boda rides (riding the back of motorcycles with crazy drivers is a bit scary...we almost wrecked a couple times and my guy got lost from my crowd and i didnt' know where i was going), we stayed in a hostil, and then sunday headed back by matati (a 12 person van) to Junja where we went swimming and I bought some sweet artwork.
4. Monday: i went with Pete to town to have a second soccer goal made for the kids. We finished painting and putting the net on tonight. The kids were so excited. The next project that some of your money is going towards is a swing set and monkey bars. these kids need play equipment lol they hang on everything and everyone.
5. We got 3 more volunteers yesterday from Missouri and they will be working the new farmland that Musana purchased last week.
6. I am remebering/learning names slowly but surely. I hate not knowing their names.
7. Today the most percious thing happened, this boy named Alex ( I think he is 9) gave me a letter. It said he wanted to be my best friend and then he told me about himself and asked about me and said he wanted me to teach him basketball :) That made my day.

Ok I know there are tons of food/culture/people stories I could share but it's getting late so until next time...bye for now.

Monday, March 15, 2010

House Guests

Here's a quick update on my day yesterday because I am currently the only person wide awake in my house at 5:45 a.m. When do I ever get up before the sun? but I'm pumped to see the sunrise :)
1) We have a few house guests that I would not be so fond of if I was living at home but for some reason (b/c I am here) I am not freaking out. They include a huge cocroach i saw yesterday climbling the wall while brushing my teeth, a few little mice that scamper from couch to couch, and that's pretty much it now but I expect to see some other weird bugs!
2) PiPi showed me and another new volunteer, Erina, around Iganga main street yesterday. He is our coordinator so was asking us all these questions about what we wanted to do while here. If everything works out like I hope, I'll be volunteering the first part of the day with the hospital (hopefully with physical therapy) then working at the new cafe we are opening( it is super nice for Iganga standards, so cute!) then spending the evening with the kids until about dark (7pm) then back to the house for roommate time. That's all tentative but I hope it works.
3) I exchanged some money and bought water. A 1.5 liter bottel costs about 50 cents or 1000 schillings! so cheap.
4) I made lots of paper beads at Musana for the jewelry that they sell. my skills improved much by the end of the day.
5) I was a jungle gym for preschool kids for about 2 hours (noon to 2) longest recess of my life...bring it on again today.
6) I brought fingernail polish which everyone loved (even the boys)! My glitter one broke in the bag so I am gonna find it place for days to come. It's still on my hands.
7) Kids absolutely love their picture being taken...the instant gratification of seeing themselves can almost be too much to handle...I had a fight break out and a crying was time to put the camera away lol.
8) I held the little goat I've ever come in contact with walking to Musana cute! Then i got scared b/c Erina told me it looked sick and I had no way to wash my hands besides plain Ugandan water for the next 8 hours.
9) I used a squaty potty...a hole in the ground surrounded by wood panels and lots of flys/gnats. Pretty gross, but I'll deal. At our house we have what they refer to hear as a "proper" toilet.

Ok well the sun is starting to come up so I'm heading out to my porch to see it.
Thanks for following. Until next time...bye for now :)

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Safe and pretty much sound!

Hi from Uganda!
It was a long travel to my home for the next 10 weeks from when I left Friday morning, but it all went really smoothly. British Airways was amazing to fly with; I recommend it to anyone wanting to go international. Comfortable seats and good food (at least for an airline meal). It was weird seeing the sun set, rise, set again before making it to Uganda. The donations and I have all made it safely to the Musana volunteer house now. Luckily I don't feel like I have jet lag...maybe it's still coming but hopefully not!

So when I got to the Entebbe Airport, I was greeted by Andrea (the director who started the orphange from Colorado; she is awesome), Morris (he's in some head position at Musana), and PiPi (peepee: he is the volunteer assistant while I'm here). They are all great and were excited about the donations. We drove about 10 min to a hotel to sleep for the night. The arrangements were pretty nice, but I'll have to get used to cold showers which shouldn't be hard because it's very hot here. We ate breakfast before we left which was a banana, OJ, and bread and butter. On our way to Iganga we stopped on the side of the road to buy chicken on a stick from street vendors and it was good (lindsey, you would never have tried it by the looks of it lol). The trip in the van took about 4 hours. Driving is a bit different because it's on the left side of the road and much more reckless!

The first place I stopped when we got to Iganga was the cafe that the Orphanage is opening up this week. It looks great and I'll post some pictures soon. If anyone has some easy but good bakery recipes send them my way at We are looking for ideas. I am excited to get a chance to work there. Everyone is excited that the cafe is getting hooked up with cable TV to help bring in more revenue. Futbol or soccer is very big here so people like watching the pro games. One not so good thing however, was that we found out from some people that Morris, the guy who picked me up, had his room broken into while we were gone, which is very hard to do at our house and all his stuff minus clothing was taken! That was a big downer. That doesn't mean I/we don't feel safe here just that we'll have to be more careful who knows about our house and keep everything locked up even inside the house.

After the cafe I headed to the house to drop my things off and then headed straight to Musana with the other volunteers. It's about a 3o min walk and pretty confusing path; I'll have to pay better attention tomorrow; it's all about landmarks I'm told. Iganga is what you would call a developing town i guess... it's not quite a city but they are getting bigger and spreading out with lots of little shops and markets.

When I got to Musana, all the kids were watching a movie but they all came out to hug me and hold my hand. They gave me a little tour of their home and their livestock (1 cow, 7 goats, and soon to be chickens). The kids are adorable and take any attention they can get. I showed some boys my soccer and basketball skills today (pretty hard to do in an ankle length skirt), helped kids make paper oragami balloons, swing kids, simply throw balls or frisbees, and love on them:)

We walked back to the cafe close to dark time (that's what I go by...the sun because i have no watch or phone). Their we had a farewell dinner for a man who was done with his 2 and half year volunteer bout in Uganda. It was fun. The weather is beautiful at night time and the stars are bright. We walked back home and now we've just been hanging out. Tomorrow, PiPi is taking me to the hospital to see about volunteering in the physical therapy department. Well that's i'll I've got for now and again I'll try to post some pictures soon. Much love to everyone! Until next time and bye for now :)...

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Leaving on a jet plane...'s 2:20 a.m. and I can't go to bed because I keep thinking that there is something else that needs done before I leave for Uganda in the morning. Why does traveling cause unneccessary anxiety? Really I feel more prepared than I have for any other trip. I packed 2 days in advance (that will probably never happen again) and I've made multiple lists and checked things off. It's a good thing I packed early because I had to buy an extra bin to pack stuff in because I had too many donations to fit in 2 plastic bins! That is a good thing and luckily since I'm going for missionary type purposes the airline allows me 3 checked bags for free:) I know this will be shocking for anyone to believe who has ever lived with or traveled with me, but I was able to fit all my clothes in my carry on luggage! Thanks so much to everyone who has lent their support through prayers, financially, and donations. You have and will continue to be such a blessing to me and others for the next 10 weeks!

Well, I think I will try to get a few hours sleep in my bed that I'm sure I'll miss. I can't wait to update everyone with my first impressions of my temporary new home and what's going on there. I'll try to keep you all updated at least once a week and possibly more (It'll depend on availability of Internet access and sharing with my housemates). I will occasionally be checking my e-mail as well so if you have a story that needs to be shared with me please don't leave me in the dark. It would be great to hear from you!

Next time you hear from me i'll be halfway accross the world!

Until next time...bye for now.