I’ve been in Uganda for 2 ½ weeks now! It’s hard to believe! I am enjoying my time here, but I have also been very homesick as well. I’ve realized how much of a family girl I really am since I moved here!
August 11, 2010
I arrived at Entebbe Airport about 7:45am after flying overnight with one of my co-workers (Karli, the PE teacher). I had a great flight, but was somewhat dazed by the time I arrived. Karli helped me get my too heavy suitcases off the suitcase carousel. After that we met the couple that would drive us to Kampala. Delight and Kenneth Hopson (a WGM missionary couple) came and picked us up. They are truly wonderful couple that I hope to continue to get to know better. (The drive itself was an experience due to rough roads, driving on the opposite side of the road, insane driving, and strange smells!) The Hopsons first took us to the school, so Jason the head administrator, could take me to my apartment. After the interesting smells, airplane food, and shock of arriving at my new apartment, I really felt sick. After I got sick, Jason decided to take me back to Delight’s house so I wouldn’t be alone and could feel better. After getting sick another time or two and resting with some tea and coke, I started to feel a little better. Since I wasn’t feeling completely better and would have been alone in my apartment until Sunday, Jason kindly took me his house where I stayed until the 15th. I didn’t manage to eat anything for dinner that day except for a piece of toast, but was able to get a shower and go to bed early.
August 12, 2010
I stayed in bed late that morning despite a small army running around. Jason and Linda have three sweet children: Jake, Asha, and Sam. They are 5, 5, and 2, respectively. Yes, Jake and Asha are twins. Jason sounds like he is English and grew up in Zambia and Linda is Irish, so the children have wonderful accents. They were also keeping two Ugandan children that friend is adopting. So with 5 children under 5 running around, life became fun and eventful. I was able to read to the children and help take care of them. Their house help, Robert, went and bought a SIM card and airtime (minutes) for my cell phone. Then Godfrey, (the operations manager at the school), picked me up from the house, so I could spend the afternoon at the school.
August 13, 2010
On Friday, I went and spent the day at the school and started to meet people. Then I went back to Jason and Linda’s house for the evening. Their kids, plus the two extra kiddos (Nathan and Henry) were the best medicine I could have asked for!
August 14, 2010
On Saturday, Linda took me out grocery shopping and I got my 3G wireless card, so could communicate with home. It felt so nice to be able to get things for my apartment. I went shopping at Shop Rite grocery store (not the kind in NJ though). Then we went to Game (the closest thing to a Target). Then Linda and I spent the afternoon with the kiddos. We ate soup and bread for lunch. Linda and I ate soup and the kids ate bread. Henry and Nathan ate a plateful of bread by themselves!
August 15, 2010
On Sunday, I went to church with Jason and Linda along with my roomies who arrived that morning (Molly and Donna). Even though I was brand new to Uganda, Jason had me read scripture for church that morning about Abigail and David. After church, we went back to Jason and Linda’s for church. Jade and Shelah (another missionary couple) went back to eat lunch with us as well. After lunch, Jason took all of us girls to our apartment to get settled in.
August 16-20, 2010
We had orientation all week and got to know each other. We went to the Micklers for a picnic on Monday night. Downie Mickler is the enrichment director for afterschool programs at school. On Wednesday night we went to Jade and Shelah’s house and played volleyball with the Sudanese boys that stay with them with school is out. These boys were child soldiers and are now in their 20’s finishing high school. On Friday, we went with Jason and Linda back to their house. First, they took us swimming at resort nearby where I went in a sauna for the first time and enjoyed playing with kids from Jason’s house and drinking hot Ugandan tea with lemon by the pool. I almost forgot, but I also found a bright green snake in my desk while I was cleaning out my room! I jumped, screamed, and ran for help! I’m still not sure if it was poisonous, but I’m glad I didn’t find out for sure! One of my students told me he thought it was a Ugandan Green Snake, which isn’t poisonous and others thought it was poisonous! Regardless, God protected me by having me pull out the drawer instead of stick my hand in it!
August 21, 2010
On Saturday, we went for scavenger hunt around downtown Kampala. What a crazy city! We walked all over the place, literally. I got a frappucino, minus the ice at the 1,000 Cups coffee shop! Not quiet like home! I bought some stamps to hopefully and eventually send home postcards and letters! (I still need to buy postcards to send first! I had my first ride in a matatu (taxi van) as well. They cram up to 14 people in a van and charge the equivalent of 40 cents (800 schillings) to downtown one way. We found the Calvary Chapel and Waototo Church as part of our scavenger hunt as well!
August 22, 2010
My roommate, Donna, and another co-worker, Terri, and Nathanael (Social Studies teacher) decided to go to Waototo Church on Sunday. We got a matatu (taxi) that was going the wrong way and lost 15-30 minutes and then had to walk 10-15 minutes to from the taxi park to the church. We ended up being late for church, but still we able to enjoy the service. We almost didn’t have a seat, even in the balcony! The place was packed! One of the main ministries of the church is the Waototo Children’s Homes. Eight orphans live in a house with a housemother. These children sing at the church on Sundays as a choir and even made a recording with Christ Tomlin for his “Hello Love” album. The song they sing on it is “There is Love”. It was neat to see them in person and hear about the ministry!
August 23-27, 2010
This was our first week of school! I ended up with 13 students who are all Ugandan/African as far as I know. No MK’s in my class. There are 8 girls and 5 boys with many different gifts and abilities. They 5th are graders, but seem more like 4th graders compared to my students in the U.S. They are really sweet and have worked hard this week. I demanded cursive and they rose to the occasion! They also did pretty well on their grammar worksheet on Friday, which I was not expecting, and most did well on their first reading test as well!
August 28, 2010
This past Saturday was slow day. We got up later and had breakfast and then helped out cleaning and laundry girl, Fiona, get acquainted with things. She worked 9am-5pm on cleaning and laundry. That sounds extravagant and long, but hiring local people helps them and the economy around here, plus then we don’t have to hand wash all our clothes! Unfortunately, our clothes didn’t all dry, so she couldn’t iron them before she left. We actually need our clothes ironed after hanging outside to make sure fly larvae is killed, which could hatch and burrow into our skin! Nasty, I know!
August 29, 2010
That brings us to today! I woke up at 6:30 and church wasn’t until 10:15 and my roomies left at 7am. I listed to music, ate breakfast, read my Bible and did backstretches and got ready for church. I went to Kampala International Church, which is held at my school. It was very nice and the worship was filled with God’s presence. After church, Terri and I went to the Italian market to get water and I also bought a few groceries. Then I came home and warmed up my spaghetti, eggplant, and sauce and ate lunch. I read for a bit and then ironed my clothes to kill any bugs that might be there. Then I chatted with Mom and Dad on skype before they left for church. I sewed a button back on my skirt and then practiced my recorder, since I have to teach the kids recorder tomorrow afternoon. Now I’m sitting here with my computer typing to you!